You came. You turned out in force on October 21, and told Human Services Committee chair Nadeau and other DC councilmembers that you wanted them to pass the Developmental Disability Eligibility Reform Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0268). Councilmember Nadeau was well prepared, and asked DDS director Reese some penetrating questions that showed she had really listened to advocates’ arguments. Reese also acknowledged the crucial importance of the personal stories shared in your testimony. Discussions continue on some of the finer points of the bill, but for the first time in over a decade, we are close – very close. And it is thanks to those of you who raised your voices, loudly!
On a more personal note, this week I attended my last board meeting of the Quality Trust (https://www.dcqualitytrust.org/). It’s been seven productive and meaningful years since I first joined the board, and I’ve been gratified to see an energetic crop of new board members stepping up to guide the organization in its essential support for people with developmental disabilities in DC – and beyond! It was tough to absorb the recent departure of Morgan Whitlatch, who had headed QT’s legal team for as long as most of us can remember, but she’s still with us in the fight and I’m sure her successor will continue QT’s great work.
And there’s room at the table for other advocates! I recently did some consulting work for a local organization that is well positioned to provide leadership on some issues important to the broader community of people with developmental disabilities – there are so many ways in which we need to make our community more inclusive and welcoming! And if you’re an individual, the Family Support Council is looking for new members – and you can get a taste by attending today’s public meeting: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mc1b9Ei9UDstM7EI20ICJSz5iI4oCQ6E/view?usp=sharing.
So if you feel motivated – step up!