Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Budget Battle Update

Last week, I was in Washington D.C. with other advocates at The Arc's National Disability Policy Conference where we reviewed the President's 2011 budget request to Congress. The budget level-funds most disability related programs, provides small increases for some priorities and cuts or consolidates others. Members of The Arc, UCP and other leading advocacy organizations have responded with our own recommendations affecting housing, health care and education for our constituency.
The attached FACT SHEET provides our summary. Work on the FY 2011 Budget Resolution begins in mid-April, so we'll keep you posted.

On the state front, the Schwarzenegger administration asked the Legislature on 4/26 to cut another 1.25% from the amount the state pays to community service providers, and the same percentage from the regional centers' operating budgets. That's on top of the 3% cuts last year.

Together with the loss of adult education and other funds, that would cut some service providers by 10%.

Please take this opportunity to let legislators know cuts to services for people with developmental disabilities is not the fix that's needed. Our Legislator, Senator Mark Leno, needs to hear from clients, service providers and family members regarding the impact further cuts to services will have on people with developmental disabilities, from the continued erosion of basic services and supports to the possible closure of some service resources. Contact Senator Leno today.

Keep advocating!
CEO, The Arc of San Francisco

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CEO Advocacy Update

Over 500 advocates attended The Arc's National Disability Policy Conference last week, including our own self-advocate Mark Marshall, parents Pat Napoliello and Jackie Kenley, and myself. We heard presentations and national budget recommendations on Health Care Reform, Employment, Housing, Education and Legislation in need of reauthorization. We then visited our legislators on Capitol Hill, urging their support. We were able to personally meet with Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (who worked with our clients earlier in her career). We were even able to get into the offices of Senator Pelosi and speak with two of her top aides on Education and Health Care.
Our Governor has requested more funding and an extension of the enhanced federal share of MediCaid spending (FMAP) for California, or he will eliminate our In Home Support Services, CalWorks, and Healthy Families. These services severely impact our clients, including current cuts in MediCal. We asked for their support. We advocated for the passage of the Direct Support Professional Training Act, which would offer increased training and salaries to Direct Support Professionals. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) needs adequate funding for programs like the former No Child Left Behind. Over 40,000 uncertified teachers are currently teaching in Special Education throughout the country.
We gave examples of the serious housing needs in the Bay Area, and informed legislators of the new 53,000 Section 8 Housing Vouchers for which our state should be applying! Mark Marshall shared how important his job coach is to him, and that both the Vocational Rehab Act and Work Initiative Act (WIA) should be reauthorized. Finally, the CLASS Act (Community Living Asistance Services and Supports) is currently part of the new Health Care Reform. It creates a new national long-term care insurance program for people to pay into; so that they can remain independent, employed, and engaged in their community if they develop a functional impairment, thus not having to declare bankruptcy, which is the current situation. We asked our representatives not to vote this out of the new Health Care Reform Act.
I will sharing more on the issues that we emphasized, and I hope that you too will take this opportunity to contact our legislators.

Keep advocating!
Tim Hornbecker, CEO

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dish It Up!

This week we have an entry from Helen Yu who loves to cook and share good food with her friends.

Seredipity's Recipes

Hi everyone, I'm Helen. This is my first recipe for The Arc's BlogTalk with many more to come!
When I first tasted this recipe from my instructor Howard, I asked him, "Can you give this recipe to me please?" After I tried it, I felt like this is my favorite recipe and I really love it. It is also very easy to make and healthy to eat. When it was my birthday, I made this recipe and at the same time Howard left me a message saying 'Happy Birthday' and it was serendipity.

Howard's Recipe
7 1/2 lb. salmon, skin removed (or 4 pre-packaged salmon patties)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dill
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon reduced fat mayonaisse
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Mix all ingredients except the cooking spray in a medium size bowl. Form into 4 equal-size patties. Coat a medium nonstick pan with the cooking spray, heat over medium high heat. Cook the salmon patties on both sides until golden brown. Serve. Serendipity!

Dish It Up!