[nfbwatlk] Report from the 2011 Washington Seminar

Gloria Whipple ladygloria at webband.com
Thu Feb 3 11:29:41 CST 2011


Thank you for the wonderful report!

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Mike Freeman
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 8:29 AM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Report from the 2011 Washington Seminar

Fellow Federationists:

The Washington Seminar is going extremely well this year, especially since
the House of Representatives is in recess and not all senators are present.
For the first time, all fifty state affiliates, the NFB of Puerto Rico and
the NFB of District of Columbia have representatives here.  Thus, we have
full NFB affiliate representation.  Over five hundred people are here,
meaning that the first day's gathering-in meeting was absolutely packed to
the rafters with both the main Columbia Room and the overflow room having
standing-room only.

At the opening meeting, former Senator Dodd spoke and former New York
Governor David Paterson was introduced and gave a rousing speech.  NFB has
hired him on a temporary basis to help with our Strategic Initiatives.

Our legislative proposals have been well-received and the only objections of
which I am aware come from those who oppose mandates on industry (our
Technology Bill of Rights for the Blind).  None of Washington's senators or
representatives have been able to meet with us in person but staff have been
uniformly receptive and several have indicated an active interest in
helping, pending review of draft legislative language.

Our legation is doing a great job:  Ivan Weich and Betty McNally ably
discussed the issues and Betty did double-duty, helping out the Florida
contingent.  We also had Lily Clifton helping us; her energy is boundless.
And those involved with the "Teachers of Tomorrow" program were here
including two teachers from the Yakima area who went with us.

It appears that the House of Representatives will spend much more time in
home districts during this legislative session.  It therefore becomes doubly
important to arrange to meet with your representatives in the local
districts.  I urge all of you to actively seek such opportunities (town
meetings and the like).  If we do this, we'll get our legislative
initiatives enacted into law!

I shall come home tomorrow.  But the work is never done for Federationists,
wicked and wonderful alike.  The Governor's proposal for an education
department which would encompass the School for the Blind is abominable and
we shall have to vehemently oppose it, at least in its present form.  More
on this when I've studied the actual legislative language.

The Federation is alive, vibrant and active on all fronts.

To the barricades, comrades!

Mike Freeman, President
NFB of Washington

[Sent via iPhone]

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