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The program that she just graduated from is called "Partners in
Policymaking" and is a leadership training program sponsored by the
Texas Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. Lujan was one of
only 36 people in the state of Texas to complete the latest eight
The Partners program explores developmental disability issues and helps
participants build skills that self-advocates and family members can use
to effectively influence public policy and obtain the most appropriate
services for themselves or those they are acting as advocates for.
Lujan completed the program because she is the parent of a
developmentally disabled child and wanted to become an advocate for her
child. She intends to use what she learned from the program not only to
help her own child, but others in the community with developmental
disabilities as well.
Lujan wants to hear from other parents who have children who have
children with developmental disabilities. She would like to hear your
questions or comments about any services that your children are
receiving."This is very important because I learned in Partners that in
Texas, rural areas are greatly under served. However, if parent
advocates and self advocates start speaking up, we can improve the
quality of services that are provided, such as supported employment,
special education and independent living." Lujan can be contacted at
One project which Lujan is planning is a local newsletter to inform
parents of children with disabilities of current educational and health
issues at the local, state and national levels. One of these issues is
House Bill 1800, which will hold school districts accountable for the
progress made by students who receive special education services through
the state system for evaluating the performance of public schools, she
The information Lujan provided mentioned that two new Partners in
Policymaking classes will begin this fall in Austin and El Paso. Lujan
also pointed out that the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
pays all expenses for travel, lodging, meals, respite care and personal
assistance services. They can be contacted at 1-800-687-8072 for further
The reason I wanted to use this forum to announce Lisa Lujan's
accomplishment was not just to make her graduation known, but to point
out that she is a member of the community who identified a need and took
action to fill that need instead of just complaining about there being a
lack of services in the area.
When I was in the Army, they used to tell us all the time, "If you're
not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Just pointing out
a problem doesn't help anything if you don't even have a suggestion as
to how to correct the problem. I've seen a lot of people pointing out
the many areas where there are things lacking in town since I've been
here, but it seems like I'm starting to see more constructive
suggestions on how to improve things lately, and more actually being
done to make this a better place to live and work.
Editor's Note: Cara Alligood is an Enterprise writer and advertising administrator.
Today is Wednesday, April 30, the 120th day of 1997. There are 245 days
left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 30, 1945, as Russian troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf
Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.
On this date:
In 1789, George Washington took office in New York as the first
president of the United States.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from
In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state.
In 1900, Hawaii was organized as a U.S. territory.
In 1939, the New York World's Fair, billed as a look at ``the world of
tomorrow,'' officially opened.
In 1947, President Truman signed a measure officially changing the name
of Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.
In 1948, the Organization of American States held its first meeting, in
In 1970, President Nixon announced the United States was sending troops
into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest.
In 1973, President Nixon announced the resignations of his aides H.R.
Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, along with Attorney General Richard
Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean.
In 1975, the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist
In 1991, an estimated 125,000 people died as a cyclone struck
Ten years ago: Pope John Paul II began a five-day visit to West Germany.
President Reagan welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to
the White House. Education Secretary William Bennett called for
mandatory AIDS testing for several groups of people, including hospital
patients and prison inmates.
Five years ago: As rioting in Los Angeles entered its second day,
President Bush condemned the violence and said the Justice Department
would intensify its investigation of police conduct in the beating of
One year ago: President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
signed an accord in Washington extending U.S. help to Israel in
Today's Birthdays: Princess Juliana of the Netherlands is 88. Actor Al
Lewis is 87. Actress Cloris Leachman is 71. Singer Willie Nelson is 64.
Talk show host Gary Collins is 59. Actor Burt Young is 57. Singer Bobby
Vee is 54. Actress Jill Clayburgh is 53. Actor Perry King is 49. Singer
Merril Osmond is 44. Movie director Jane Campion (``The Piano'') is 43.
Basketball player Isiah Thomas is 36. Country musician Robert Reynolds
(The Mavericks) is 35. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 30. Rock musician Clark
Vogeler (Toadies) is 28. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris ``Choc''
Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 26. Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla)
is 25. Actor Johnny Galecki (``Roseanne'') is 22. Actress Kirsten Dunst
Thought for Today: ``Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class
is its future.'' - Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).
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