Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Becoming An Effective Advocate

[Uncle Sam image]

- By David Allgood - 

Being a citizen advocate is really an easy thing to do; but being easy does not make it less important. I cannot stress enough what an impact your letters, emails and phone calls make to our elective officials. These actions have already made a huge difference in restoring funds for the aging and disabled populations in Kentucky. If the current legislation at the time of this printing passes the State Senate, then we will have restored $10 million over the next two years.

I encourage you, your family members and your friends to register to vote, if you are not already registered, and make sure that you actually vote on election day. Legislators pay attention to individuals who actually vote and have the ability to hire or fire them through their votes.

Get to know your local, state and federal representatives. Hopefully you can set up a meeting in person when they are at home in their district. Let them know who you are, and what issues are important to you. They work for you and they actually look forward to gaining a base of knowledge that they may not have had before your interaction with them. Make yourself the go-to person when they are dealing with issues that are relevant to individuals in the disability community. You may not have the money that the big lobbyists have, but you do have the power of the ballot, and this could determine whether the elected officials keep their jobs or lose it.

So get yourself, your family and friends involved in this process because a large number of involved individuals can truly make a difference.

The 2012 KY primary election is May 22. You must be a registered voter by April 23 to participate. CAL has voter registration cards which you can come by and fill out if you need to register. For more information visit http://elect.ky.gov/.