From Joseph Yekulis
St. Louis Center relies on support from the state and federal government for a large portion of its budget, and as a result, positive relationships in the State Capitol are extremely important. As such, the first annual St. Louis Center Advocacy Day was held in the State Capitol of Lansing, MI on Tuesday April 30, 2019. The purpose of the event was to bring St. Louis Center’s family members to Lansing to tell their personal stories to the legislators in Lansing who have a direct impact on funding decisions.
Fr. Enzo Addari, SdC., led a delegation of twenty-five representatives from St. Louis Center that included family members, Community Advisory Council members, and staff. The day began with a breakfast buffet hosted by State Senator Peter Lucido (R – 8), who brought a group of his own guests into the room to talk about the importance of families advocating with their state legislators to support their loved ones. Sen. Lucido was joined by State Representative Donna Lasinski (D-52 Scio Twp.), who represents St. Louis Center in the State House, and spoke with her own constituents in attendance about their personal family stories.
Following the breakfast, the SLC group gathered in the Senate Gallery for an introduction to the Michigan Senate by Sen. Lucido, and then family members visited the offices of their legislators to express their concerns about future funding for SLC residents.
Christine Slominski from Saginaw, who has a daughter at St. Louis Center said, “It was a wonderful, rewarding day, and a brand-new experience for my daughter and I. I can only believe that it was successful because many more people now know who the St Louis Center is and what the problems are that we face, and I believe they welcomed our stories.” Everyone felt that the first SLC Advocacy Day was a huge success.
St. Louis Center is a residential community for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities located west of Chelsea. For more information about SLC, please visit www.stlouiscenter.org.
From Joseph Yekulis