Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advocacy Time (again, and again....)

Advocacy never ends.  As I suspected, budget cuts for those of us fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be living in NY State will be htting soon.  Like so many states, our outgoing (and incoming) Governors have to make decisions I am very happy I don't have to make.  So, I received the below email the other day and have to decide what to do.

One thing I learned long ago from a relative in the journalism field is NEVER to use a form letter, or use extensive wording from a form letter.  Such letters are easily discovered, and just as easily ignored.

Similarly, snail mail works a lot better than email. And, telephone calls are even better.

My style is writing so I have to see about a letter from the heart.  My heart is the heart of a taxpayer but also the sister in law of an adult with autism.  More and more, as my mother in law's financial resources dwindle, my brother in law's government betterments are more and more important to her.  My mother in law was raised not to depend on government, but sometimes you just need help.

That help needs to be there.

Maybe (or maybe not) I'll post the letter, or parts of it, when I get it written.

Anyway, here's the email I received.

PROTECT Services for People with Developmental Disabilities

Services for people with developmental disabilities are in grave danger. Governor-Elect Cuomo must reduce New York State's enormous deficit, and he will have to make cuts.

It is up to each and every one of us to prevent huge cuts to our services. We cannot afford to be silent!

Write to the Governor-Elect and your own state Assemblymember and Senator to tell them that large cuts would devastate our services, causing massive staff layoffs and endangering the health and safety of our extremely vulnerable population! Tell them that the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) must be preserved as a separate agency, not merged with other agencies. Only OPWDD has the expertise to incorporate some cuts while protecting our critical services.

Write Governor-Elect Cuomo and your Legislators TODAY:

1. There are 2 sample letters attached: one for parents and a different one for agency staff. Choose the appropriate letter for yourself.

2. Send the appropriate sample letter or—even better—write your own. Be sure to include your name and address.
3. If you are a sibling or friend, adapt the letter accordingly.
4. Use the same letter (but change the addressee) to write to your state Assemblymember and Senator.
To find your Assemblymember, call 518-455-4100 or go to
To find your own State Senator, call 518-455-2800 or go to

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