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Legislative Advocacy Task Force

Important Links and Documents

REGISTER - Annual Advocacy Day at State House May 18

LATFIn 2010, the MDSC was honored with the National Down Syndrome Society's Advocacy Organization of the Year Award. LATF Chairperson Laura Noble is second to the right.

The primary vehicle for the MDSC’s public policy initiatives is our Legislative Advocacy Task Force. The Task Force works with the MDSC Executive Director, Management Team, and the MDSC membership to advocate for legislation and policies that will help the MDSC achieve its mission. With broad statewide representation, the Task Force’s primary objective is to mobilize the MDSC membership to advocate on behalf of the entire Down syndrome community.

The Task Force does this by providing the following: outreach to members, training opportunities, the chance to testify at public hearings, and templates to use in advocacy efforts. The Task Force also develops its own testimony, recruits members for public rallies, vigils, etc., and organizes and participates in meetings with policy makers both in the Legislature and the Administration.

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

Task Force Goals

1. The Task Force will review legislative bills and make a recommendation as to the bills that are of the highest priority for the MDSC to advocate for. Working with the MDSC Executive Director, the Task Force will make a recommendation of a priority bill and support bills to include in the MDSC Legislative Platform. The Executive Director will submit these recommendations to the MDSC Board of Directors for approval.

2. Once the Board of Directors has approved the Legislative Platform, the Task Force will work closely with the Executive Director, management team and the MDSC membership to advocate for these bills. Advocacy will include the following activities:

  • Develop relationships with key legislators that can champion the MDSC legislative platform.
  • Informing the MDSC membership about the legislative priorities and how they can help advocate for these bills through the use of our newsletter, list-serve, and e-newsletter.
  • Drafting sample letters and advocacy materials for the MDSC membership to use.
  • Developing testimony and participating in hearings to advocate on behalf of the MDSC's Legislative Platform.

3. The Task Force will research and develop new tools and systems to build an infrastructure for the MDSC and the Task Force's advocacy efforts. Some of the suggested tools and systems to investigate include Instatrac and Capwiz.

4. Recruit and train MDSC members in all regions of the Commonwealth to act as a liaison in their local area for timely legislative needs.

5. Collaborate with other Advocacy groups (i.e. NDSS and The Arc of Massachusetts) to work together on common legislative priorities and to participate in rallies, legislative receptions, and advocacy days, that will advance the MDSC legislative priorities.

6. Increase the capacity of the Task Force through providing in-service training opportunities on various legislative advocacy best practices.