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Webinar: Transforming Ideas Into Law & How To Get Involved

In this webinar, Evelyn Abouhassan, Esquire, the Senior Legislative Advocate at Disability Rights California, discusses:

- The steps to a bill becoming law
- The power of telling your story to representatives about your needs
- How you can make your voice heard

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Webinar: Transforming Ideas Into Law & How To Get Involved

  1. 1. 1 Welcome to the USC UCEDD Parent/Consumer Webinar Series funded by grant #90DD0695 from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Administration on Community Living March 18, 2016
  2. 2. 2 Your Moderator 2 Susan Kanegawa USC UCEDD Family Support Coordinator skanegawa@chla.usc.edu www.uscucedd.org The USC University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (USC UCEDD) is one of 68 UCEDDs funded to promote systemic change, advocacy, and capacity building in states on behalf of individuals with, or at risk for, developmental, behavioral and/or special health care needs and their families. The USC UCEDD Webinar series is designed to educate the community about current policy issues which impact the lives of people we serve and their families. Our primary audience is individuals with special needs and their families. At this time, our webinars are in English only. We are exploring methods to make this series available in other languages in the future.
  3. 3. 3 Structure and Logistics 3 Take notes Type your questions Download slides Watch and Share Take Survey During the Webinar After the Webinar Give your opinion
  4. 4. 4 Poll: Can you hear Susan and Evelyn? •4 Let us know in the chat box if we need to speak louder.
  5. 5. 5•5 Evelyn Abouhassan, Esq. Senior Legislative Advocate for Disability Rights California March 18, 2016 How Ideas Are Made into Law and How to Get Involved
  6. 6. 6 About Evelyn Abouhassan Evelyn is the Senior Legislative Advocate for Disability Rights California (DRC). She manages the legislative and public policy work at DRC. The primary focus of her work includes budget issues and policy areas that impact individuals with developmental disabilities, employment, and discrimination issues. Disability Rights California is the agency established under federal law to protect and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Their staff directly represents thousands of Californians each year and helps tens of thousands more by working for systemic change.
  7. 7. Legislative Advocacy Tips Overview: How Ideas are Made into Law and How to Get Involved Presented By: Evelyn Abouhassan Senior Legislative Advocate Disability Rights California
  8. 8. 8 Transforming Ideas into Law What are the key pieces to the puzzle? - Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Solution - Developing the Bill Idea - “Shopping” for the Author - Dealing with the Opposition or Potential Opposition - Getting Involved: The Committee Process - Getting the Bill Signed into Law
  9. 9. 9 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution SB 555 (Correa, 2013) What was the problem? - Some people who receive services from the regional centers (RCs) do not speak English or are limited in speaking or understanding English.
  10. 10. 10 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution SB 555 (Correa, 2013) makes sure non- English or limited English speaking consumers and their families have equal information about RC services.
  11. 11. 11 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution Solved the problem by changing the law: - Made sure consumers and family members got information about RC services in a language they understood - Initial intake and assessment for RC services: required in language normally or preferred by consumer or parent, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative
  12. 12. 12 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution Individual Program Plan (IPP): - RC must communicate with consumer, or family where appropriate, in native language during the planning and development of the IPP and at the IPP meeting itself - RC may avoid doing so only if the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) determines it is a hardship
  13. 13. 13 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution If you normally speak or prefer Vietnamese, the RC must communicate with you in Vietnamese in planning and developing your IPP and during your IPP meeting. The RC center can do this using a RC employee who speaks your language or an interpreter and providing you materials in your native language.
  14. 14. 14 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution RCs have to provide a copy of IPP in your native language, or where appropriate, your family, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative, or both, unless DDS has determined it would be a hardship for the RC to do it.
