Mackenzie Wann (above, left) testifies before the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Colleges & Universities on March 16, 2023. You can watch her full testimony here.
Our Wisconsin CAN advocates continue to rack up the wins! Early this week we got word that the Senate Health Committee voted in favor of our SCI Research Grant Bill (SB27) with a 5 to 1 vote of approval!
Compounding this good news is the positive impact this process is having on our SCI community.
I want to briefly share with you an encouraging exchange I had with one of U2FP’s newer Wisconsin CAN advocates, Mackenzie Wann. Mackenzie is a quadriplegic who testified in support of our bill at last Thursday’s Assembly hearing for the Colleges and Universities committee (which is currently being deliberated). Here’s our (lightly edited) correspondence following a great round of testimony last friday:
From: Jason Stoffer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Mar 16, 2023 at 4:38 PM
To: Mackenzie Wann
I heard that you crushed it. I was so frustrated to not have been able to watch you guys in action.
How was the experience?
Thanks for being awesome.
From: Mackenzie Wann
Date: Thu, Mar 16, 2023 at 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: Testimony
To: Jason Stoffer <email@example.com>
Man, you really know how to stroke my ego!!! :-) I think absolutely everyone who testified today just crushed it. I feel like the hearing went really well, overall, but with it being my first time, I probably don’t have a good feel for it yet.
The whole experience was absolutely AMAZING. It was not only very interesting to watch the legislative process from a different perspective, but it was also very invigorating, and made me feel proud of the contribution that I am making to our community .
Most of all, thank YOU for everything that you do for our advocacy group. You serve as a wonderful model/example for things we can be doing for our own disabled community and you are an integral part of this fight we are going through. Simply put, you are an inspiration to me!!!
With utmost respect,
It was pretty encouraging for me to receive Mackenzie’s reply and a good reflection of how I think the folks in WI are feeling at the moment.
And all of you reading this right now are key players with Mackenzie. We still have several representatives from the Colleges & Universities Committee that are leaning maybe or no and/or haven’t signaled they’ll vote yes. We need them to hear from our SCI Community today.
Please contact these Wisconsin Representatives today, no matter what state or country you live in:
- Vice-Chair Amanda Nedweski
(608) 237-9161 | Rep.Nedweski@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Scott Krug
(608) 237-9172 | Rep.Nedweski@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Tom Michalski
(608) 237-9113 | Rep.Michalski@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Ellen Schutt
(608) 237-9131 | Rep.Schutt@legis.wisconsin.gov
When you contact these representatives, make the below message your own, emphasize your story and why this matters to you:
Dear [Representative Name Here],
My name is ____ ______, and I [have a spinal cord injury / am family/friend of someone with a spinal cord injury]. Please vote in support of our Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant Bill (AB19) at your committee hearing this Thursday, March 16th.
This is a smart, efficient bill that would:
- Keep the funds in Wisconsin
- Allow SCI Community members like me to help decide what research gets funded
- Cap indirect costs at 8% (ie no bloated admin costs)
This legislation will get SCI research out of the lab and into people like [me/my family/friend]. We desperately need this bill to be heard and passed this session. Our community can’t wait!
Getting a unanimous or near-unanimous approval from this Assembly committee puts our bill in a much stronger position, potentially being fast-tracked for a final vote!
Let's get this done!