The Arc New York Central Region Chapters, representing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families, are pleased to announce the success of their Legislative Call-In Day across the Central NY Region. These chapters included The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc), The Arc Otsego, ACHIEVE, The Arc of Onondaga, The Arc Oneida Lewis, The Arc of the Greater Hudson Valley, The Arc Madison Cortland, The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence, and The Arc Herkimer. On February 6, 2024, advocates, community members, and staff from all of the above-named chapters came together to voice their concerns and advocate for critical issues affecting individuals with IDD, and the staff that support them.

 

In her budget address in January, Governor Kathy Hochul recognized New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been suffering from disinvestment and neglect. She committed to changing that. To achieve that change, we’re asking for a 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment and a Direct Support Wage Enhancement to be included in the One-House Budget. These requests were not included in Governor Hochul’s budget proposal, so we called on our state legislators to help.

 

The Legislative Call-In Day aimed to raise awareness and garner support for key legislative priorities crucial to enhancing the lives of individuals with IDD and their families, including the above noted 3.2% COLA included in the One-House budget, as well as the inclusion of the Direct Support Wage Enhancement to make up for years of underinvestment by New York State. Through a coordinated effort, The Arc New York chapters within the Central NY Region mobilized their communities to engage with elected officials, urging them to include these items in the One-House Budget.

 

The results of the Legislative Call-In Day are a testament to the dedication and advocacy efforts of the Central NY Region Arc New York chapters. Together, they made a significant impact, amplifying the voices of those often marginalized in legislative discussions. The highlights of the Legislative Call-In Day include:

  • 26 Legislators reached
  • 2,608 total calls, emails, faxes, and one-click participations
  • 17 Counties represented by 9 Arc New York Chapters

 

Many legislators contacted during call-in day expressed their commitment to working alongside The Arc New York and other stakeholders to champion these initiatives for budget inclusion.

 

The success of the Legislative Call-In Day underscores the power of collective advocacy in effecting positive change. The participating chapters who led this effort remain dedicated to advocating for policies and programs that promote the full inclusion and empowerment of individuals with IDD across the Central NY Region and beyond.

 

Additionally, a group of Self-Advocates and staff from Delarc participated in a Statewide Rally at the NYS Capitol in Albany on Monday, February 19th to advocate in person on these same issues.  Their collective voices were heard loud and clear. 

 

Check out photos from both the Rally and Call-In Advocacy Day here:

 

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Stay tuned, as our advocacy efforts aren’t over yet.  You can help by reaching out to your elected officials and encouraging them to include the 3.2% COLA and the Direct Support Wage Enhancement in the One-House budget, or by completing the one-click campaign at https://p2a.co/yy06tuz.