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Legislative Advocacy

Maureen & John at State HouseMDSC Executive Director Maureen Gallagher and
LATF member
John Anton at the U.S. Capitol

The MDSC works to address policy issues affecting people with Down syndrome.

We recognize that the most effective legislative advocacy is accomplished by individual voters taking up issues with their representatives, be they state or federal.

To that end, the MDSC has formed a Legislative Advocacy Task Force with broad statewide representation with a stated goal of mobilizing the MDSC membership to advocate for policies and bills that will benefit people with Down syndrome.

Working in conjunction with the MDSC Executive Director and management team, the task force helps advance bills on our state and federal platforms in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that the MDSC membership is aware of our legislative priorities and understands how they can take action.
  • Drafting sample letters and advocacy materials for the MDSC membership to use.
  • Providing training opportunities for the MDSC members to gain information and skills on legislative advocacy best practices.
  • Recruiting testifiers, developing testimony and participating in hearings to advocate on behalf of bills on the MDSC's platform.
  • Organizing and participating in legislative advocacy activities such as rallies, legislative receptions, advocacy days and meetings with key legislators.

MDSC Statewide Platform

Each legislative session, the Legislative Advocacy Task Force selects among the scores of disability-related bills a slate of priority and support bills that becomes the MDSC’s statewide platform (pending Board approval).

The MDSC’s top priority bills for the 2011-2012 session are:

  • HB523 An Act to require national background checks filed by Rep. Martin J. Walsh
  • HB1528 : An Act relative to Down syndrome genetic test results filed by Rep. Tom Sannicandro

Click here to see our statewide platform page, including our complete statewide platform.

MDSC National Platform

The MDSC adopts our federal legislative platform from our national partner, the National Down Syndrome Society. Go to our national platform page to see our/NDSS’s 2011 federal policy priorities.

Join/Contact the Task Force

The task force appreciates your feedback, and we are often looking for new members. Contact us at timetospeakout@mdsc.org.

Contact Your Legislator

To find your legislator, visit the Massachusetts Legislature’s recently revamped website.