Goal #5: Increased Civic Engagement Transcript
MNCDHH Goal #5: Civic Engagement
(Signed by Nancy Diener, Commission Member)
Hello! MCDHH believes in the importance of civic engagement.
What is civic engagement? It means involvement in government, policy development, getting laws passed, et cetera at different levels such as local, city, state and national levels.
It's important to understand that people who make laws like State Senators, Representatives, and so on don't know much about Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind needs or interests. They want to know what you think. They want to hear your opinions.
So how can you contact them? Well, one thing MCDHH will do is have trainings to help you and your friends understand how to connect, how to share opinions, how to discuss important issues so that they understand your needs and will pass laws and rules and develop policies that will benefit Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind people.
Every two years, MCDHH has a special day called "Lobby Day." What's that?
We have trainings - classes, meetings - for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind people. They come to the Capitol in St. Paul and get instruction in how get a meeting with a Legislator, how to express opinions, how to write letters and emails, and so on. What to do, how to testify in front of Legislative Committees. Also, that day many Legislators will come visit the group and talk about their bills, their interests and so on.
MCDHH works with Legislators - State Senators, State House Representatives - they also work with communities, and the general public to help everyone understand the concerns and issues that Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind people face.
Finally, we work with two State offices:
One: Secretary of State.
Two: Campaign Finance Board.
Those two offices are responsible for voting, like having voting open for all people. They help to encourage people to vote, know where to vote, know how to vote. Also, if there are barriers that make it hard for you to vote, those two offices work to help break down the barriers.
So, we hope you want to be involved in Civic Engagement.