We need to be organized nationally to save our lifeline before the disability service system is dismantled.

Please share this with other advocates.

Gearing up to advocate for our lifeline in 2017
“Disability organizations like … The Arc (for people with intellectual and development disabilities) may not have huge financial resources, but it’s not fun for politicians to oppose them.”
-Thomas F. Burke and Jeb Barnes, The Washington Post

The Arc has influence and respect among lawmakers, but only because of our 650+ chapters and thousands of grassroots advocates across the nation.

Our federal government is in a period of transition. Next year, we will have a new President and many new Members of Congress. Already, President-Elect Trump and some Congressional leaders have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible in 2017, and news reports suggest that deep cuts may be on the table for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other lifelines for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Despite the obstacles we face, it’s important to remember that Members of Congress base their votes on their own experiences, interactions, and beliefs, and that hearing directly from their constituents can make all the difference. Next year, even one Senator can be the deciding vote: through a process known as reconciliation, it is possible for the Senate to pass significant cuts with only a simple majority.

The outcomes of the upcoming battles will be determined by the strength of our advocacy.

In The Arc’s national office, we’re planning a host of tools to help you to grow our movement and take action in 2017 – to achieve our goals of protecting our lifeline, ensuring community living for all, and protecting the civil rights of people with I/DD.
Today, we’re sharing with you new background information on threats to Medicaid.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out:

  • A new “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline” Toolkit with talking points and tips for educating your Members of Congress and grassroots activists;
  • Additional backgrounders and one-page fact sheets on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other lifeline programs;
  • Fact sheets with state by state data on our lifeline programs;
  • New opportunities to take action via Twitter and Facebook;
  • New ways to get regular updates on emerging threats from The Arc’s federal policy team;
  • And more!

Take Action

Now is the time for chapters of The Arc to help us grow our movement! Here are two things you can do NOW:

  1. Invite your grassroots activists to join The Arc’s Disability Advocacy Network!
  2. Congress is expected to adjourn at the end of this week. Members will be home in December and holding town hall meetings. Contact the in-state / in-District offices for your Senators and Representatives to find out about Town Hall Meetings and plan to attend. Go to http://disabilityadvocacynetwork.org/ and enter your zip code in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to go to a page that lists your federal elected officials. From there, you can click to get the contact information for their offices.

Thank you!

tony signature

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
708-828-0188 (CELL)