Saturday, July 13, 2013
Victory In Defeat
I don't usually get political on my blog. I generally focus on my family's joys and struggles as we live life with autism. However, recently I was able to take part in something amazing. I joined a group of advocates across Louisiana to fight budget cuts that are devastating for people with developmental disabilities. I called, e-mailed, tweeted, and blogged--and in the end, we lost. Our goal of having a special veto session was not accomplished. However, something incredible has happened.
An organization was born. An organization the likes of which Louisiana has never seen. We don't share a profession. Our kids have a wide range of diagnoses. We are not politicians. Some of us are writers. Some of us are fighters. But we are all united. Never before has such a motley group of individuals banded together to fight for one common goal--improving the lives of people with disabilities in the state of Louisiana.
We come from all different walks of life.
We live in every single corner of Louisiana.
Our children's disabilities range from mild to profound.
But in only a couple of weeks, we have managed to launch an organized campaign that is making waves, my friends. And even though we lost this battle, the victory is ours, because never before have we been so united. Never before have we been so focused.
As talks of policy change trickle down from the top of the political ladder, we are watching. Our eyes are focused on the future. We will not let ourselves be silenced. We've been quiet long enough.
No one can possibly make the best decisions about services for people with developmental disabilities unless they have LIVED the LIVES of families and individuals with these disabilities. We have experiences, talents, and strengths at our disposal that are unmatched by any government agency. We are more determined than any lawmaker seeking re-election. We are in this for the long haul.
We see the flaws in the system. We see the waste. We see the good. We see what needs to happen in the future. And we are determined to make those things happen. We are the eyes and voices of Louisiana's citizens with disabilities community...and we aren't going anywhere.