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Old 11-23-08, 05:44 PM   #1
Bud Bent
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What kind of advocacy work do other bf50+'ers do?

Let me say right here that with my family, job, and cycling and fishing hobbies, I haven't made time in the past to advocate for anything. But November 1st, I was one of two survivor speakers at the DFW Walk/Run for Lungevity event. Katie Brown, founder of the Lung Cancer Support Community, who hosted the event to raise money for lung cancer research, had asked me to speak. The other speaker was Jerrold Dash, a former college football player who received a rare double lung transplant.

There are so few lung cancer survivors in any kind of condition to be able to speak at an event like this, plus Jerrold and I both had unusual enough stories to tell, and even though I hadn't done any kind of public speaking for many years, I felt compelled to do it. Lung cancer kills more people than any other kind of cancer, but its research is the most underfunded of any major disease. My wife put together a team for the 5k walk, and a bunch of my cycling friends participated. I expect that I will participate as a survivor in other fund raising events.

What kind of advocacy work do other 50+'ers do?

Last edited by Bud Bent; 11-24-08 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 11-23-08, 06:01 PM   #2
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It is so great that you are "here" to speak to these folks. WOW!

As I seem to have told everyone many, many times - well, I will just mention it one more time.

There are waiting lists of 20 years or more for 300,000 to 400,000 individuals with developmental disabilities all across the country, in all states but 4 for desperately needed services. Once these folks leave the school system at age 21, they, essentially, drop the face of the earth.

Skills taught in school are forgotten. Many could be employed with some additional training and support, and could actually pay taxes.

This past 2 years, I devoted 100's of hours toward getting an Initiative amendment to fund services on the Colorado ballot for November 4, 2008. We succeeded in getting the Initiative on the ballot (131,000 petition signatures), but, just before the election, the economy literally went to heck.

We lost the election, but did get 809,000 favorable votes - about 40% of the ballot. another 11% and it would have passed.

Also, I have founded a national group, NOEWAIT, to advocate nationally for services and for PORTABILITY between states. Once one is lucky enough to get off the wait list in one state, if you move to anouther state, you have to start all over again.

http://www.noewait.net

Geraldo Rivera will spend an hour highlighting this problem on his show, January 6, 2009. This is the result of many of our efforts, and we finally have the national Arc on board, who have enough clout to get Geraldo to do this. Many years ago, Geraldo exposed the terrible abuse at Willowbrook - a New Uork State institution.

In addition, I am always involved in exposing waste and unfair practices in our own delivery system. This past year, an advocate friend of mine was offered a $5,000 donation to her own 501c3 if she could get me to stop my advocacy and exposes'

Some of the things I have exposed in the non-profit organizations which serve our children and adults with DD:
  • Salaries and benefits of $330,000 for one Executive Director in our service delivery system
  • A contribution by one of the non-profits of $50,000 to the FOR-PROFIT business of a former Board member.
  • A 1 million dollar loss over 3 years of a supposedly money-making LLC subsidiary of one of these organizations.
All of these funds could have gone for services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition, I run two parents groups involved in system-wide advocacy, etc., etc.

I have testified before the legislature, and spoken in a number of venues.

That is what I have done!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-23-08 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-23-08, 06:56 PM   #3
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Hats off to Dnvrfox for your good work! Over 800K votes a few weeks ago suggests that there's enough interest in Colorado to keep your movement alive; hope you'll try again.

My contribution to the greater good is to serve as a board member and officer of one of the 7 trail groups that make up the Great Allegheny Passage--a rail-to-trail project that connects Pittsburgh, PA, and Cumberland, MD, which then links with the C&0 Canal trail to offer a car-free 318-mile biking and hiking trail between Pittsburgh and D.C. through some spectacular and historically significant lands. Our efforts are focused on completing the last 7-mile missing link of the GAP just southeast of the city of Pittsburgh, and the last property owner holdout--a water park!--is at last working with the entity that actually owns the trail to finish this segment by this time next year. The volunteers who work hard to maintain and promote the GAP are as tireless as they are selfless; come visit--i'll bake a pie!
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Old 11-23-08, 08:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bluetail View Post
My contribution to the greater good is to serve as a board member and officer of one of the 7 trail groups that make up the Great Allegheny Passage....come visit--i'll bake a pie!
A pie? I'm on my way. Years ago, I rode the length of the C&O Canal towpath, which was fantastic. Now that the Allegheny Passage is completed, I'd love to do the entire route.

