CIVIC ENGAGEMENT DAY One of the truly extraordinary examples of BIAMI’s impact in 2018 was Civic Engagement Day. Held on March 22 in Lansing, the event was designed to teach attendees the “who, what, where, when, how and why” of advocacy — with the objectives of not just developing more knowledgeable and informed citizens, but encouraging and increasing self- advocacy among the survivor community. Attendees included survivors, their families, and caregivers, but the event was also open to professionals interested in becoming more effective advocates for themselves and those they serve. In addition to a presentation on civic engagement, attendees had the opportunity to meet legislators who sit on health- and disability-related committees, and to observe a committee meeting. In itself a remarkable achievement, what made Civic Engagement Day extraordinary is the fact that more than 250 individuals attended, representing 30 different disability and/or health-related organizations. Among the groups present for this event were the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, the Michigan Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Disability Network, the Disability Rights Coalition, the Developmental Disabilities Council, Susan G. Komen, Michigan Paralyzed Veterans, The Arthritis Foundation, and the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Planned and led by BIAMI Vice President Nichole Shotwell, Civic Engagement Day demonstrated our commitment to and leadership in Michigan’s survivor and disability forward in giving voice to the voiceless.
CAPITOL DAY Advocating for the rights of survivors and families has been, is, and will continue to be a priority for the BIAMI. During Capitol Day , for example, the BIAMI brought together representatives of the survivor and provider communities to meet directly with key Michigan legislators in their Lansing offices. While the BIAMI employs many strategies to educate and inform our state representatives about the needs of survivors, nothing is as effective as direct personal engagement. Additionally, our joint discussions with legislators have further sparked interest in increasing penalties for distracted driving, a growing cause of death and catastrophic injury. AUTO NO FAULT A significant portion of our efforts in 2018 were focused on the legislative battle to help lower Michigan’s auto insurancepremiumswhilepreserving its Auto No-Fault (ANF) system of care. We once again faced widespread opposition in the form of an extraordinary multi-front campaign funded by insurers, but supported by a number of private and public sector groups.Whether aggressively postured in the media or spoken only behind closed doors, the overarching goal of the opposition was the complete elimination of No-Fault. And with that, the willingness to return to a costly and unwieldy tort system, and a staggering lack of concern for current and future catastrophic accident survivors and their families who would be faced with an uncertain future.While a last-minute attempt to overturn no-fault was silenced during lame duck session, we knew that efforts would begin again in 2019 and worked in concert with our CPAN coalition member organizations to prepare for the battle ahead.
ADVOCACY GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS
In May 2018, advocates met with their legislators on the topics of Auto No Fault and distracted driving.
2 | 2018 Impact Statement
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