The Legislature returns from their month-long Summer Break for the last month of the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. They adjourn for the year of September 11th.

But you should also take note that the two special sessions - including the Second Extraordinary Session that includes DDS issues - can continue during the coming months even if the full Legislature is not meeting regularly. And we expect that they will.

There is no doubt that this year the community did an extraordinary job of telling our story to the folks in the Capitol. They definitely HEARD us! And the results were evident as Legislators rolled over one another to make supportive statements about the need for additional funding. Even the Governor's inclusion of DD issues into the Special Session is recognition of that noise.

But... are they LISTENING to us? The only meaningful measure of that will be where they - the Legislature and the Governor - include significant new funding in a plan, and very quickly.

The grassroots efforts that included letters, phone calls and multiple social media contacts (Go You Tweeters!) was incredible. But we have more than 280,000 families in this system. And hundreds of thousands of direct care staff, boards of directors, business partners and friends and families that frankly have not turned out the way they must if we are to push this to a positive conclusion. 

On September 3rd, we are are hoping to turn that around.

A group of two dozen agency directors from many different service and program models met by conference call on Wednesday to confirm and plan what we hope will be a huge turnout in Sacramento.

Ground Zero is the historic Crest Theatre, just two blocks from the Capitol, where the videos will be shown and we will hear from leaders of this extraordinary system both past and present. We will also hear from Legislative Leaders who are committed to the fight to get this funding in place!

Then we will march to the Capitol and hopefully ring the building withe the representatives of our community and deliver the message that not only won't we go away but that we are getting stronger!

We're Here to Speak for Justice! was the rallying cry in the late 1960's that created the Lanterman Act. It is once again our rallying cry!

I know that I am asking for a significant commitment in time and resources, particularly for those who are far from Sacramento.

But you can charter buses.

Or bring a few people in private cars. 

Or Take the train.

And if you can't do large numbers, fly up and make yourself heard.

For those of you within a couple hours of Sacramento, and especially for those of you in the Capitol region, success is dependent on you turning out hundreds of people to this critical event.

Whatever else you do, take the next few weeks to organize your community, talk about the event and it's critical message, and forward the "Save the Date" information in this message and others you will be seeing soon. (Social icons to share at the bottom of the page too).

We have the people power if we are willing to use it! Now, at this most crtical time for a system that is just 40 years old, we MUST be willing to use it!

Join Jay Nolan Community Services and your colleagues in Sacramento on September 3rd! Spread the Word!

Original Article from: Dwight Hansen, Hansen & Associates