by Day Al-Mohamed
In spite of the many successes that ACB has enjoyed legislatively over the years, we cannot escape the importance of legislative seminar as an integral part of a successful advocacy program. One can never stress enough the importance of legislative advocacy. Only a block from the "expensive" K Street lobbying firms, I can tell you that corporate America has a full understanding of advocacy and they make quite sure that their voices are heard by the people who can swing policy in their direction.
Now more than ever ACB members and affiliates are being asked to do more with less in the field of legislative advocacy. We are working to promote change at the "systems" level, not just federally, but in each individual state to improve social services and secure social change. I strongly encourage members to participate in legislative seminar, as it offers: 1) a learning opportunity on Congressional issues; 2) an opportunity for personal contact with your representatives in Washington, D.C.; and 3) the opportunity to gain experiences that will assist with local legislative advocacy.
With that, it is my great pleasure to announce the dates for this year's legislative seminar: It will take place February 5-7, 2006 at the Doubletree Hotel (formerly the Washington Terrace). Events will begin the afternoon of Feb. 5 and will wrap up on Tuesday, Feb. 7 with visits to legislators on Capitol Hill. We highly recommend that you make appointments with your legislators and that you make your Senate appointments for Tuesday morning and House appointments afterward. That way, you don't have to cross over Capitol Hill more than once.
The hotel address is 1550 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20005. Please contact the hotel directly, 1-866-984-6835, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern or via fax at (202) 521-7164. Once an individual reservation has been made, any changes should be made directly with the group reservations department. A credit card number or one night's advance deposit will be required to secure a room. Cancellations must be received 24 hours prior to arrival or one night's room and tax will be assessed. The room rate is $149 per night plus tax.
We are tentatively setting our schedule and imperatives for the upcoming year. At this point in time, we will probably be addressing: vocational rehabilitation, Social Security, the Randolph-Sheppard Act, and emergency preparedness (which includes on-screen information). We also intend to include in-depth educational issues such as: legislative grassroots networking and funding for local pedestrian access via the New Freedom Initiative. It is our goal to confirm our speakers and events in the next few weeks.
I'm looking forward to seeing you here!