We Must Not Forget
February 16th, 2024

 

900 unmarked graves. The thought alone is sobering and heartbreaking. These graves at Lakeland Village in Eastern Washington represent the silent stories of individuals with developmental disabilities that are lost to us. Found inside some of the decaying buildings at Lakeland Village were thousands of boxes of records and artifacts that represent more than 100 years of history.  Senate Bill SB6125  would prevent these records and artifacts from being destroyed and would preserve, them so their history will not be lost to future generations and can help us tell the stories of the treatment of the thousands of individuals who have lived there.  This bill has passed the Senate and has a hearing in House State Government & Tribal Relations Committee on Tuesday, February 20th at 1:30 pm.  We encourage you to sign on to this bill.

 

On Friday we heard House Bill  1541 the “Nothing About Us Without Us” bill, in the Senate State Government Committee. In contrast to the lost voices of the past, the testimony from self-advocates was loud and clear that they want to be a part of the process when decisions are being made that impact their lives. Shawn Latham, policy coordinator for Sail, eloquently testified “We feel that this bill will give us a place at the table.  We call this Democracy in action, Democracy in action isn’t a liberal value or a conservative value, it is an American value “.

 

The cutoff for bills to be heard in committee from the opposite house is Wednesday the 21st at 5:00.  You can follow along with our bill tracker here.

 

The Senate Capital budget came out on Wednesday, and it included $20,000 in the Housing Trust Fund for DD Housing.  This is great momentum coming from last year’s $25 million investment, the need is incredibly high, with an unmet need for 37,000 units so we will need to continue to advocate for housing needs.  The rest of the budgets will be coming out very soon and we will be posting information on our website.

 

The end of the session is drawing near, but there is still a lot to do. Stay tuned for action alerts.  Thank you for engaging in the process.  Democracy in Action indeed!

 

 

Together, let’s build a community where every individual, regardless of ability, can thrive and contribute.

 

Cathy Murahashi