[caption id="attachment_1431" align="alignleft" width="41" caption="click to listen"][/caption] There are times when we all have to step up and speak-up with a loud and unified voice.  This is one of those times. The Governor released his 30-day amendments to the proposed 2013-14 Executive Budget last week.  The amendments include a 6% across the board cut to OPWDD voluntary not-for-profit providers effective April 1, 2013.  This cut means that $240 million will be reduced from the developmental disabilities not for profit system if the cuts go through. The State Legislature has commenced negotiations on the 2013-14 State Budget and we must do all we can  to reverse the cut through our advocacy efforts by reaching out to your members of the Assembly and Senate. Self-Advocate Voices are critical Please reach out to your Member of the State Assembly and of the State Senate and ask your Legislator to restore the proposed 6% cut to the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities' voluntary not-for-profit providers. These cuts will result in less staff, less supports for some people, no money for people waiting for supports, and a lot less money available into the future for the waiver and the many changes we have advocated for. Start making phone calls today to your State Assembly Member and your State Senator: ONE TO YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBER AND ONE TO YOUR SENATOR Be brief, say who you are, what supports you or someone you know receive and why they are important and that you want the cut to OPWDD restored.  Restore the cuts to OPWDD! To obtain the contact information for your State Senator, go to the Senate website at: www.nysenate.gov If you do not know which State Senator represents you, the Senate website contains an area that will assist you to identify your State Senator. To obtain the contact information for your State  Assembly Member, go to the Assembly website at www.assembly.state.ny.us  The Assembly website contains a similar area that will assist you to identify your State Assembly Member. Ask for help if you need it. I'm rushing to get down to a Hearing on the Budget today.  I'll send another memo with more detail tonight and more specific legislators to call. Speak up as if the supports you receive and we advocate for depend on it.  They do!!! Thanks to NYSACRA for some of the text and links in this message. Steve