The Buddy Walk® on Washington is a two-day advocacy conference. The first day is when you get to meet your fellow advocates, sit in on meetings and hear what legislative priorities and public policies are being discussed. On this day, we will help you prepare to meet with Members of Congress and figure out what are the legislative asks are. On the second day, we go to Capitol Hill — his is when you meet with Members of Congress to advocate for the Down syndrome community!
Why is the Buddy Walk® on Washington important to me?
The first day of events we get to help you and get to know you. That is my favorite part. As self-advocates, we like to show you what we are able to do in educating you on our legislative priorities. When we go to the Hill on the second day, I love sharing my personal story even though I am giving them a summary sheet of what we want to highlight when we go to talk to them in a meeting. When we were pursuing the ABLE Act and other asks we talked to many legislators on the Hill. It’s hard to say no to a self-advocate when they are speaking to a Representative or Senator. We make a difference. Nothing about us should be fought for without us! Hearing our personal stories help our Members of Congress to take the next step to put it to a vote or take it to the floor.
As self-advocates, we are changing the world one step at a time. We are more alike than we are different. I love getting to know my elected officials, and they can put a name to a face when you talk to them. Making personal connections like this is how I became friends with my local Congressman!
Our Buddy Walk® on Washington is where all self-advocates get together from everywhere. We have a voice and we definitely want to be heard. This is why we have the Buddy Walk on Washington, and this is important not just to me, but to all self-advocates who have the voice to speak out.