Amazing Turnout for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Lobby Day 2013!

Amazing Turnout for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Lobby Day 2013

It was very moving to see over 500 deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing Minnesotan community members, parents, professionals, and supporters filling up the Capitol on March 6.

A huge thank-you goes out to everyone who participated on Lobby Day. This day would not have been possible without YOU!

A Record Number of Legislator Meetings

MNCDHH had 180 citizens schedule appointments with legislators! They met one-on-one and in small groups to lobby against cuts to crucial programs and services. They also asked for support for this year’s bills.

MNCDHH photographer Bill Millios interviewed Abby Hendrickson, a deaf VECTOR student about her experience at Lobby Day. See Abby’s thoughts (in ASL) Abby Hendrickson’s interview.

It was wonderful seeing Abby advocating for her needs. We want you to do the same!

Training Session Information Also Available on Web

Participants also took advantage of the MNCDHH training offered prior to and on March 6. On March 6, with writer and MNCDHH consultant Trudy Suggs facilitating, Representative Jim Abeler demonstrated what to do during a meeting with a legislator, with Emory Dively. Although Representative Abeler is a very strong supporter of the community, he was a good sport and played the role of both a supportive and an unsupportive legislator to teach how we could respond in either situation.

If you missed the training, it’s not too late to strengthen your advocacy skills! Take our free online training course, Making your Case, presented in ASL with captioning.

Noon Rally and Awards Ceremony Features Governor Dayton and Secretary of State Ritchie

The noon rally was another highlight of the day as Governor Mark Dayton welcomed over 500 participants crowding the first floor of the Rotunda and the second floor balcony. Awards were presented to six individuals and organizations in recognition of their work. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie closed the Lobby Day by giving a wonderful speech.

Missed the noon rally but want to see it? Check the MNCDHH Facebook site for videos at MNCDHH’s Facebook Lobby Day Video

Team Leaders and Volunteers Were a Big Help

Our heartfelt thanks go to the volunteers and team leaders who assisted all day long. They helped people get ready for meetings, find legislators’ offices in the Capitol and the State Office Building, and most importantly, give their messages to the legislators. We couldn’t have gotten through all without their help!

Special recognition also goes to our MNCDHH intern, Katherine Woods, who scheduled all the meetings in advance and then led the team leaders from our home base in Room 300N in the State Office Building.

Kudos goes to St. Catherine University, University of Minnesota, and North Central University for offering a wonderful group of volunteers, including ASL and interpreting students Bethany Ekstrand, Rebecca Kirkland, Garrett Stewart, Christina (Nina) Nusse, and Morgan Magnuson.

We also thank the other wonderful team leaders and volunteers, including Alan Parnes, Nancy Diener, Blaine Lashbrook, Nadine Grippa, Sara Bianco Zeledon, Jared Treichel, Andrew Palmberg, and Samantha Oie. Please accept our heartfelt apologies if we have forgotten anyone!

Thanks to Lobby Day 2013 Sponsors and Supporters

Thanks to all the legislators and legislative staff who attended the training session, noon rally and awards ceremony, and participated in the legislator meetings.

      Gratitude goes to our speakers:
    • MNCDHH board chair Michele Isham
    • MDBA president Tricia Borman
    • Governor Mark Dayton
    • MNCDHH board member Jason Valentine
    • Director of Operations at MSP, Steve Wareham
    • MADC president Dann Trainer
    • Adrean Clark
    • MNCDHH board member Tracy Ivy
    • President of the Senate Sandy Pappas
    • Senator Michelle Benson
    • HLAA local Vice President, Monique Hammond
    • Representative Selcer
    • MNCDHH board member Emily Smith Lundberg
    • Secretary of State Mark Ritchie

    Thanks to the following groups who participated:
  • District 287-Vector North Program
  • Metro Deaf School, Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
  • Minnetonka High School
  • Minnesota Employment Center–Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services
  • Adult Basic Education groups (Minneapolis, Bloomington, and St. Paul)

    Thanks to the people and organizations who helped made this day possible:
  • Communication Service of the Deaf (CSD) and Jan Florand for taking on the daunting task of coordinating all the interpreters needed for the training session, noon rally, and legislator meetings
  • DeafBlind Services’ Diane Lentsch, who did an awesome job of coordinating SSPs
  • Paradigm Reporting and Lisa Richardson for providing CART captioning services
  • All the people who provided services to deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing participants, including sign language interpreters, SSPs, team leaders, and volunteers
  • DeafBlind Services Minnesota and DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project, for supporting a record turnout of deafblind participants
  • Plant Management staff who set up the Great Hall and the Rotunda
  • Employment Endeavors, including Wendy Devore, Christine Marble and Mary White, for providing refreshments
  • Legislative Coordinating Commission for covering the costs of interpreting, CART, and SSP services

Last, but not least, thanks again to all of YOU who came and made Lobby Day 2013 a success!