hank you in advance for joining us at the CIL Advocacy Day! We are excited to raise the visibility of people with disabilities and Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in our State Capitol. Our primary focus will be to ask for legislators’ support to pass a real budget for our state ASAP. We will also help educate our legislators about the subminimum wage, and ask them to visit our Centers to build relationships so they know what we do. Individual CILs may also have specific extra advocacy items; check with your local CIL to see if they have additional advocacy points to make. We look forward to working together on May 16 to speak out!
We have put together a number of things you need to know in preparing for the Advocacy Day.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE OF THE DAY?
8:30 AM: Capitol and Stratton buildings open
9 AM-12 NOON: Check in table will be open by the Stratton Cafeteria
10 AM-12:30 PM: Please visit your legislators!
11 AM, optional: SEIU HCII will hold a home care rally at the Lincoln Statue outside, CILs are invited to join them
1-2: LUNCH ON YOUR OWN
2:30 PM-3 PM: INCIL Rally in the Capitol Rotunda! Everyone please arrive on time!
3 PM: Drop off your legislator tally sheets at rally
3:30 PM: Event over
WHAT DO I WEAR?
This is a great question! Please wear clothing that is orange, or includes orange. Orange is often used to symbolize support for community living. You can also wear your CIL’s t-shirt or a t-shirt with a message about disability. We will also have orange/white stickers for you on May 16 that say “Independent Living NOW!” which is our slogan for the day. All of us will have the option to wear the sticker to show we are a team. We recommend that walking people wear comfortable shoes, and that people with electric mobility devices charge your chairs beforehand. There can be a lot of walking involved in an advocacy day at our Capitol.
HOW DO I PREP FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Be sure to charge your smartphones! Social media is a great way to increase our visibility on May 16. Consider taking photos of your day and posting them to your CIL’s Facebook page. You can also post photos and updates to Twitter! Use the hashtags: #incil #twill. On Twitter, you can tag the Governor @GovRauner and also state legislators. Closer to the Advocacy Day on May 16, we will share some sample messages you can post on social media.
Don’t forget, if you meet your legislators, see if they will take a photo with you to show their support for independent living! And of course, our Rally will provide some great photo opportunities as well.
WHERE DO I GO TO START THE DAY?
To start off your day, please come to the cafeteria in the basement of the Stratton Building, which is located at 401 S. Spring Street, Springfield. Remember that you will need to go through security in order to enter the building. INCIL will have a check in table set up from 9 am to 12 noon. Visit us to pick up your materials for the day! Many House Representative offices are easily accessible by elevator from the cafeteria. An underground tunnel connects the Stratton Building to the Capitol.
WHY DO I NEED TO CHECK IN?
The check in table will be open from 9 am to 12 noon on May 16. INCIL members will staff the table to help give you your materials for your legislators, the tally sheet, stickers, and the agenda of the day (in case it gets amended due to legislator activity). We can also help give you guidance on where to find legislators’ offices, if you need it. We are also asking that you keep track of the responses you get from your legislators, and turn in those responses to the INCIL Close Out Table at the end of the day, which will be in the Rotunda.
WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO ARRIVE?
We recommend that you arrive between 9 am and 11:30 am, in order to maximize the opportunity to actually talk with your legislators before they go into session. It is very important to stay focused on trying to find and talk to the legislators because face to face conversations are best for building relationships. The building opens at 8:30 am, in case people need to arrive early. Note that you will need to go through security and they will ask you to run your bags through a baggage scanner, like at the airport.
SO, HOW DO WE PREPARE TO TALK TO THE LEGISLATORS?
Before you go, make sure you check:
1. Which state legislators represent the area that your CIL serves
2. Which state legislators represent each person in your group according to their home address. Use http://
Make sure that you are looking at STATE senators and representatives, not FEDERAL. Then, use www.ilga.gov to look up each state legislator and note their Springfield office address. You can enter this in the Legislator Tally Sheet with this info package. You should have this list with you when you arrive in Springfield. If you forget it, we will have extras on site at the Check-In Table.
We encourage you to call the Springfield office of each legislator the week of May 7, to give them a heads up that you will be in the Capitol and that you would like to talk to the legislator. Some may give you appointment times; some may not. No matter what, plan on visiting each of their offices. Even if you do not get to see the legislator in person, it is important for their staff to meet you and learn about what your priorities are.
When you are able to talk to a legislator, stay positive and follow these steps:
1. Tell them your name (people sometimes forget to do this!)
2. Tell them what CIL you are with, and where you live
3. Tell them why you are in Springfield
4. Make the ask: will they try to get a budget passed by the end of May, with full funding for CILs?
5. Note and record their answer on the Legislator Tally Sheet
6. Thank them, regardless of their answer.
7. INVITE THEM TO VISIT YOUR CIL if they have not already done so.
Staying positive and friendly will help you a great deal in Springfield. At the Capitol, everyone can be busy and rushed, and communicating in a pleasant way is helpful. DO however be assertive about wanting a few minutes to talk with the legislators. They represent YOU, your CIL, and your consumers. The legislators need to know you are there.
Try to visit as many of your state legislators as you can! Keep track on the responses on the Legislator Tally Sheet, and return that at the end of the day to the Check-In Table so INCIL can catalog our impact for the day.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE RALLY?
The Rally is from 2:30 to 3 pm in the Rotunda. Everyone will gather there for a 30 minute presentation by leaders in INCIL, both staff and consumers. We also expect to have legislators speak and the press alerted to attend. There will be a microphone system, as well as 50 folding chairs available to sit. 50 chairs is the max allowed in the Rotunda. It is important to be as visible and ORANGE as we can! Take pictures and be sure to post them on social media too. In fact you can Tweet photos at your legislators.
WHERE DO WE PARK?
Several accessible parking spots are located in the lot between the Capitol and the Stratton building. There are also more accessible spots located in the lot on the south side of the Stratton building. The Visitor’s Center is across the street to the west of the Stratton building, and has both regular and some accessible spots. The Visitor’s Center also has an area where buses can park. There are also metered parking spots along the streets around the Capitol (bring quarters just in case). In downtown/central Springfield, there are also paid lot parking spaces. Most of the parking in the lots near the Capitol are reserved for legislators or staff.
The main thing to consider when parking in the Capitol area is to get there as early as you can, and give yourself time to find parking in case lots are full. While accessible spots are easier to secure, non-accessible spots can be at a premium on busy days. Another option for parking that will be familiar to INCIL members is to park at the Myers building where the INCIL office is, and walk over to the Capitol.
Those arriving by Amtrak will be able to walk to the Capitol.
WHAT ABOUT LUNCH?
Lunch is important! We would recommend that you go for lunch about 1 pm or so. Lunch is on your own. There are a few options.
In the basement of the Stratton building is a cafeteria where you can buy food. This is relatively inexpensive, although the cafeteria service can be quite slow. If you bring your own lunch however, you can sit and eat it at the tables in the cafeteria.
If you opt to leave the Capitol and go off site, Cafe Moxo is a five to ten minute walk away at 411 E. Adams. Cafe Moxo also offers to-go service atwww.cafemoxo.com where you can order online ahead of time and they will have your food ready to go at a time you specify. A little farther away are places on Sixth Street like Subway and Jimmy Johns.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!