[nfbwatlk] Seminar recap

Robert Sellers via nfbwatlk nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Mon May 26 21:53:05 UTC 2014


Marci,

An informative and worthwhile conference. Kudo's to you Marci for the
excellent work you did.

BTW, just fore the record, the Date was Saturday, May 17th.
 At least that's the date of the conference I attended and you were there.
Don't know about your Sunday. (smile)

Bob


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of M J via
nfbwatlk
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 2:13 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Seminar recap

   Thirty Federationists gathered on May 18th in Seattle for a jam-packed
day of learning discussion and action.

   Members came from Spokane, Vancouver, Seattle, Marysville, Bellingham,
Sequim, Tacoma and Oak Harbor. Some were veterans and some were new to the
NFB. 

   Representative Eileen Cody talked with us about some very practical
aspects of passing legislation including the process a bill goes through,
the state legislative committee structure, how she legislators priori tie
communications from and appointments requested by constituents and what
times of the year are best for working on starting to get a bill introduced.
We discussed the need for more children to be taught braille. Ms. Cody
explained that the OSPI has little enforcement power. This is due to the
very strong emphasis on local control in school matters. She said that the
legislature is unlikely to deal with any state transportation funding and
will be focusing its attention to the state Supreme Court ruling concerning
funding of basic education. Depending on the ligislative climate and the
November elections, we may want to look at amending our state's Help Amerce
Vote Act to increase availability of Accessible voting machines.

   We spent some time in small groups: getting to know each other better and
developing skits about legislative issues, which were performed for the
whole audience. two groups performed skits about the minimum wage issue, and
the other two performed skits about the lack of accessible voting machines.
Some Congresspeople were portrayed as helpful and others were condescending
or corrupt. A good time was had by all.The skits were very entertaining and
showcased each group's interest in the issues.

   We decided to form a statewide transportation committee. Committee
members can discuss strategies which can be implemented at the local level.
Perhaps, in a few years, we can look at supporting some kind of statewide
transportation funding package.

   Ellyn Lee is a blind woman from Bellingham who wants to reconstitute a
Whatcom County chapter. We decided to work towards having this chapter up
and developed by the time of our state convention. Several members offered
to assist Ellyn.

   There was a good discussion concerning the need for statewide fundraising
events. Many members were interested in holding a braille read-a-thin to be
held in October (Meet The Blind Month). This will either take place all
around the state or at our state convention. The Name It will be  called
"The March of Dots". 

   A 50/50 drawing was held, which raised $70 for the NFBW. Ron Snyder won
the other $70. 

   Unlike state convention, there were no outside speakers except for Rep.
Cody. This gave the membership time to plan the future of the NFBW in a
relaxed setting. New friendships were made and old ones strengthened.
Everyone had something to contribute, and all ideas and opinions were
received openly. The seminar was an important part of the work of our
affiliate and and of building our sense of being one team whose purpose is
to improve the lives of blind people in Washington.

Onward we go!

Marci Carpenter
Secretary
NFB of Washington
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