On Jan. 31, Joyce, Craig, and I attended the 10th Annual Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York Family Committee Legislative Breakfast titled, “Promises Made Must Not Be Forgotten.”
Over 200 people attended including family members, self-advocates, providers, legislators and their aides, government officials and community members.
Speakers made heartfelt pleas to our elected representatives to provide the necessary funding in the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities for a living wage for the direct services professionals that provide vital supports to our loved ones and help assure person-centered services in the communities in which they live.
As we approach the negotiations for the upcoming New York State budget, we urge our legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to assure that those with developmental disabilities are seen a priority and not left behind.
Too many families and individuals right now are barely surviving and need to know our elected leaders care. Please build at least a modest 3% increase every year for five years into the budget for providers or risk losses of life-saving services.
We have to count on our officials in New York State to do the right thing and keep your promises.
Max, Joyce, and Craig Donatelli
Hamburg and Amherst