“It’s not Down syndrome holding us back, it’s Lawsyndrome.” This phrase from former President and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Sarah Heart Weir, has become the reason I fight for Coldon and all individuals with disabilities. Once society becomes aware of the reality these laws force, fully capable individuals into, CHANGE will happen.
In the past week, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to meet with some of my federal and state legislators; to discus bills introduced to replace laws that will impact Coldon’s and my family’s lives at some point in the future.
I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Beth Mizell, my Louisiana state Senator and Brian McNabb, from U.S. U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy office; my U.S. Senator. I left both meetings with a sense of positive responsiveness. They listened to my concerns and ask questions about the bills I presented to them, but they were genuinely interested in me as a person and constituent. They wanted to know about my advocacy and of course about my triplets! I was very comfortable and relaxed just talking with them, like I talk to anyone I know. Thank you Senator Mizell, Senator Cassidy and Brian for meeting with me and hearing what I had to say!
A topic discussed at both meetings; how our legislators simply don’t know about every law/bill written and passed through the house and senate. They do care— they want to make things right for their constituents; but unless we inform them of issues and bill such as Lawsyndrome, they don’t know there is a problem. This describes most of our lawmakers, not all; I know there are some this doesn’t apply to. Let’s stay positive and look at our glass half full!
I’m encouraging you to reach out to your legislators and simply inform them about things like Lawsyndrome or any laws you feel should be changed. Just because it is a law doesn’t mean you, your families or society in general are benefiting from it or treated equally because of it. It is our duty as citizens and constituents to question the laws, to bring information to our congressmen and women’s attention, so they can do their duty and change these laws; for the better of the people. No matter the state our country is in politically, we are incredibly blessed with the freedom to question laws and enforce change; many other nations don’t have this ability. We need to step up and hold our legislators to their job—representing us!
Reach out to your legislators; write letters, send emails and schedule meeting. They want to hear from us! It isn’t scary or something many people before us haven’t done. It doesn’t matter what your education level is and you don’t have to have a law degree to communicate with them. There are many organizations with all the information you need about specific laws and necessary change. Do a little research beyond what you see on the news, but simply be you; don’t try to change who you are in order to speak to our representatives and senators— they’re people and voters too. Together, we can create change by making our legislators aware of issues they’re not informed about.