Valerie’s Week in Review-Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 12, 2017

Dear Governor Brown,

Thank you for your State of the State address. I’m sorry to be a couple of weeks late, but I’ve been distracted by national events. I’m sure you can understand.

It was a wonderful speech, clear-eyed about the the current state of our country and the need for engagement, but full of heart. Thank you for speaking the truth, and thank you for your commitment to immigrants, to the environment, and to health care.

A year ago I was writing to you every week about my daughter Valerie, trying to help you understand the desperate need for increased funding for developmental services. As you know, the organized efforts of families, advocates, and providers made an impact on our California legislators, and ABX2-1 was passed. It didn’t provide all that was needed, but it was a great start. It was a bipartisan effort, and a good lesson for me in the ability of each one of us, especially when we act together, to affect change.

Now we are in even more challenging times. I am so grateful for the knowledge I gained advocating for my daughter here in California and I am committed to being just as active now on the Federal level. I have been making phone calls and writing emails, making donations, and re-educating myself about the workings of the US government. Valerie and I proudly marched in the San Francisco Women’s March. Of course, I have been and will be advocating to my US representatives not only about disability issues, but also civil rights, immigration, climate change, women’s rights, health care, LBGTQ rights, cabinet members, NSC members, …where do I stop?
We are so lucky to live in California, where we do not trade in hatred.

California needs to stick together and I thank you for standing strong for its citizens. I ask that you don’t forget Valerie and the other more than 295,00 Californians with developmental disabilities. Please stay strong for them if Federal funds are cut to the Medicare, MediCal, and IHSS programs they depend on, and if CMS funding through Regional Centers is decreased or replaced by block grants.

Thank you again, for your commitment to truth, to civility and to perseverance.


Audrey deChadenedes