I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
This past weekend, I participated in my third session of Partners in Policymaking class. I was especially excited about this session. Not so much for what was going to be discussed, but because I was going to be with a group on individuals from all over the state, who worked together to have a major impact on 4 pieces of legislation.
Friday, we started out by reviewing the bills we successfully worked on:
Passing the Lifting of the FamilyCare Caps
Passing Seclusion & Restraint
Passing the People First Bill
Stopping the Special Needs Voucher. This was probably the biggest achievement. As I have pointed out, there were many flaws with this bill. Those who supported the bill argued that it was giving people choice. I would argue that if you have to give up rights, is it really an option? Especially when so many parents were not aware of what they would be giving up.
As we continued to discuss these issues, we were all invited to attend the Bill Signings by the Governor in Milwaukee. WOW, what an honor to attend the signings of a Bill, especially ones that I have had a part in their passing or not even being brought to the floor for a vote. This will be another post. For those that know me, I am sure you have seen the pictures on Facebook
After the excitement wound down, we got back on track. We discussed how a bill becomes a law. We reviewed each step in the process.
To end the evening, we celebrated our success.
Saturday was spent learning how to work with Legislators. We learned the importance of spending time with both parties equally. Bi-partisianship is what helps keep the issues moving along. We learned how developing relationships can turn out to be beneficial. Maybe not today, but you never know who is going to be in control tomorrow.
We learned how to develope talking pointson our issues. We were given topics and had to put together the talking points. After we have developed these talking points, we had to come up with arguments as to why these were bad talking points, and then give the reasons why these are misconceptions.
We also discussed the need to make the conversations into elevator talks in case a Legislator is running late for our appointment.
It is hard to believe that I am already half way through the first Partners in PolicyMaking class offered in Wisconsin. I have made some great new friends. I am learning great new ideas, some things that I have never thought of. I am already looking forward to our April meeting.