Advocacy Day

Advocacy Days offer a way for you to learn about the legislative process in person.

Advocacy Days, part of the Advocacy Partnership Project, are held during each legislative session to involve self-advocates and families in the legislative process, giving them opportunities to make their voices heard by their legislators and to have an impact on policy and budget legislation that affects the services and supports available to them. 

Advocacy Day is a great way to learn about the legislative process in person.  Each Advocacy Day begins with an hour briefing at 10:00 in the morning. The briefing includes:

  • Special speakers
  • Information on current issues
  • Tips for success
  • Participants have several ways to  advocate during the day:
  • Meeting with legislators
  • Attending hearings
  • Writing and delivering messages to legislators

Limited travel reimbursements are available for on a one-time, first come, first-served basis.

Advocacy Partnership Project is a program of The Arc of Washington State funded by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council

2015 Advocacy Day Schedule

Advocacy Days are typically held at one of two locations:

  • General Administration (GA) Building, 210 - 11th Ave SW, Olympia, 98501 (to the right side of the Capitol)
  • The United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501  (across the street from the Capitol) 
  • Click here for a map of the Capitol Campus

January 12th - First day of legislative session

January 28th - Legislative Briefing 

A folder of one-page information sheets on pertinent issues for the 2015 legislative session, along with charts and data from the Developmental Disabilities Administration, will be reviewed. (Held at The United Churches)

February 4th - Budget Overview 

Creating a two-year (biennial) budget is the one thing legislators are required to do during the legislative session. Learn what services and supports are proposed for cuts and what you can do to help stop that. (Held at The United Churches)

February 11th - Promoting Independence

Self-advocates will lead the way on issues for the 2015 session that help them live in their community as independently as possible. The new Community First Choice Option (CFCO) will be discussed as well as other legislation important to self-advocates. (Held at The United Churches)

February 18th - Medicaid Services 

Medicaid services such as Medicaid Personal Care and Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers are an important component of allowing individuals with developmental disabilities to live in their community. Providers for Personal Care and respite are critical to the access of these services. Parents and individual personal care and respite providers from SEIU 775NW will join with us in support of budget and policy items that ensure that Medicaid services are available to those who need them. (Held at The United Churches)

February 25th - Supported Living Rally

Many adults with developmental disdabilities access community residential services. The supported living providers are essential to the health and safety of a person living in community residential settings, yet get paid very little, sometimes barely at minimum wage. This creates a very high turnover of providers. Learn more about supported living services as we join with members of the Community Residential Services Association (CRSA) to ensure that providers are paid a wage that ensures the stability of the workforce.  (Held at The United Churches, rally on the Capital steps afterward)

March 4th - Education

Special education services are a part of every child's life who has a developmental disability. Much focus is currently on regular education funding because of a lawsuit requiring the state to better fund education, but we need to ensure special education is not forgotten. Recent years have brought attention to issues such as the use of restraints, tasers and isolation rooms for children with disabilities. Policies need to change at a state level to ensure our children are not subjected to such tactics. (Held at the General Administration Building)

March 11th - Civil Rights

Keeping toxins known to cause developmental disabilities out of children's products is key to protecting our children. Partnering with the Washington Toxics Coalition, we are working to pass the Toxic-free Kids Act, which would eliminate dangerous flame retardents (which have been proven to be ineffective) from children's products such as mattresses, changing pads, furniture and more. Children inhale the dust from these chemicals which can cause learning disabilities, cancer and more. Help us eliminate these hazardous products. Additional civil rights issues, including guardianship issues, will also be discussed. (Held at the General Administration Building)

March 18th - Supporting Families

In 2014 we were successful in getting legislators to creat a new Individual and Family Services Waiver (IFS) to provide respite and other services to 4,000 new families in our state. Learn about this new waiver and how to access it. Parent to Parent, local chapters of The Arc and Parent Coalitions will be encouraging parents to come to this meeting and bring your children with you. Make your needs known to legislators and help them to understand the reality of family situations and why supports and services need their funding. We can help you prepare, contact us for assistance. (Held at the General Administration Building)

March 25th - Employment Supports

Everyone has the right to live, work and play in their local community. Having a job means that individuals with developmental disabilities can be productive citizens, contributing to our economy by paying taxes while providing valued services. Join self-advocates, families and employment service providers from Community Employment Alliance (CEA) as we ensure that supports are available to all those who need them. (Held at the General Administration Building, rally in the Capital Rotunda afterwards)

April 1st - Autism Awareness Rally

April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day as designated by the United Nations. Awareness of autism is increasing and it shows in the new diagnostic criteria being used, in behavioral therapy now being covered by insurance and by society's inclusion of individuals with autism and their families. The time for isolating people is gone. We still have budget and policy issues to address to fully support those on the autism spectrum. Help us educate legislators and learn what services and supports now exist. (Held at the General Administration Building, rally in the Capital Rotunda afterward)

April 27th - Last day of legislative session

To see a wrap-up from the 2014 session:

 

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! At each Advocacy Day event you will be able to share your experience with us. Each week's evaluation form that you complete gets you another stamp in your Passport! Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, just circle the smiley face that best describes your experiences. You can fill it out and turn it in at the event. You can also respond online by clicking here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WS8TNMR

What to expect at Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day begins at 10 a.m. Wednesdays during the legislative session.  We start the day with an hour briefing on current issues and end with an afternoon of advocacy (about 3:00 p.m.).  While we feature a highlighted topic each week, the morning briefing will also cover late breaking news on budget items and bills of interest relating to individuals with developmental disabilities.

If this is your first visit and you need a guide for the day, please let us know when you register.  To register, please call: 1-888-754-8798, ext. 105, or e-mail: bean@arcwa.org

Location for Advocacy Days:

General Administration Building

(To the right side of the Capitol) unless otherwise noted.

210 - 11th Ave SW, Olympia, 98501

Click here for a map of the Capitol Campus.

Limited reimbursements for travel and interpreter service are available on a one time, first-come first-served basis. 

Please make legislative appointments at least two weeks in advance.  If you need assistance, call 1.888.754.8798, ext. 105.

Map

Capitol Campus Map (includes parking sites and buildings surrounding the Capitol Campus).

Directions to Advocacy Day Locations

Coming I-5 “Northbound”:

  • Take Exit 105 (State Capitol/City Center)
  • Turn Right onto Jefferson (at the roundabout, DO NOT Go through tunnel)
  • First street to the left turn Left onto Eleventh Street (11th)
  • Go through the light (which is the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • Go one block farther and the GA Building is on your right

Coming I-5 “ Southbound”:

  • Take Exit 105-A (State Capitol/City Center)
  • Turn Right onto Jefferson
  • First street to the left turn Left onto Eleventh Street (11th)
  • Go through the light (which is the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • Go one block farther and the GA Building is on your right

Parking

Limited parking is available next to the GA Building.  General Administration provides information regarding available satellite parking locations and the latest updates on closures or changes. E-mail bean@arcwa.org for a map or more information.