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.

SAVE THE DATE!

Advocacy Days for 2019:

2019 Legislative Briefing/Reception

Our theme this year is “Incredible Advocacy” as we encourage legislators to champion bills/budget items that are incredibly important to people with developmental disabilities. A new “Incredible” button will be distributed each week. Join us at 2 pm at The United Churches for a briefing of the current issues of concern. Go have dinner, then attend the Legislative Reception which will be held in the Columbia Room from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

January 30th—Incredible Family Supports

Incredible families provide the majority of care for people with DD, saving our state an incredible amount of money and helping individuals be participating members of their local communities. Whether your child is very young, a teen, or an adult, there are services that can benefit them. Respite care is an incredibly critical service, but it’s often difficult to find a provider. Parent to Parent, local chapters of The Arc and Parent Coalitions will share their educational campaign “Vote DD!”.We encourage parents to come to this meeting and bring your incredible children with you.

February 6th—Incredible Jobs

Having a job means that individuals with DD can be incredibly productive citizens, contributing to our economy by paying taxes, while also providing valuable services. Being gainfully employed provides self-esteem and helps individuals work toward being self-supporting. Join some incredible 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. A rally will be held at the capital at noon.

February 13th - Incredible Self-Advocates

Incredible self-advocates will lead the way on issues for the 2019 session that help them live in their community as independently as possible and show their pride in  being valued members of society.  They have three priorities they are pursuing this session: 1) closing state institutions and building community services; 2) having real jobs with real pay (not sub-minimum wages); and 3) providing supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship.

February 20th - Incredible Providers

Some incredible self-advocates, supported living providers as well as family members and others join to let legislators know how incredibly important living in the community is and ask them to ensure that providers of these supports are paid a fair living wage. We will meet at United Churches at 10 am, and then we will head over to the capitol steps for a rally with Community Residential Services Association (CRSA).

February 27th—Incredible Home Life

Finding affordable, accessible housing in our local communities is incredibly difficult. Some individuals with DD are having to live in our state DD institutions or continue living with their families simply because of a lack of housing. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance will partner with us to advocate for more funding, particularly in the Housing Trust Fund which has a “DD Set-aside” account and to look at more creative ways to have an impact on this crisis. Help legislators understand the incredible need for community housing for people with DD.

March 6th—Incredible Awareness

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. Governor Inslee and our Legislature also recognize the value of children and adults with DD and will present our state’s Proclamation during Advocacy Day. Also, join us and help us share our “Just Like Me!” campaign.

March 13th—Incredible Learning

Learning is a lifelong process. Early Intervention services help babies and toddlers who struggle to meet developmental milestones. Public education has special funding for children with developmental disabilities that need extra supports to learn. Transition from high school to the adult world of working involves coordination from multiple state agencies and funding to help with supported employment or to help individuals with DD attend higher education or technical schools.

March 20th—Incredible Need for $

Creating a biennial budget is the one thing legislators are required to do during this legislative session. With many new legislators, it is important that you educate yours about the needs of people with DD. This year, about half of our Residential Habilitation Centers (our state’s DD institutions) have been found to not be meeting federal requirements for health and safety. The Governor’s answer is to pour money into these outdated and dangerous places when the funding should go to community supports. Learn what services and supports are proposed for cuts or increases and what you can do to help.

March 27th—Incredible Activists!

This legislative session we have a number of protection issues being raised. Most importantly is building community supports to move people out of institutions and let them live near family and friends in the community. Other issues include providing disability information to the Smart 911 database, supported decision-making, protection from institutionalization due to the incredible lack of sufficient resources in the community, guardianship and more.

April 3rd—Incredible Autistics!

Almost 50 years have passed since the first National Autism Awareness month in April of 1970. With the diagnosis rate of children with autism increasing from 1 in every 2000 children in the 1970's to 1 in every 68 children today, we celebrate not just Awareness, but also Acceptance and Appreciation of the autistic community and those who support them. The Governor and the Legislature recognize the incredible value of autistic individuals to our communities. Join us for an Autism Rally at noon, more details to come!

April 10th—Incredible Messaging

As the regular session is coming to a close, our incredible legislators are spending most of their time on the House or Senate floor voting on bills. You still have an incredibly important job to do! Many bills never get a chance to be voted on, not because they aren’t important, but because there is not enough time to vote on all of them. You can help move your bills up in importance by sending notes in to your legislator while they are on the floor.

Your feedback after attending each Advocacy Day is very important to us!
Please fill out our easy-to-use online evaluation form:

Advocacy Day Feedback Form

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

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

Limited reimbursements for travel 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.

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)
  • United Churces is on your right at the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • No parking allowed at the church, use metered parking on the streets

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)
  • United Churces is on your right at the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • No parking allowed at the church, use metered parking on the streets