Thursday, January 25, 2007

Speaking of dialogue, a fable

The Coyotes, The Foxes and The Wolf

Once upon a time, in the east of the county, there was a fox hunting ground. The land was full of rabbits and the foxes lived well. One day, a wolf came and started eating rabbits and howling at the moon. The foxes feared that the howl would attract human hunters who would take all the rabbits and leave the foxes to starve. So the foxes snuck up on the wolf and quickly tore out his throat.

All was well in foxland until a pack of coyotes came and started hunting and baying. "We must get rid of the coyotes like we did the wolf," said one fox.
"There are too many and they're bigger than us," said another.
"I have a plan," said a third and all the foxes saw that it was a wise plan.

The foxes sent an emmisary to the coyotes to suggest a conference on sustainable lagoculture. For their empowerment, the fox ambassador suggested that the coyotes as immigrants should convene the planning committee which would develop, identify and elect the steering committee for the conference.

Moral: It is kinder to silence your neighbors by fang than by forum.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The new legislative year is underway. Having consulted a crystal ball, or at least a coke bottle, I feel confident making the following prediction about the course of advocacy this year:

January: The first post of the year on Developmental Disability System Reform will post on or before the 22nd. This marks the traditional start of the Advocacy Calendar.

February: The 2007 A New Day California conference will promote a new approach to day services with a curriculum based on the assumption that change lags for want of public hectoring to encourage it. Various dignitaries and assorted charlatans will cure the disease but the symptoms will continue unabated. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will propose legislation to expand membership and stimulate activism at the California Rehabilitation Assocition (CRA.)

March: Many parts of the advocacy community will press for system reform, defined as funding increases.

April: Many parts of the advocacy community will press for system reform, defined as rate increases.

May: Upon release of the Governor's May Budget Revision and the "discovery" that costs and revenues are further out of balance than previously "thought." The advocacy community will press for ending the rate freeze, defined as system reform.

June: The budget will not pass by the constitutional deadline.

July: The budget will pass and will be okay except from an accounting standpoint.

August: Meetings will be held to develop a white paper on system reform.

September: Legislators will be educated on the needs of the system by advocates, then locusts.

October: There will be a vendor-organized conference based on the assumption that change lags for want of public hectoring of regional centers. Less luminous dignitaries and charlatans will address that deficit than will have at the ARCA conference.

November: An ILS agency Executive Director will turn 40 and wonder what's taking so long.

December: Meetings will be scheduled for the purpose of getting a head start on next year's advocacy and then postponed until February.