August 26, 2021
A Message from CEO Erik Geizer
As you all know, Kathy Hochul was sworn in this week as our 57th, and first female, Governor of the State of New York. This time of transition and change gives us reason to be optimistic about our relationship with the Governor's Office and the future of services and supports for New Yorkers with I/DD.

Many of our stakeholders have asked what our strategy is for engagement with the new Governor. Messaging, strategy and connection with the new administration are a top priority for The Arc New York. We are actively listening to the language the Governor is using to articulate her vision for the state, and we are honing our messaging to align with that vision. We are following the appointments Gov. Hochul is making to build her administration and identifying existing connections and relationships we can leverage, and those we need to build. We are preparing to be partners in achieving shared goals for New York state – and advocates to ensure those goals are inclusive of New Yorkers with I/DD.

Earlier this week we posted a welcome message to Gov. Hochul on facebook, which we encourage you all to share with your networks. We are planning a campaign to have our families, staff and self-advocates welcome the new Governor and call for her support of New Yorkers with I/DD. We are developing solution-based proposals for the executive budget, system funding and regulatory reform to raise with the new administration. We will continue to work with NYDA and our partners in the field to put our issues on the Governor’s radar. We will need all of your voices to ensure our offer of partnership and our call to action is heard loud and clear. Stay tuned!
The Arc New York Federal District Impact Sheets
The Arc New York created a package of Federal District Impact Sheets to use as a tool in conversations with Federal legislators about the impact of our organization within their district. Each sheet outlines the number of people served, number of employees, budgeted revenue, and total cost of employee salaries and benefits at each chapter in a legislator's district, as well as the total impact of all Chapters in that district. Similar materials at the state level will be forthcoming. The sheets are organized by district number. You can find your district and representative here. Please keep in mind, your Chapter may extend to multiple legislative districts.

We encourage you to share these with your legislators as you carry the Federal call to support the Better Care Better Jobs Act, HCBS Funding, and sustainable, quality supports people with I/DD.
Watch Today's Workforce Rally
Providers, legislators, families, self-advocates from Central New York joined held a united rally to combat the escalating workforce crisis. The Arc of Onondaga, The Arc Madison Cortland and The Arc Oneida-Lewis joined NYDA partners from around the state to call on the state to stop the cuts, raise the wage and fund the future! If you missed the rally live, you can watch it here.
Federal Advocacy Update
On Tuesday, the Senate approved the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint and locked in a late September vote on a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The package is expected to pass the House with some changes. As has been discussed, the infrastructure package doesn’t include our major priorities, but the $3.5 trillion package does. Both are expected to come together in the next month. 

The budget resolution is just the plan or framework for the package that will come together when Congress returns from August recess in September, so we HAVE TO KEEP THE PUSH GOING! There are a lot of competing priorities in the committees, so we need help keeping up the noise on the crucial importance of HCBS funding. 

We are sharing tools from The Arc US again below to support ongoing federal advocacy. We’re on the precipice of MAJOR investments, and we need to work together to make them a reality!

The August Congressional Recess digital toolkit includes links to key webpages, action alerts, graphics, sample social media posts, letters to the editor, and tips on how to engage Congress during the recess. The focus of this advocacy is for a $400 billion investment in Medicaid home and community-based services through the Better Care Better Jobs Act, as well as plans to better support the direct care workforce, improve paid leave programs for workers with disabilities and caregivers, and increase asset limits for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Raise Our Voices for Care campaign offers a new virtual way to share your story about why HCBS care matters to you.
This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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