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Advocacy & Leadership Committee Minutes, Feb 2015

Advocacy and Leadership Committee
Thursday, February 12, 2015
9:45 am – 12:15 pm

Members Present: Advocacy and Leadership Committee – Caroline Ambrose, Karen Armstrong, Adonis Brown, Lisa Byrd, Michael Groves, Mary Edwards, Lourdes Fernandez, Crystal Foreman, Joshua Gettinger, Katie Holler, Cheryl Powell, Sen. Tommy Tucker, Rick Zechman

Members Absent:  Adonis Brown, Lourdes Fernandez, Senator Tommy Tucker

Visitors: Bryce Coleman, Deborah Whitfield, Katrina Hayes, Gordon O’Neill, Rose Straup, David Taylor, Jr.

Staff in Attendance: Melissa Swartz, Chris Egan, JoAnn Toomey, Yadira Vazquez


Welcome: Chairperson Caroline Ambrose welcomed all members and provided an opportunity for all members to introduce themselves.
Approval of Minutes: Chairperson Caroline Ambrose asked for approval of November 20, 2014 Minutes.   

MOTION:  Mary Edwards made a motion to approve the November 2014 Advocacy and Leadership committee meeting minutes. Rick Zechman seconded the motion.  Motion was carried.

Initiative Review: Sibling Support

Bryce Coleman provided an update on the activities of the Sibling Support initiative as their first six months comes to a close.  He shared a brief review of the intent of the initiative which is to establish the Sibling Leadership Network of North Carolina.    

Fiscal Update

Yadira Vasquez, NCCDD’s Business Services Coordinator, gave an overview of the fiscal status of the organization.  She provided Council members with information on each initiative housed in the Advocacy and Leadership committee.

Initiative Update:

Deborah Whitfield presented on the NC Partners in Policymaking initiative. She provided a brief overview of the national replication model including purpose. The Opening Session of the 2015 class is February 28 – March 1 and will be held at the North Raleigh Hilton. Ms. Whitfield described the recruitment and selection process. Thirty-two participants were selected for the 2015 class including all twelve self-advocate that applied.

Conference Funding Requests:

MOTION:  Lisa Byrd made a motion to provide In-House Conference funding for David Hoff, Program Director of the University of Massachusetts Institute for Community Inclusion to keynote discussion on public policy and Employment First at the NC Association of Persons Supporting Employment First-Work Hard, Dream Big Conference April 8 -10, 2015 in the amount up to $3,000.  Since this is an in-house initiative, match requirement is waived.   Mary Edwards seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  

MOTION:  Mary Edwards made a motion to provide In-House Conference funding for Andrew Imparato, Executive Director of the Association of University Centers on Disability to keynote on leveraging federal leadership to expand choice and self-determination in NC at the Disability Rights of North Carolina 2015 Disability Advocacy Conference April 14, 2015 in the amount up to $600.00.  Since this is an in-house initiative, match requirement is waived. Rick Zechman seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  

MOTION:  Crystal Foreman made a motion to provide In-House Conference funding for Lynn Seagle, Chief Executive Office of Hope House (Virginia) to present at the NC TIDE (Training, Instruction, Development, Education) Annual Spring Conference-Building Community Connections April 26-29, 2015 in the amount up to $2,000.  Ms. Seagle will address building community connections through organizational development to serve people with IDD in the home of their choice. Since this is an in-house initiative, match requirement is waived. Karen Armstrong seconded the motion. Motion carried.  

Policy Priorities Discussion:

Chris Egan led a discussion about the draft NCCDD Policy Priorities for 2015, asking members “how would we use this list”. The list reflects items already identified by NCCDD in other ways and times.   The list is not a legislative agenda, but can guide NCCDD on areas to educate policymakers.

A & L Staff Changes:

Chris addressed two NCCDD staff vacancies.

Wrap Up and Reminders:

Chairperson Caroline Ambrose reminded committee members to fill out their financial reimbursement forms upon receipt on Friday, and to let Cora Gibson know as early as possible when there are conferences they would like to attend.

MOTION: Carrie Ambrose made a motion to adjourn the February 2015 Advocacy and Leadership Committee meeting.   Chery Powel seconded the motion.  The motion carried.


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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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