TASH Members Head to Capitol Hill

On Tuesday, June 26, the TASH Board of Directors and several TASH members and supporters gathered on Capitol Hill here in Washington, DC, for a day of advocacy. Each participant lined up several meetings with Senate and House offices throughout the day, and took part in information meetings aimed at generating support for TASH’s public policy agenda.

Participants included TASH Board Members: Bill Smith, Gail Fanjoy, Emily Titon, Micah Fialka-Feldman, Terri Ward, Pat Amos, Carol Quirk, David Westling, Nila Benito, Diane Ryndak, Charles Dukes, Jean Trainor, Mary Morningstar, Lisa Mills, Michael Callahan, Lewis Jackson, and Shirley Rodriguez. They were also joined by TASH supporters Debbie Taub, Debbie Gilmer, Kym Grosso, Kayleen Symmonds, Nancy Molfenter, and Hope DeBevoise.

TASH Public Policy Agenda

Although meetings could include a number of topics, there were for strategic areas highlighted in each.

1. Protecting youth with significant disabilities from abuse by establishing federal restrictions on the restraint and seclusion practices in schools.

2. Promoting stronger accountability and inclusive education requirements for all students.

3. Supporting the view that all people with significant disabilities can work and participate in competitive, integrated employment.

4. Ensuring Medicaid supports help people to live, work and achieve optimal self-sufficiency in the community.

In total, more than 60 meetings were held with Senate and House offices representing states across the U.S., including:

Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire; Sen.  Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire; Rep. John Tierney, Massachusetts; Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois; Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois; Rep. Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania; Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania; Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa; Sen. Tom Harkin Iowa; Rep. David Loebsack, Iowa; Rep. Kevin Yoder, Kansas; Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas; Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas; Sen. Herb Kohl, Minnesota; Sen. Ron Johnson, Minnesota; Rep. Jackie Speier, California; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California; Sen. Diane Feinstein, California; Sen. Barbara Boxer, California; Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California; Rep. Duncan Hunter, California; Rep. Henry Waxman, California; Rep. Howard McKeon, California; Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida; Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida; Rep. Dennis A. Ross, Florida; Sen. Charles Schumer, New York; Rep. Richard Hanna, New York; Rep. Paul Tonko, New York; Rep. John Sarbanes, Maryland; Rep.  CA Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland; Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Maryland; Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia; Rep. Heath Shuler, North Carolina; Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina; Sen. Kay Hagen, North Carolina; Rep. Sue Myrick, North Carolina; Rep. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina; Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida; Rep. Gregg Harper, Mississippi; Rep. Michael Michaud, Maine; Sen. Susan Collins, Maine; Rep. Chellie Pingree, Maine; Rep. Corey Gardner, Colorado; Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado; Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado; Rep. Frederica Wilson, Florida; Rep. Ted Deutch, Florida; Rep. David Cicilline, New Jersey; Rep. Jack Reed, Rhode Island; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island; Rep. Jim Langevin, Rhode Island; Rep. Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey; Rep. Rush D. Holt, New Jersey; Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., New Jersey; Rep. Gerald Connolly, Virginia; Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia; Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia; Rep. Robert C. Scott, Virginia; Rep. Robert Hurt, Virginia.

Board member Gail Fanjoy (left) and Debbie Gilmer meet with Congressman Mike Michaud, a co-sponsor of the TEAM legislation in the House.
Board members Nila Benito (left) and Diane Ryndak prepare to enter Rep. Kathy Castor's office.
Board member Emily TIton meets with Rep. Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

Thanks to everyone who made this a success! A complete recap of TASH’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill will be provided in the upcoming issue of TASH Connections. If you’d like information to share with your Senator or Representative about TASH’s public policy agenda, please contact us at info@tash.org.