The St. Louis Self-Advocates, the Arc’s newest advocacy group, kicked off their summer programming in a big way. Hosting “St. Louis Self-Advocates Present: An Evening with Rep. Tracy McCreery”, the group took full advantage of the time policymakers spend working in their home districts. The young self-advocates invited local legislators to meet virtually for a question-and-answer session to ensure their voices were heard on various issues.
Advocating and Learning
Accepting the group’s invitation was Representative Tracy McCreery, a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing the 88th district in St. Louis County, including Olivette where the St. Louis Arc is located. The event was hailed a success with 21 people attending the event. The group spoke with Representative McCreery on her experiences with disability rights and issues, how they, as young constituents, could better connect with policymakers, and whether she would support an increase in funding to support students with disabilities inside the classroom.
Michkeal Cross, President of the St. Louis Self-Advocates enjoyed the event and looks forward to being able to do similar events in the future. “Representative McCreery was very insightful and educational” Michkeal shared. “She was honest about how she can learn more about disability rights and the DSP crisis so that she can talk about it when she’s in the sessions with other legislators.”
In addition to voicing their opinions, the young self-advocates walked away with new skills and knowledge. The group brainstormed questions, researched their legislators, and were able to build their confidence in speaking with policymakers.
Join the Group
Watch for the St. Louis Self-Advocates social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram, #DisabilityPrideSLSA, coming in September. If you are a young person, ages 14-25, and are interested in learning more about the St. Louis Self-Advocates, please contact Madeline Webster.