My own small contribution involves donating platelets at least once a month. Platelets are essential to many life-saving therapies, notably chemotherapy, organ transplants and bone marrow transplants. Although it takes some time, it's quite easy to do. It's satisfying, because you know you're saving lives; you don't have to go to any committee meetings; and you get a snack when you're finished.

Realizing many people can't or don't feel comfortable donating blood or platelets, I'm a fairly low-key advocate for this worthwhile endeavor, but if you'd like to know more, you can find info here:

http://www.redcross.org/services/bio...,0_19_,00.html
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Old 11-23-08, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Bent View Post
Let me say right here that with my family, job, and cycling and fishing hobbies, I haven't made time in the past to advocate for anything. But November 1st, I was one of two survivor speakers at the DFW Walk/Run for Lungevity event. Katie Brown, founder of the Lung Cancer Support Community, who hosted the event to raise money for lung cancer research, had asked me to speak. The other speaker was Jerold Dash, a former college football player who received a rare double lung transplant.

There are so few lung cancer survivors in any kind of condition to be able to speak at an event like this, plus Jerold and I both had unusual enough stories to tell, and even though I hadn't done any kind of public speaking for many years, I felt compelled to do it. Lung cancer kills more people than any other kind of cancer, but its research is the most underfunded of any major disease. My wife put together a team for the 5k walk, and a bunch of my cycling friends participated. I expect that I will participate as a survivor in other fund raising events.

What kind of advocacy work do other 50+'ers do?
Thank you
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Old 11-23-08, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
It is so great that you are "here" to speak to these folks. WOW!

As I seem to have told everyone many, many times - well, I will just mention it one more time.

There are waiting lists of 20 years or more for 300,000 to 400,000 individuals with developmental disabilities all across the country, in all states but 4 for desperately needed services. Once these folks leave the school system at age 21, they, essentially, drop the face of the earth.

Skills taught in school are forgotten. Many could be employed with some additional training and support, and could actually pay taxes.

This past 2 years, I devoted 100's of hours toward getting an Initiative amendment to fund services on the Colorado ballot for November 4, 2008. We succeeded in getting the Initiative on the ballot (131,000 petition signatures), but, just before the election, the economy literally went to heck.

We lost the election, but did get 809,000 favorable votes - about 40% of the ballot. another 11% and it would have passed.

Also, I have founded a national group, NOEWAIT, to advocate nationally for services and for PORTABILITY between states. Once one is lucky enough to get off the wait list in one state, if you move to anouther state, you have to start all over again.

http://www.noewait.net

Geraldo Rivera will spend an hour highlighting this problem on his show, January 6, 2009. This is the result of many of our efforts, and we finally have the national Arc on board, who have enough clout to get Geraldo to do this. Many years ago, Geraldo exposed the terrible abuse at Willowbrook - a New Uork State institution.

In addition, I am always involved in exposing waste and unfair practices in our own delivery system. This past year, an advocate friend of mine was offered a $5,000 donation to her own 501c3 if she could get me to stop my advocacy and exposes'

Some of the things I have exposed in the non-profit organizations which serve our children and adults with DD:
  • Salaries and benefits of $330,000 for one Executive Director in our service delivery system
  • A contribution by one of the non-profits of $50,000 to the FOR-PROFIT business of a former Board member.
  • A 1 million dollar loss over 3 years of a supposedly money-making LLC subsidiary of one of these organizations.
All of these funds could have gone for services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition, I run two parents groups involved in system-wide advocacy, etc., etc.

I have testified before the legislature, and spoken in a number of venues.

That is what I have done!
Thank you
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Old 11-23-08, 08:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
A pie? I'm on my way. Years ago, I rode the length of the C&O Canal towpath, which was fantastic. Now that the Allegheny Passage is completed, I'd love to do the entire route.

My own small contribution involves donating platelets at least once a month. Platelets are essential to many life-saving therapies, notably chemotherapy, organ transplants and bone marrow transplants. Although it takes some time, it's quite easy to do. It's satisfying, because you know you're saving lives; you don't have to go to any committee meetings; and you get a snack when you're finished.

Realizing many people can't or don't feel comfortable donating blood or platelets, I'm a fairly low-key advocate for this worthwhile endeavor, but if you'd like to know more, you can find info here:

http://www.redcross.org/services/bio...,0_19_,00.html
Thank you
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Old 11-23-08, 08:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bluetail View Post
Hats off to Dnvrfox for your good work! Over 800K votes a few weeks ago suggests that there's enough interest in Colorado to keep your movement alive; hope you'll try again.

