On Monday, October 29th 2018, 51 NAMI members throughout Los Angeles County from 10 affiliates gathered for the San Fernando Valley Regional Advocacy Meeting.
NAMI California, in collaboration with NAMI San Fernando Valley and NAMI Los Angeles County Council, coordinated the San Fernando Valley Regional Advocacy Meeting to provide members the opportunity to discuss priority issues in Los Angeles County. Regional Advocacy Meetings are designed to bring together members of the public, family members, community-based organizations, program leaders, and local NAMI affiliates to discuss priority issues. A big part of these meetings is working with Department of Mental Health staff to discuss the public planning and share ways members engage with that process.
Working in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, NAMI California invited all the Service Area Chiefs to a panel discussion with NAMI members. The Service Area Chiefs who participated in the panel discussion were:
Theion Perkins - Service Area 1
La Tina Jackson - Service Area 2
Lisa Wong - Service Area 3
Jacquelyn Wilcoxen - Service Area 5
Dennis Murata - Service Area 8
After a passionate and engaging panel discussion with the Service Area Chiefs, NAMI members took part in the NAMI Smarts training hosted by Deanna Robinson, NAMI San Fernando Valley Executive Director, and Jean Harris, NAMI Antelope Valley.
NAMI Smarts is a training developed to train NAMI members on how to engage policy makers in our priority issues. NAMI Smarts modules teach members how share their story with legislators, give an elevator speech, write letters of support/opposition, and other avenues of advocacy.
After having an opportunity to learn advocacy skills, members had a chance to break into groups and discuss local priority issues to move forward with in Los Angeles County. Our members discussed various needs in their communities ranging from the housing crisis to criminal justice reform.
This meeting will be the first in a series of advocacy discussions in Los Angeles. Thank you to Deanna Robinson, Susan Levi, and Brittney Weissman for their coordination of this successful event.