By Terriann Matejcek, Director of Advocacy & Volunteer Resources
On Tuesday, June 10, legislators, family members, self-advocates, friends and supporters of the disability community got to do just that. The crowd convened on the lawn of the state capitol to celebrate the success of the 5% Campaign together. People supported one simple, clear request – a five percent increase in pay and benefits for direct service professionals serving vulnerable populations. As Steve Larson, Senior Policy Director at the Arc of Minnesota said in his blog” He goes on to describe how the effort was painstakingly planned and executed. Bringing together all who were willing and able, using every available means (like social media, letter writing campaigns, rallies at the capitol, etc.) to spread the message and request really worked!
There have been many opinions as to why the 5% Campaign was a success (i.e., “There was a surplus!”). However, I choose to believe differently. We came together as one voice. We knew what needed to be done. So, we rose to the occasion.
If you have not yet done so, please take a minute to look at some of the photos and news stories from this celebration at the capitol. Our work is far from done, but this truly merits our recognition. So, pause and take a moment to look at the faces and signs in those photos. Then, sigh, and say “Wow, that was really something!”