My contribution to the greater good is to serve as a board member and officer of one of the 7 trail groups that make up the Great Allegheny Passage--a rail-to-trail project that connects Pittsburgh, PA, and Cumberland, MD, which then links with the C&0 Canal trail to offer a car-free 318-mile biking and hiking trail between Pittsburgh and D.C. through some spectacular and historically significant lands. Our efforts are focused on completing the last 7-mile missing link of the GAP just southeast of the city of Pittsburgh, and the last property owner holdout--a water park!--is at last working with the entity that actually owns the trail to finish this segment by this time next year. The volunteers who work hard to maintain and promote the GAP are as tireless as they are selfless; come visit--i'll bake a pie!
Thank you
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Old 11-24-08, 05:44 PM   #9
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From time to time I have been involved in city planning, development, traffic, and environmental issues.
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Old 11-24-08, 09:46 PM   #10
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About four years ago, after serving on a few community committees involved in mapping local road routes to be included in statewide planning for bicycle routes and associated facilities, I came to realize that my town was in need of a bicycling-oriented organization to develop some clout for improving conditions for safe and convenient cycling. I knew that there were quite a few active cyclists around, but there was no sense of a cycling community.

In an attempt to change that, I decided to see if I could start a bicycling club. I created a Yahoo Group, posted flyers around town and on the local college campus, sent emails and made phone calls to every cyclist I knew to set up a meeting to discuss starting a club. A handful of people showed up expressing interest and we planned a ride that weekend. Things rapidly progressed and we were soon having regular road and MTB rides on weekdays each week and longer rides on the weekends. We usually had a dozen or so people show up, not bad for our small town. As the club grew, we became more organized and incorporated. We elected officers - I have been the club president since we started, though I intend to let someone else take a turn at the helm soon.

Things progressed and before long we were having beginner clinics, making presentations at civic clubs and kids camps. We started staging awareness rides to call attention to the presence of bicyclist on the roads. We organized work parties to build an maintain local MTB trails. We planned a pay ride to raise funds for buying "Share the Road" signs which was successful beyond our wildest dreams. We are now planning our 4th Annual April Fools Ride which we expect will draw over a hundred riders and raise a couple of thousand dollars for advocacy projects (mostly through sponsor donations). We get front page coverage in the local newspaper a few times every year for various rides and projects we stage to improve cycling conditions in one way or another.

In the short time our club has been around, we have brought several new people into the ranks of bicyclists and we have had a lot of fun while giving ourselves the chance to ride more often with a great bunch of folks. We have developed our own website and discussion forum. We have greatly increase the level of awareness of bicyclists among the community and among the local businesses and civic leaders. We have taken advantage of many opportunities to discuss ways to make cycling safer with city and county government officials.

We hope to continue to find ways to make our community a better and safer place for more people to ride bikes more often (and have more fun).
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Old 11-25-08, 08:39 AM   #11
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I recently was asked to serve as a county representitve on the Northeast Ohio Areawide Cooridinating Agency (NOACA) Bicycle Action Committee. NOACA is a regional clearing house for governmental funding in the Cleveland Ohio Area. Our committe will look at transportation projects and discuss options for making the projects accessible or better for cyclist. My whole working carrer is in local government and I have a fairly good grasp of the issues faced when using tax dollars for public projects and the constraints and strings attached to the funding.
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Old 11-26-08, 12:15 PM   #12
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I used to donate platelets at Dana-Faber Cancer Institue, but eventually I became anemic and had to stop. Now my statins keep my liver enzymes just above their acceptable limit. I finally decided if I couldn't give platelets I could give sweat and started riding the Pan-Mass Challenge which supports DFCI. I retired this spring, so I won't be able to raise enough money to be a rider this year, I will be a volunteer. However, retirement has given me the time to volunteer at Bikes-not-Bombs, teaching inner city kids how to rebuild & repair donated bikes. That is very satisfying.
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Old 11-29-08, 06:57 PM   #13
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Most of my advocacy work is done through the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas (BACA)

We have helped build the Big Dam Bridge (Worlds longest bicycle/pedestrian bridge), worked to help complete the River Trail and basically act as an information source for all things bicycle in Little Rock.

Personally, to that end, I have helped at the BACA booth at Earth Day, The Natural State Expo and as a volunteer at the National Trails Symposium. I've also helped coordinate our Ride of Silence and next week's entry in the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday parade.
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