Advocacy – Who’s Business, Is It?

…If not us, then who? Denine Hammonds and I represented NMCA at the recent TCA Advocacy Institute in Austin. Our chapter, and many TCA divisions and other local chapters were represented at the institute. We were challenged to actively and passionately discharge our advocacy responsibilities, especially this coming year. The Texas Legislature is meeting in Austin for 140 days (as specified by our constitution) beginning in January. It is going to be a tough year, since the state is in deficit some 20 billion dollars (+ or – depending on who’s figures you use). Many state programs will be cut and it will be almost impossible to get any new legislation passed that requires additional funding. Although it is going to be tough on our profession and those we represent in the arena of mental health, we must not give up on the issues we believe in. A lot is at stake and we must be diligent in our united and concerted efforts to lobby our elected representatives. So many families and children’s lives will be affected by the outcome of this legislative session.

The answer to both of the above questions is clearly that advocacy is everybody’s business and we are the ones who must advocate for our profession and the clients we serve. Denine and I will be asking you to join with all TCA members and respond by contacting your legislative representatives on pertinent issues throughout the legislative session. Please do not let the opportunity pass you by to make your voice heard when the moment is right.

You will be hearing more from the two of us throughout the year on the subject of advocacy. Keep your eye focused on the NMCA website for advocacy alerts and emails calling you to action. Each issue of the newsletter will contain additional information on advocacy. BE THE ADVOCATE YOU WERE MEANT TO BE!

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