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Legislative and Policy Forum in Albany

Legislative and Policy Forum in Albany

On Monday of this week, Chris Shepard and Andrew Martinez and I went to Albany to a Legislative Forum that was sponsored by NY Alliance and the Arc New York. The Legislative and Policy Forum focused on key points of importance including the Future of Healthcare in the I/DD Sector and Workforce Issues and Initiatives. Chris and Andrew, both Comm Hab DSPs were able to hear firsthand from both legislators and staff from other agencies in New York who are advocating for and stressing the importance of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign.

Advocating for budget and policy issues were at the forefront of the afternoon long forum. It was stressed throughout the day how important it was for staff, family members and self-advocates to make their voices heard.  Chris and Andrew were able to hear how government and the state budget set the wages and cost of living adjustments for direct support professionals.  They heard the passion from people in the room how important it was for their voices to be heard and their message was to make sure Albany hears that Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal needs to include the funding necessary to give Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) a fair, living wage.

I also participated in a panel discussion on workforce. The panel talked about how workforce recruitment and retention has transitioned from being a challenge to being a crisis. New York’s not-for-profit disabilities providers continue to face significant challenges hiring and keeping qualified staff including DSPs.

A message that we want to make you very aware of is that it is so important that you contact the legislators, assembly, senators and the governor and let them all know how you feel about the #bFair2DirectCare campaign.

Take a few minutes and let Governor Cuomo know how you feel

Tell Governor Cuomo to #bFair2DirectCare!

Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal fails to include the funding necessary to give Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) a fair, living wage.

Encourage Governor Cuomo to correct this omission and add the #bFair2DirectCare living wage funding in his budget proposal! 

CALL 518-474-8390 and SAY: 

I am a [DSP, Parent, Self Advocate, etc.] and a supporter of #bFair2DirectCare. 

The developmental disabilities community is in a crisis.

Right now, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) across New York State are making just above minimum wage and can barely make ends meet, despite the difficult and vital work. 

These low wages for DSPs have lead to high vacancy and turnover rates, leaving a devastating impact on the individuals and families DSPs support. 

This impacts/concerns me because [Insert reason why #bFair2DirectCare is important to you.] 

Please add the #bFair2DirectCare living wage funding DSPs deserve to your budget proposal.