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We have all heard this. And, make no mistake, there are truly critical issues to be decided that are affecting the quality of life of all people with developmental disabilities.

In November, we will vote for a new Governor, a national Congress, and State Legislature. The men and women we elect will immediately go to work, making critical decisions affecting the lives of every person who receives Regional Center services. Will your next Representatives vote for a national or state budget that cuts deeply or adds to the funding for health care and human services?

In Sacramento, the new Governor, along with the State Senate and Assembly, will consider the first serious proposal to reform our broken funding system 20 years in the making. As most members of our Regional Center community know, the service reimbursements that the State currently pays for have fallen so far below actual costs that many organizations are struggling to pay their direct support staff the legal minimum wage. As a result, people served by Regional Centers continue to lose their trusted direct support staff to companies offering them a livable wage.

So, what do you know about the positions of the people who want your votes?

This is where things get difficult. A quick review of local candidates’ campaign websites shows that, while each identifies priority issues they believe are important to potential voters, only 3 candidates out of the 18 on local ballots for Congress and State Legislature even mention disabilities anywhere on their sites. Candidates need to know that there are tens of thousands of people in their districts who are directly affected by disabilities. They, their families, friends and the workforce who serve them, are all potential voters. Our community needs to know if candidates understand their issues and if they will publicly state their support for key issues.

Here are two things everyone reading this article can do:

  • Today, go to the websites of the candidates or current State Senator and Assemblymember, who want your votes and quickly look for any statements about disability issues. Email or call the campaign office and simply say, ““Will you support proposals to provide adequate funding to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities? Or “I won’t support a candidate who doesn’t support these issues.”
  • Plan to attend the Candidates Forums sponsored by North Los Angeles County Regional Center scheduled for Thursday, October 25th. These are perfect opportunities to meet Candidates and to let them know what matters most to you.

Let’s do everything we can to make sure that on November 6th we really do have the chance to vote as if your life depends on it!!!

To find your State Senator and Assemblyperson go to this website and fill in your address as directed:
A list of local candidates’ websites follows:

Local Candidates Websites

Assembly District 36

Tom Lackey:

Steve Fox:


Assembly District 38

Dante Acosta

Christy Smith:


Assembly District 43

Laura Friedman:


Assembly District 45

Jesse Gabriel:

Justin Clark:


Assembly District 46

Adrin Nazarian:

Roxanne Hoge:


Assembly District 50

Richard Bloom:


Senate District 18

Bob Hertzberg:

Rudy Melendez:


House of Representatives District 25

Steve Knight:

Katie Hill:


House of Representatives District 29

Tony Cardenas:

Benito Bernal:


House of Representatives District 30

Brad Sherman:

Mark Reed: No


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