The California Advocacy Summit, held on April 16, brought 21 advocates representing the National Psoriasis Foundation from all corners of the state to Sacramento. More than 70 participants in total – including coalition partners from the Arthritis Foundation and California Rheumatology Alliance – were ready to engage their lawmakers on two bills, Assembly Bill 2863 and Senate Bill 1021, both impacting a patient’s out-of-pocket costs.
The morning kicked off early with trainings and a teen panel. The trainings guided advocates through best practices to structure their meetings, the ins and outs of our bills, and what it means to be an expert of their story. Our teen panel consisted of four Youth Ambassadors, two of whom represented NPF. The teens discussed – through their unique perspective – their experience in advocacy, highlighting times when their story had a direct impact on a lawmaker and how it moved an issue forward. The teens helped the audience understand how easy it is for people to participate in advocacy and its lasting impact on our communities.
After an exhilarating morning, we walked with purpose to the capitol, only a block away. Upon entering, everyone wanted to take a photo with the famous bronze bear in front of the governor’s office. After the photo shoot, advocates dispersed throughout the building, meeting with 26 senators and 32 assembly members. Throughout the afternoon, our home base, in the basement of the capitol, was noisy with advocates discussing their meetings, some even recognizing their lawmakers in the hallways and pulling them aside to discuss our issues.
The day brought an overwhelmingly positive response around our issues. No matter their side of the aisle, lawmakers in California were excited to hear from their constituents and wanted to support legislation that could help a patient’s out-of-pocket costs.
The next day our priority bill, AB 2863, was unanimously passed out of the Assembly Committee on Health because of our advocates. This summit was the beginning for many advocates who will work tirelessly this legislative session to ensure that Californians have better access to care.
Join the cause
If you’re a California resident and want to get more involved, contact our Government Relations Manager in the Western Region, Brittany Duffy-Goche at [email protected]. You can also support our efforts on social media through Facebook and Twitter.
Driving discovery, creating community
For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.