Disability Political Action Voice (DPAV) Established: Seeking Support from Stakeholders
The co-author of the Lanterman Act and other leaders in developmental services in California - Arthur Bolton, Norman Green, Denny Amundson, Shirley Dove, Bruce Mackenzie, Julie Jackson, and Elaine Lewis - have been named as the steering committee of a new Disability Political Action Voice.
Their message: Our goal is simple and we will, through polictial action, seek to maintain the Lanterman Act and reduce the severe budget cuts to California's developmentally disabled people. With your votes and contributions we can and will make an impact on the funding losses that are diminishing the very best developmental disabilities system in the United States.
What is DPAV and Why Do We Need It?
DPAV stands for disabiltiies political action voice. It is the missing piece in our developmental system, the political piece. The evidence of the need is very clear. During the last few years, the state, under economic pressure, has slashed our services by hundreds of millions of dollars. The governor proposed cutting even more: 3/4 of a billion dollars! And the end is not in sight. More cuts loom on the horizon. We are all very aware of the impact. Caseloads are too high, wages are too low and workers are losing their jobs. Those of us with disabilities and our families are the hardest hit as services and choices are diminished. The promise of the Lanterman Act is in danger of compromise and has even been targeted in the past to be removed. California's community system - the best in the nation - is in serious trouble. Our D.D. system employs over 100,000 workers and serves over 250,000 people with disabilities and their families.
We are at the mercy of 120 legislators and a governor. These 121 politicians hold our fate in their hands. We have been an easy target. They may not enjoy hurting us, and they pay no price when they do. This must and will change.
DPAV is designed to change that as the political voice of the developmentally disabled workers and their families - Together we can make a difference!
- Endorse candidates for governor and the legislature.
- Make election campaign contributions.
- Make expenditures on behalf of candidates.
- Ask candidates to sign pledges on important issues.
- Publish and communicate things that favor or oppose candidates.
DPAV will do these things that many other agencies and organizations in the D.D. system are not legally allowed to do. We expect many of the 350,000 (workers and families) to make a small annual contribution to DPAV, in whatever amount they can afford. And why wouldnt they? They have everything to gain. If we do not fight for the funding ourselves, no one will!
DPAV will maintain a close relationship with all the organizations in the D.D. system to guarantee good coordination, open communication and transparency. DPAV will be guided by a steering committee with representation from affected interests.
It is said, "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago." We must plant our trees today. Our future depends on it. Please join with the 350,000 and contribute to DPAV now.