The Center of Hope Foundation's Building Bridges group of self-advocates meets monthly to learn government affairs updates and advocacy strategies that are helpful when meeting with area legislators. At the June meeting, The Arc of Massachusetts' Director of Public Policy Charlie Fiske and Advocacy Alliance Coordinator Herb Cabral explained the state budget process, from its formulation by the Governor through its review, section by section, by the state legislature.
The self-advocates discussed how they can interact with their local state Representatives and Senators to advocate for I/DD line items that personally affect them. They readily identified personal concerns about the services they receive and strategized about how to address those concerns.
The self-advocates talked about the critical importance of voting, which is the focus of The Arc of Massachusetts' current Get Out the Vote campaign: REV UP (
ower!). Approximately 95% of the members of Building Bridges affirmed that they are active registered voters and will be voting in the next state primary election on Tuesday, September 4.
The Center of Hope's advisors, Sara Donnelly and Kelly Hutton, both serve on The Arc of Massachusetts Government Affairs Committee and provide the foundation for the ongoing success of Building Bridges.