Monday, June 15, 2009

It's not too late to take action to stop more cuts in services to people with developmental disabilities in California

From a letter by Greg DeGiere of the ARC California:

Dear Friends:

The Department of Developmental Services on Friday gave the Legislature new recommendations that we view as the end of the Lanterman Act's promise to choose the most appropriate support for each person with a developmental disability and their family.

The Legislature's budget conference committee will consider the department's harmful recommendations today (Monday), probably in the afternoon. As of now, it looks like they will adopt them.

All 10 committee members need to know that you are watching.

Please call now -- it's too late for letters or emails. If you're calling your own state senator of assemblymember and have talked to anyone in his or her office before, call that staff person again now. Otherwise, call and talk to any staff person you can get on the phone. Ask them:

Don't cut any more services for people with development disabilities! The Department of Developmental Services' "trailer bill language" (that's the jargon term to use) would have the effect of ending the promise of the Lanterman Act for thousands of Californians.

Instead, take a few more days and actually consider community alternatives from The Arc and other groups.

If you are calling your own state senator or assemblymember, ask how your representative plans to vote. If the staff person doesn't know, ask them to find out, and tell them you will call back later to follow up. Get their name, and call back later on Monday morning.

Coordinated grassroots and Capitol advocacy for people with Developmental Disabilities and their families has actually won a few victories in the state budget war so far, but we will lose the biggest battle unless we can stop this disaster today.

Please call now.

Is that stark and clear enough for everyone?


Here are the budget conference committee members and the numbers to call:

Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, 916-319-2007
Senator Denise Ducheny, 916-651-4040
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, 818-904-3840
Senator Mark Leno, 916-651-4003
Senator Alan Lowenthal, 916-651-4027
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, 916-319-2002
Senator Bob Duttton, 916-651-4031
Senator Mimi Walters, 916-651-4033
Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, 916-319-2045
Assemblyman Roger Niello, 916-319-2005

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