Letter from the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council

STATEN ISLAND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COUNCILC/O The Elizabeth Connelly Resource Center930 Willowbrook Road – Building 41A

Staten Island, New York 10314-6316

(718) 983-5276

December 18, 2009

On January 7th, family members, self advocates and staff from providers across the state will visit their local legislators with a singular message:  Cutting our essential services will endanger New York’s most vulnerable citizens.  As we have previously said, the upcoming 2010/11 New York State budget promises to wreak havoc and we must get families of people with developmental disabilities – out to educate their elected officials. Remember that no one’s message is more effective than a family member who can speak from personal experience!!

Although teams comprised of a family member, person with a developmental disability and a direct support professional have been identified to make the visits on January 7th, 2010 all are invited and strongly encouraged to attend the advocacy briefing on January 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the Elizabeth Connelly Center (bubble).  The briefing will give people updated additional information as well as future advocacy strategies. 

We need to remember that services to individuals with developmental disabilities are NO LONGER viewed as being safe from cuts. In fact, the reverse is actually true! Several people in government and the legislature have stated they believe our field can be the source of substantial state savings by reducing appropriations.

We are counting on each and every one of you to respond to and support our advocacy efforts over the next few months.  Please keep informed and spread the word to others to protect our service system and the people who depend on it!!!

Right now, we are focusing these efforts only on OMRDD services because we have evidence from the Governor’s recent Deficit Reduction Plan that they are being targeted for cuts.

 If you have any questions, please call Donna Long at 718 983-3800 or Kathy Nowak at 917-376-1201.  We are all in this together and we are committed to not giving up without a fight.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Fromkin, Chairperson SIDDC

Donna Long, Co-Chairperson Advocacy Committee

Kathy Nowak, Co-Chairperson Family Support Services Advisory Council

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