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Statewide advocacy initiative for Prince Georges Provider Council

Uniting Voices: 2024 Statewide Advocacy Initiatives of the
Prince George's Provider Council

Governor Wes Moore presents during Developmental Disabilities Day at Legislature 2024 to more than 700 individuals with IDD, their families, and their service providers.

Every year, as the State Legislative period unfolds, the Prince George's Provider Council amplifies its commitment to advocacy by actively participating in Developmental Disabilities Day (DD Day) at the Maryland Legislature. This collaborative event brings together Maryland-based coalitions, advocacy groups, hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities, along with their families, advocates, and service providers, converging on Annapolis with a shared goal – to inform legislators about matters critical to the developmental disabilities’ community.

DD Day serves as a pivotal platform for the Provider Council to extend its advocacy efforts to the state level. The Provider Council joins forces with other Maryland-based coalitions and advocacy groups, forming a collective voice that resonates through the halls of the State Legislature. The event is a powerful testament to the strength that lies in unity and collaboration, showcasing a shared commitment to creating positive change. One of the key aspects of the Provider Council's involvement in DD Day is the organization of local advocates and families to engage with State representatives.

The Provider Council recognizes the importance of addressing statewide policies and their impact on the Prince George's County community. During the last DD Day in 2024, the Provider Council took proactive steps, meeting with a significant number of State representatives and senators to discuss legislative and policy issues that specifically addressed improving access, equity, and opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Central to the Provider Council's approach is the emphasis on real-life stories. The Provider Council firmly believes that behind every policy, issue, and legislation are people, families, and their stories. By prioritizing these narratives, the Provider Council humanizes the advocacy process, ensuring that the voices of those directly impacted take center stage. 

During these meetings with State representatives, the Provider Council brought forth compelling stories from individuals in services and their families. These narratives provided a tangible

and relatable dimension to the policy issues at hand, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the developmental disabilities community. By giving life to the issues, the

Council effectively underscores the urgency and importance of the proposed legislative changes. 

The Provider Council's commitment to prioritizing people and their stories as the main characters in the advocacy narrative sets a powerful precedent. It reflects a holistic approach to advocacy—one that transcends policy papers and legislative discussions, acknowledging the lived experiences of those directly affected by the decisions made at the state level. 

L-R: Rob Malone, CEO, Arc of Prince George’s County; Len Lucchi, O’Malley, Myles, Nylen & Gilmore; Senator Michael Jackson; Mojisola Agbebi, Parent Advocate; Grace Williams, Parent Advocate; Chantrell McCormick, The Arc

Our engagement in DD Day exemplifies our dedication to advocating for the developmental disabilities’ community not only on a local level but also on a statewide scale. By uniting with other advocacy groups and bringing forth the real-life stories of individuals and families, the Provider Council continues to be a driving force in shaping policies that promote access, equity, and opportunities for all. As the Provider Council continues to champion these efforts, we seek to reinforce the notion that true advocacy is rooted in the shared experiences and voices of those it aims to serve. 

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