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Recently I was a spokeswoman at the public benefit hearings at the Erie County Legislature. Various agencies presented their needs for funding. As I listened to them, I chose a different approach with concern for many people who are victims of these budget proposals.

I see that there is a need for a new plan to reform Medicaid and other issues affecting our community. It must be a collective plan with collective responsibility. We tend to blame one person and assume that it is his responsibility to bring about effective change. However, it takes a team of committed individuals and elected officials from all levels of government.

There is need for a plan to unfold and it must be ongoing, with monitoring, measurable outcomes and assessment. A collective team of overseers must weigh the pros and cons, the results and the progress of the plan.

As an advocate for those who are victims of this situation, I turn to the Legislature. Give us hope for a new plan of action. Give us hope that this will never happen again. I encourage our legislators to work collectively with accountability to solve the issues we face today.

Sister Mary Johnice, CSSF

Director, Response to Love Center