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星期五, 3月 25, 2016

NASW Hosts Annual Lobby Day (LEAD) on Monday, March 28

The social workers are coming! The social workers are coming!

NASW Hosts Annual Lobby Day (LEAD) on Monday, March 28, 2016

Social Workers for Social Justice

Boston – The MA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers holds it annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) on Monday, March 28th from 10am – 3pm. Concluding a celebration of National Social Work Month in March, LEAD is one of the largest annual lobby days at the State House each year with a record-breaking 800 participants expected on the 28th. 

Social Workers for Social Justice empowers social workers to effectively advocate for legislation that promotes the profession and advances human rights, anti-racism, economic justice, and social equality. 

Following a proclamation given by Governor Charlie Baker at 10:30am declaring March as Social Work Month, the Governor, who will be joined by First Lady Lauren Baker, is expected to offer remarks touching on the Opioid epidemic and the current challenges facing DCF. Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services, will introduce the Governor and also speak. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will be with the Governor. All in the Governor's entourage will contribute to the speaking agenda.

Special guest, Arline Isaacson, Political Consultant and a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, will deliver the keynote address at 11:30. Known for “beating the odds,” she has tackled seemingly impossible projects over the past three decades and brought them to successful conclusions at the State House. Ms. Isaacson played an instrumental role in the Commonwealth’s marriage equality victory. 

Many legislators will be in attendance or expecting social workers for lobby visits. Confirmed to date are: Senator Will Brownsberger, Representative Liz Malia, Representative Pat Jehlen, Representative Paul Brodeur, and Senator Jamie Eldridge. Social workers will be excited to hear MA Child Advocate, Maria Mossaides, in the child welfare workshop.

Afternoon lobbying will be preceded by workshops on social justice issues and priority bills for social workers. Featured legislation includes: the Transgender Rights Bill (S.735) that has passed the Senate but not the House; several criminal justice bills, among them Alternative Sentencing for Primary Caretakers (H.1382) and regulating Solitary Confinement (H.1475/S.1255); and the Healthy Homes, Health Food, Healthy Kids bill (H. 429/S.94).

Social workers on the front lines of the opiate crisis will advocate for additional measures to improve treatment and intervention in the Commonwealth. Social work students will lobby for the Social Work Loan Forgiveness bill (HB1060/SB665) aimed at building the workforce in under-served agencies and locations. Social workers with geriatric expertise will focus on two key nursing home care bills:  Nursing Home Bed Hold (HB996/SB364) and Personal Needs Allowance (HB 515/SB355) increases. All have been extended for consideration this session or moved to a higher level committee. Timing could not be better for social workers to make an impact.