Workforce Crisis Advocacy Efforts

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As most are aware, the workforce crisis in New York State is still negatively impacting OPWDD supports and services. 

At the October 7th CCO Collaborative Council meeting, representatives of all 7 CCO Member and Family Councils were present. Discussion was specific to the workforce crisis, a primary focus of our LIFEPlan MFA advocacy efforts this year.  

Advocacy issues were the primary focus of the September MFA Council meetings as well. Senator Mannion as well as Assemblymen Abinanti, Chairs of both legislative Development Disability Committees, attended MFA Council meetings.  Watch Senators Mannion’s statements here 

After Senator Mannion’s September 14th hearing on the workforce crisis, he proposed an additional $500 million dollars in funds to address the living wage issue.  

Care Design CEO Jim Moran shared at the CCO Collaborative meeting that the Federal government would match that amount. While these funds would be impactful, concerns were expressed. The timing of these funds being one. Funds will not be available until next spring, and they are pending approval by the legislature and the Governor.  

There is still much work ahead to impress upon NYS legislators the urgency of this crisis and that Direct Care professionals deserve a living wage for the important work that they do for the disability community.  

Multiple workforce advocacy campaigns are launching in October, including targeted advocacy campaigns to address the crisis. One key effort was initiated by self-advocate and SANYS president BJ Stasio. In conjunction with the Arc of New York, Stasio launched Rise UP!, an effort to collect 10,000 letters highlighting how DSP’s support people with developmental disabilities. He plans to personally deliver all letters to the Governor by the end of October. 

In an effort to support BJ’s efforts, the LIFEPlan Member and Family Advisory Council has sent this letter to Governor Hochul. We encourage all in the LIFEPlan community to participate in the Rise UP campaign by taking action here. 

All our voices matter! Let’s help BJ Stasio reach his goal of collecting 10,000 letters by telling your story to support DSP’s by the end of October. It’s time to Rise UP