Autism New Jersey Advocacy Day

Leglisative Advocacy DayThe “Power of Connection” was evident during Autism New Jersey’s Advocacy Day on Monday, June 12. In partnership with Former Speaker of the Assembly, Joseph Roberts, Jr., we had the honor of hosting parents and professionals from the autism community at the Statehouse in Trenton to meet and discuss concerns with a number of legislators. Our guests had the opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and Autism New Jersey’s Public Policy priorities. Members of the Senate and General Assembly (see sidebar) joined our group to discuss topics such as funding, insurance, educational services, severe challenging behavior, the fee-for-service transition, and workforce development initiatives. 

Former Speaker Joe Roberts and connect families and professionals of the autism community with concerned legislators.“It was an absolute pleasure being able to host this event with Former Speaker Joseph Roberts and connect families and professionals of the autism community with concerned legislators,” said Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Executive Director of Autism New Jersey.  Autism New Jersey’s Public Policy Director, Eric Eberman, added, “Most families and professionals don’t have regular opportunities to speak directly to their legislative representatives, so we were happy to provide such a forum.”

Twenty-five family members and professionals of the autism community came prepared to discuss their concerns and ideas with legislators and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.  “I came away from the day feeling encouraged that my voice could be heard and that I/our organization could in fact have an impact,” said one attendee.

Senate President Steve Sweeney encouraged attendees to get more involved in the political process in collaboration with Autism New Jersey.Steve Sweeney encouraged attendees to get more involved in the political process in collaboration with Autism New Jersey stating, “There are so many issues in front of us, and Suzanne and her team do a great job educating us and advocating for the highest priorities.” Other legislators were also grateful for the opportunity to hear directly from our community in the Statehouse. All shared great concern for individuals with autism and their families, and some shared their own personal connections to autism. Each of them pledged their support within their legislative capacity as committee chairs, committee members, and representatives to advance measures that would improve the lives of individuals with autism.

This first-of-its-kind legislative advocacy day was successful in connecting everyone in attendance and encouraging an open dialogue about the issues that affect our community. Autism New Jersey’s Public Policy team will continue to work on additional ways to strengthen the relationship between the autism community and our representatives in Trenton.  

 

For more information about recent and pending autism legislation, visit our website and contact us to get involved. 

Photos from the Event

 

 


Thank Our Legislators

Thank you to the following Legislators who attended our Advocacy Day:

  • Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-3)
  • Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-18)
  • Senator Nellie Pou (D-35)
  • Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-22)
  • Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (D-14)
  • Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. (D-7)
  • Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin (D-19)
  • Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11)
  • Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D-5)
  • Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-34)
  • Assemblywoman Angelica M. Jimenez (D-32)
  • Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagana (D-38)
  • Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-36)
  • Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-35)

AUTISM NEW JERSEY
500 Horizon Drive, Suite 530 Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Phone: 609.588.8200; 800.4.AUTISM | Fax: 609.588.8858
Email: information@autismnj.org

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