[Nfbc-info] Suggestion for the state and some local chapters

Michael Peterson its.mike at att.net
Fri Oct 2 05:25:09 UTC 2009

Hi all.  I want to commend the chapters and the state for matching grants 
which I know have helped lots of people with convention expenses including 
I am concerned however because the State of California,  despite what 
appeared to be promises it  wouldn't cut us or would do so minimally is 
delivering a nasty October surprise to many or all California SSI 
We had major cuts earlier in the year but the rep told me today the new cut 
is $76 each person across the board no matter if you receive $300 a month or 
$960 a month SSI.
For Terra and my self the cuts are equavellent to giving one of us $26 a 
month and not touching the other check.
In otherwords the SSI portion has been reduced by all most 50%.
Even if someone on this income meticulously planned for the convention and 
put away so much money per month with this kind of reductionsthat you can't 
anticipate it's all most like playing the stock market.
I only mention this because many of our leaders are in the working class and 
might not be aware of how deeply this cuts are being made and if they were 
aware they could help others who might really want to come but will not be 
able to.
I'm sure this will happen on a case by case basis and each chapter must use 
it's best judgment to make sure applicants have a need but I suggest that 
perhaps at the board meeting if there is one prior to the convention or 
privately chapters be polled to see if the new cutback impacts would be 
If it does I suggest emergency matching grants for new applicants between 
state and chapters.
This isn't about our situation we have help from our chapterand the state 
all ready has provided matching grants for each chapter so I'm asking an 
increased effort if needed.
This is  about people that wanted to go planned to go and now can't because 
of the new round of cuts. Even before this newest $76per month  slash I know 
for a fact some people want to come but finances won't allow them to.
regarding walkers: if any agencies are coming from cities such as Sacramento 
for the day but not staying for the convention could would be walkers ride 
in and back with them?
Some people really want to walk but can't afford to stay at convention even 
with reduced rates sharing rooms etc.
Others want to walk but have to be back the next day to honor committments 
work family schooland   so on.
Maybe the affiliate could offer agencies who will help transport would be 
walkers an incintive of $50 or $75 per walker to get them there and back or 
could write off the transport of the walkers as a contribution from the 
agency or business.
Those who have businesses coming to the walk from southern CA or Northern CA 
could really help the bridge walk by bringing more walkers.
I personally salute Sendero for offering sponsorships which is an incintive 
to walkers which might encourage some to sign up.
It would be great though for example if a company coming from Sacramento 
wrote the list serve and said for those who just want to walk we have two 
seats available for a passenger if there are any takers.
I'm sure in some cases the passenger would be glad to share gas.
This would help get him /her to and from the walk and it would help us in 
the face of State budget cuts mainly impacting SSI recipients to have the 
largest walk possible.
I won't be offended if these suggestions aren't taken just trying to think 
out of the box of ways we can get more walkers.
The convention is of course always important but the walk can be a very 
special statement as to who we are not just to the public but to the blind 
community we can say the blind are active alive and well in California.
In my dream I see no less than 500  people who are blind crossing the golden 
gate plus celebrities.
Perhaps but it's still my dream.
Maybe if I share it it will become your dream too and 50 walkers will become 
100 and as we aproach the 22nd 100 will invite friends who invite their 
friends and surprise from out of no where 500 will appear.
I see other states sending delegations of 25 or 50 to help
Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and any other surrounding states 
I missed.  Maybe smaller ones can only send two people but when the day is 
done the New York walk against the publishers isn't an anomaly.
We with the help of our brothers and sisters on the west coast can cross the 
bridge with 500.
It's doable!
And, with this killer State econamy it's a big loud statement of just how 
important braille literacy is to us all!
Now before closing If you want to come and can't here's a few suggestions.
1. Call your local lions and Kiwanis club tell them you planned on walking 
because braille is very important but due to state budget cuts you can't 
come ask them to sponsor you and donate to the braille literacy cause even 
offer to carry their banner.
2.  Ask your local church or synagogue to sponsor you.
3. If you work for a company in the blindness field ask them if they would 
send you or if you are  connected to  a 4 H club a group of puppy raisers, 
ask them to let you represent them. Maybe
 we can print up a flier thanking all the local companies and service groups 
who will help.
sponsor you.
4. You might on campus ask your disabled students group or a fraternity or 
sorrety to send you.
5. If you have a bunch of junk you could part with there is always a yard 
6.  If you planned on going but can't you could offer to help your chapter 
bake and the proceeds could be used from a bake sale to send you to 
convention or at least to the bridge walk.
7.  Ask friends in lew of Christmas presents to give you money so you can 
attend this very important event.
This by no means is a compleet list but maybe will help anyone brainstorm 
who really wants to come.
I wish I could offer more but even if I could win publishers clearinghouse 
it's not drawn until November 11 I think.
But I can encourage each of you don't give up we need you your voice is 
really important!
If one person shows up who wasn't going to I have used my time wisely.
And maybe just maybe, dear reader, that person will be you.
God bless


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