More than 120 Iowans attended the ID Action Make Your Mark! Conference and are now ready to make an impact in their communities. Attendees went to sessions focused on leadership, storytelling, community engagement and the 2016 Iowa caucuses and left the conference ready to take action when they got home. Pictures from the conference can be found on the ID Action website (www.idaction.org) by clicking on “Make Your Mark!” on the homepage.
Attendees at the 2015 Make Your Mark! Conference had the opportunity to share how they plan to make their mark in their communities when they leave the conference. Here is what they had to say:
Hear from more attendees on how they are making their mark!
Thank you to our sponsors: Iowa Association of Community Providers, Lutheran Services in Iowa, University of Iowa Hospital – Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, LifeLong Links, Amerigroup and Iowa Caregivers. Without their support, we would not be able to offer this valuable resource to Iowans.
Are you part of an advocacy group that would like to visit the Iowa State Capitol to talk with your legislators? ID Action is offering Local Capitol Day grants to advocacy groups, which include 10 or more individuals with a disability, to meet with their legislators at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Grants are available up to $500 to help cover the costs of transportation and accommodations for participation. Check out www.idaction.org to find more details and download the grant application. A limited number of grants are available, so please contact ID Action soon if you are interested. Local Capitol Day grants cannot be used to participate in other organizations’ lobby or advocacy days.
ID Action’s public policy publication, infoNET, has added a new tool to your advocacy toolbox — the Grassroots Action Center. You do not need to know the names of your legislators, the governor or the people that represent you in the U.S. Congress. All you need is a physical home address, and the Grassroots Action Center will match you to your elected officials and automatically find their emails for you. You can then write your message and hit "send." It's just that easy. Try it out this year — go to www.infonetiowa.org/action to get started.
If you are planning to visit the Capitol during the 2016 legislative session, the Advocacy Toolkit provides helpful information to get ready for your visit and helpful hints to continue your advocacy work when you’re back home. When advocating for issues you feel strongly about, don’t forget:
Are you ready? The 2016 Iowa caucuses are just over a month away, and the nation is waiting to find out who Iowans will support in both the Democratic and Republican caucuses. This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard! “Iowans truly
set the tone of the presidential debate and the issues that candidates talk about. Iowans have a lot of power. This is a unique opportunity for Iowans with disabilities to let their voices be heard,” said Rik Shannon, public policy manager at the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council.
The caucuses are not just about picking a candidate for president; they are also a time when you get together with others in your party to talk about the issues that will make up the party’s platform. The party platform is produced by a political party to outline the party’s beliefs, values and positions on important issues. The party platforms start in the precinct caucuses. Anyone attending a caucus can offer a resolution that asks the party to take a position on an issue that they care about. Whatever your issue, you can influence your party’s stand on that issue by writing and submitting a resolution for consideration at your caucus. It’s not difficult, and it is one more chance to get your issues noticed and to make a difference.
ID Action has prepared two guides to get you ready to participate. One is a short one-page guide to provide you with a quick overview of what a caucus is and how to participate. The second is the 2016 Iowa Caucus Guide, a longer, more in-depth guide to the caucuses that will also help you evaluate candidates based on issues important to you. You can view these guides on the ID Action website (www.idaction.org) by clicking on “Iowa Caucus Guide” on the homepage or by clicking on the following links:
Guide to the Iowa Caucuses (One Page)
2016 Iowa Caucus Guide (Booklet)
We want you to get involved in the 2016 Iowa caucuses and the activities leading up to the caucuses. ID Action has created several initiatives to help you get involved.