This Texas legislative session is different from previous sessions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Texas Capitol building is open and some legislators are scheduling in-person meetings, there are other ways to share with elected officials the issues and topics important to you and Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
One of the best ways you can provide input on is through one-on-one meetings with the legislators who represent you. You can contact your legislators’ offices to find out if you can set up a virtual meeting.
The legislators who file bills and sit on committees important to The Arc of Texas’s public policy and advocacy efforts want to hear from their local constituents on the issues that matter to you. This is a great opportunity to build relationships and educate your local representatives on IDD best policies and practices. Use our Public Policy Priorities information sheets to think about what you want to talk about and the changes you would like to see.
Talking with your local state representative or state senator in the next couple of weeks is a great chance to meet with someone who influences policies and bills. Building relationships and trust with your legislators will make you a useful resource on disability issues, and when bills or policies are brought to their attention, they will turn to you as a trusted source for information. This relationship-building can create change even though in-person activities we are familiar with are limited this year because of the pandemic.
Nate Lyon is public policy & advocacy coordinator for The Arc of Texas.