  15. 15. 15 Discovering a Problem and Seeking a Legislative Solution RCs must put down what your native language is in the IPP. For example, if you speak or prefer Korean, the RC has to write down that Korean is your native language in the IPP.
  16. 16. 16 “Shopping” for the Author What does it mean to “shop for an author”? - Meet with legislators to find one who will take the idea and help to change the law - Explain the importance of the issue and the bill to legislators that have an interest in the topic
  17. 17. 17 “Shopping” for the Author SB 555 (Correa, 2013) - Met individually with staffers of legislators that had an interest in developmental disabilities issues - Explained the problem and proposed solution
  18. 18. 18 “Shopping” for the Author SB 555 (Correa) - Lou Correa, a Spanish speaking legislator from Southern California, agreed to author the bill.
  19. 19. 19 The Committee Process SB 555 (Correa, 2013) Bills get referred to committees based on several factors. Topic: Involved RC issues so it was referred to the human services committees in the Senate and Assembly Cost: Tagged with cost to the state so it was referred to the appropriations committees in the Senate and the Assembly
  20. 20. 20 Dealing with the Opposition or Potential Opposition - The key is to try to reach areas of common ground with the opposition before a committee hearing. - There are always compromising and non- compromising points. - Meet with legislative committee staff and the governor’s office to discuss the bill and address issues that may be raised by potential opposition.
  21. 21. 21 The Committee Process SB 555 (Correa, 2013) Getting the bill out of committees: How you get involved in this process - Testimony about the need by consumers, family members, lobbyists - Letters by people like you and lobbyists as to why the bill, if passed, would be good or bad policy - Meeting with legislators and their staff on bills (most times you will meet with staff)
  22. 22. 22 The Committee Process SB 555 (Correa, 2013) Testify before a committee: You usually can testify in each committee the bill is heard. - State your name and the organization that you represent or indicate that you are a citizen and state where you live. - Legislators will be interested to hear what you have to say and usually do not ask too many questions of individual citizens. - Keep your testimony short and to the point.
  23. 23. 23 The Committee Process SB 555 (Correa, 2013) - Even if you can’t testify, you can send letters to the committee. (Links to sample letters at the end of the presentation.) - Send letters to members of EACH committee the bill will be heard in 1 week BEFORE the hearing the bill is heard. - Keep your letters to committee members short and to the point.
  24. 24. 24 The Committee Process SB 555 (Correa, 2013) Meet with legislators if you can! - Schedule a meeting with legislators on a committee (or your legislator). - Communicate your support or concerns about the bill. Keep your message short and to the point. - Work with other groups, like Disability Rights California, to talk to the committee members BEFORE the bill is heard.
  25. 25. 25 Getting the Bill Signed into Law Communicating with the Governor - The governor has 12 days to sign, approve without signing, or veto (reject) a bill. - A letter or phone call to the governor's office is appropriate to state your position on the bill.
  26. 26. 26 Getting the Bill Signed into Law Urge other grassroots organizations to support the bill and write letters or call the governor’s office urging he sign it.
  27. 27. 27 Useful Links Finding your legislator: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ Writing your legislator: http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/pubs/F04001.htm http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/pubs/F04002.htm Letters on bills Disability Rights California cares about: http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/legislature/Legislation/201 6/index.htm
  28. 28. 28 Transformation Complete You have now transformed your idea into law. You got involved in the process! Let’s do it again and again!
  29. 29. 29 Poll: Do you now have a better understanding of how to advocate and how bills become law?
  30. 30. 30 Ask Us a Question Please type your questions (Top-left corner of your MeetingBurner screen)
  31. 31. 31 Thank you for attending and interacting!! You have access to webinar slides, handouts and video recording. Don’t leave yet!! Please take 3 minutes to answer a survey about your experience with this webinar. UCEDD SlideShare Page UCEDD YouTube Playlist Webinar Evaluation Survey

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  • ElizabethJinzo

    May. 21, 2016

In this webinar, Evelyn Abouhassan, Esquire, the Senior Legislative Advocate at Disability Rights California, discusses: - The steps to a bill becoming law - The power of telling your story to representatives about your needs - How you can make your voice heard

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