Sunday, March 12, 2017

NASW Legislative Lobby Days in Sacramento, 2017

"In service - in relationship - to achieve higher levels of justice." Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman

CSUN MSW students on the road to Lobby Days, 2017

This is the largest Lobby Days ever: nearly 1,400 participants from 26 schools:

Assembly member, Susan Talamantes Engman, MSW, LCSW, PhD, encouraged us to practice as integrated as possible (micro, mezzo, macro) and address the larger issues that are producing pain among the vulnerable and oppressed. As social workers, she urges us to amplify the stories of our clients in order to influence policies. She warns us to not be addicted to our outrage, but to use our outrage for something good. People are afraid and worried about scarcity ("there's not enough for everybody") so we need to preach the gospel that there's enough for all of us.

NASW (National Association of Social Workers), National Vice-President, Mildred C. Joyner, MSW, LCSW told us that when we come across something beautiful and rare, we ought to take a moment and look at it - then she took a picture of all of us. She reminded us that "we are America's conscience and we must be vocal" and that we "can't heal our frustrations by blaming others."

There are 680,000 social workers in the U.S.
There are 130,000 NASW members.
There are 25,000 social work students.
That's a lot of power ready to be unleashed.

Monday morning we will be meeting with California assembly members and senators to lobby for three bills:

Senate Bill (SB) 219 (Wiener) - LGBT Senior Bill of Rights

  • This bill aims to combat the discrimination of LGBT Seniors in long-term care facilities.

SB 8 (Beall) - Mental Health: Pre-Trial Diversion

  • Diversion options result in extremely low recidivism rates among participants and significant cost saving to counties. Community based treatment for a mentally ill defendant costs $20,000 and greatly reduces recidivism, while jailing the same defendant (with a greater risk of recidivism) costs the community more than $50,000 a year.

SB 54 (De León) The California Values Act

  • The purpose of this bill is to protect the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, and ultimately hurt California's economy.

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