The Fox Focus Fall/Winter 2017 - Page 15

Policy “I think it’s so important for people with Parkinson’s to know that there are others advocating for them and that they, too, can get involved and make their voices heard.” Parkinson’s and their loved ones contacted their lawmakers over 26,000 times on this issue. The Peters also work closely with a group of active advocates in Colorado to frequently speak up on PD-related policy issues and create positive change. “We let people know how advocacy work has enhanced our lives,” said Leslie. “And we share information in a local newsletter so people can learn how to take action.” “Emailing and calling takes just a few minutes, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation makes it really easy to do,” Steven said, referencing the Foundation’s policy offerings, including emailed action alerts and an online toolkit. Leslie added, “I think it’s so important for people with Parkinson’s to know that there are others advocating for them and that they, too, can get involved and make their voices heard.” While none of the health care reform plans proposed earlier this year received enough support to become law, at the time of publication, some lawmakers expressed interest in pursuing additional reform bills. Stay tuned for the latest news at michaeljfox.org/policyblog. YOUR VOICE IS POWERFUL As lawmakers consider legislation with the potential to impact the Parkinson’s community, they must hear from the people who live with the disease every day. By sharing your experiences with members of Congress, you can help shape policies that affect people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their loved ones. and priorities in conversations with elected officials and includes: » The state of current PD policy issues, including health care reform and research funding » Tips for building relationships with legislators » Best practices for using social and traditional media to advocate Make your voice heard in the public policy process! Download the toolkit now at michaeljfox.org/advocacytoolkit. The Foundation’s new Parkinson’s Advocacy Toolkit can help you speak up for your needs 15 Fall/Winter 2017