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United Front: Lobbying for Our Kids

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Remember the Alamo?  The Battle of the Alamo took place on February 23 – March 6, 1836.  While the true history of what took place at the battle is still debated today the battle itself was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution.  In fact the phrase, “Remember the Alamo” was used to recruit many soldiers and was a continuing source of inspiration throughout the conflict.  The reason I bring this up is that I believe that each of us as advocates need to find the strength to unite, advocate, and even fight when it comes to the well being of our children with special needs.  

The 81st Texas legislative session was my first rodeo in the political world and a rude awakening to the way many things actually operate.  The only reason that I went was because just before the session started I was on a talk radio show as a guest discussing insurance reform for children with Autism.  The host of the show challenged me at the end of the show to testify on the subject before the appropriate committees of the Texas House and Senate.  To be honest I was a little embarrassed that I had never been involved in the process before and I wondered if I could really make a difference.  I decided that if I was going to advocate at the local level that I was duty bound to participate on the state level.  I ended up spending three months off and on in Austin meeting with legislators, other advocates, advocacy groups, parents, and vast kaleidoscope of humanity.  The whole experience was enriching and at times infuriating.  

As I am writing this article I am already looking forward to the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, Jan 11, 2011 to May 30, 2011, and I want to invite you to join the conversation!  Last year we started a blog called www.giveourkidsavoice.blogspot.com and sadly we have not kept it current as our attention has shifted to facebook, but as we focus on 2011 it is time for all of us to get ready, organize, and begin conversations about what we can accomplish together for our kids.  I invite you to engage in conversation with us on Facebook, our blog, and website this next year.  In addition I hope to see you in person at the Capital building in 2011 and let your voice be heard!

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