APPLL Update: Bringing People Together to Push

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By Morgan Sheets

The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) is organizing meetings in various states to help educate and mobilize activists and create formal campaign structures to advance prosthetic parity in the coming months.

Briefings at the Region A Empowerment Meeting in Massachusetts in April created a great deal of momentum. The newly trained activists ramped up efforts to generate support for House Bill No. 4858 and Senate Bill No. 693. Now, it looks like S.693 will move on into the Senate budget.

The Massachusetts gathering has become a pilot as we move forward in our organizing efforts throughout the country. On May 16, the ACA convened a group in New York, New York, to discuss efforts to organize for parity. Several participants joined ACA's campaign committee to push for a public hearing for Assembly Bill 450. This is an important next step in our fight for prosthetic coverage in the Empire State.

APPLL staff members have been working with Rep. Bernie O'Neill's office and other stakeholders in Pennsylvania for several months in anticipation of introduction in the latter half of the 2006 session. Now, following a series of organizing meetings throughout May and June, activists in Pittsburgh, the Harrisburg area, Philadelphia, and northeast Pennsylvania will have an opportunity to come together to learn more about what it will take to make this goal a reality.

The ACA's home state of Tennessee also is moving forward. We are holding a set of organizing meetings in Chattanooga, Memphis, and Knoxville in July.

The parity meetings are just one of the many things the ACA is doing to drive this initiative. We also are launching our brand new online Action Center and sending out our new and improved Activist Organizing Kit. We recently hired a second person to work on the campaign and secured space for the Washington DC office. We are thrilled to move full speed ahead with the support of our allies.

Morgan Sheets is the national campaign director for APPLL. She can be reached at APPLL@amputee-coalition.org