Group turns funding loss into advocacy opportunity

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 5:53pm

Turning a loss into a victory; one grass roots group has decided to keep up the momentum of their advocacy group even though they lost their initial fight to override the governor's vetoes.

Bambi Polizoto spent weeks at the Capitol telling lawmakers why they should put aside money for developmentally disabled kids and adults.

“You want people with developmental disabilities to have what they need. But just from a fiscal outlook. It is fiscally the best measure to give people the supports they need to keep their families intact," explained Polizoto.

Everything was going great until governor Bobby Jindal vetoed a lot of the funding they had fought for. So Polizoto and a handful of other parents got together to take action forming a group called “Override the veto.”

"It started on Facebook, like a message was sent out to a core group of people and we just activated and organized from there," she recalled.

For weeks members of the group pushed senators and representatives to go into a veto session to get back the lost money.

"We really just wanted the funds restored. The veto over ride session was just a vehicle to be able to do that. We were able to start a dialogue and talk about cost-effective home and community based services," said Polizoto.

They lost the fight to get their funding back, but with more than 1,500 members they're now re-organizing and pushing for more.

"To us as parents, it was really an attack on families, and to be able to hold our families together and to keep our persons with disabilities in our home and in our community," she exclaimed.

The Louisiana Alliance for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, as they have renamed themselves, said it will continue to fight for more funding and the rights of disabled people.
 

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