I know you're busy.
God KNOWS I know you're busy. (What? What do you mean it's the eleventh already? I have a post due today?)
I know it's IEP season and that you're trying to make extended school year plans and that ever since we "sprang forward" in the name of daylight saving, your child has not slept through the night. I know.
I know you don't have time to eat breakfast in the morning, never mind read the newspaper. I know you feel like you have a vague sense of what's going on in the world (Earthquake? There was an earthquake?), but you simply can't follow the ins and outs of the lobbying and voting in your state and local government. I know.
But listen: there are political forces at work right now. Powerful forces. And they pose a threat to the supports and services that our kids desperately need. My state is facing devastating budget cuts. And my state is not alone.
Our legislators need to hear from us. They need to be reminded that our kids matter. They need to hear from us en masse. They need to know how many of us are out here.
And I know: you don't have time to research the pending legislation in your state. You don't have time to write a letter. You. Don't. Have. Time. I know.
So I'll make it easy. Really - five steps, five minutes.
1. First, click here. Then click on your state. It will take you to your state government's home page.
2. Right there on that home page, you will find a link that says something like "Find my legislators" or "Who are my representatives?" Click it and enter your zip code. You will get the names and e-mail addresses of your state representatives and senators.
3. Highlight and copy the text of the e-mail below.
Dear Representative (or Senator) Their Name Here,
As a voter and a parent of a child with special needs, I am writing to urge you to vote against any budget cuts that would diminish support to children and adults with developmental disabilities. We have a moral obligation to care for our most vulnerable citizens, and cuts to current services would be devastating for this population. I look forward to hearing that you have taken a stand on the behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Your Name Here
Your Address Here
4. Paste the text into the body of an e-mail and send it to your first representative.
5. Repeat step four for all additional representatives and senators.
Truly. It matters.
Five steps. Five minutes.
A lifetime of difference for your child and mine.
Though MOM-NOS does most of her writing on her blog, Mom - Not Otherwise Specified, she does take the time to send an occassional e-mail to her state reps. She was delighted to learn that when recent budget cuts came to a vote in her state legislature, neither of the reps from her district supported them, and it reinforced her belief that activism - even activism on a very small scale - matters.