The prime focus of the Advocacy and Government Relations program is to improve the quality of life of our members. This is achieved through active involvement with local, state, and national legislation, partnership with other PVA Chapters and veterans service organizations, an active relationship with VA Medical Center staff and therapists, and continuous research and community involvement. The Gateway Chapter President, Stanley Brown, is the acting Government Relations Director and works on various advocacy issues, member events and ancillary duties.
Emphasis is placed on the following:
• Advocating for quality healthcare, veterans’ benefits and other issues of concern to our members.
• Promoting disability rights, with particular emphasis on community accessibility and improved travel, using the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws.
• Researching and regularly communicating relevant events, government and legislative news and other information to Chapter members and to the Board of Directors at monthly meetings, quarterly membership meetings and in bi-monthly Chapter newsletters.
The annual PVA Advocacy/Legislation Seminar in Washington D.C. is a seminal event for this program, as it gives the Chapter the opportunity to meet with congressional representatives and present them with legislative and policy issues of major concern to veterans and the disability community at large. It also provides a unique forum to share ideas and topics with other Chapters, and gives Chapters the opportunity to engage in advocacy training and educational seminars addressing the current issues affecting our member base.