On Wednesday, February 5th, VOCAL, alongside our advocacy partners, NAMI VA, MHAV, Voices for Virginia’s Kids, and the SAARA Center, will be hosting Mental Health Advocacy Day 2020. 

Registration for Mental Health Advocacy Day is closed. The information below is for individuals already registered.

If you would still like to participate in the legislative session, but are not registered for Advocacy Day, please contact your legislators

Why is my participation important?

As a constituent of a representative’s district, you are essentially their employer. The responsibility of your Delegate and Senator is to represent your interests. With that said, you must be sure to share your interests and opinions with your elected officials. 

Who are my elected representatives?

If you do not know already who is currently representing you in Virginia’s House of Representatives and the Senate, please click here to find out.  

What will the day’s schedule include?

  • Following a morning welcome from the event organizers, the morning will consist of individual and/or small group meeting with legislators. 
  • After these advocacy meetings (8am-11am), we invite all Advocacy Day participants to join us on the Capitol Building steps for a group photo at 11:15am.
  • Following the group photo, we encourage interested participants to head inside the Capitol Building at 12pm to observe the Senate or House Chamber proceedings, explore the grounds of the Capitol and surrounding areas, or simply head home.

 

Where should participants plan to meet VOCAL staff on February 5th?

VOCAL and our coalition partners’ headquarters for the event will be at the University of Richmond Downtown building. The physical address is 626 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219. The building is located at the intersection of E. Broad St. & N. 7th St.

Due to the large number of Advocacy Day participants, the organizers request that our participants arrive to the University building in shifts, based on the time of scheduled appointment with representatives. This information (arrive times & appointment times) will be shared with registrants via email by Sophie Fontaine, with NAMI VA. 

Another option, dependent on your scheduled appointment time, is to arrive directly to the General Assembly Building. All meetings with legislators will be held in the Pocohontas Building, 900 E Main St., Richmond, VA 23219. 

Is there free parking?

No, free parking is not readily available in the downtown area of Richmond. There are a number of public parking lots in the downtown area of Richmond. Generally, if you are parked in public lots for more than 2 hours, the rate will be between $10-$25. This link will bring you to a map of the location of the lots. 

Is there public transportation?

Yes, we highly recommend Advocacy Day participants utilize public transportation! If you are riding the Pulse line, the Government Center stop will drop you at E. Broad St. & N. 9th Street. For the full GRTC systems map and trip planner, please go to the GRTC website

Please contact VOCAL’s Network Director, Elizabeth Bouldin-Clopton (elizabeth@nullvocalvirginia.org) with any additional questions.

We hope that Mental Health Advocacy Day will continue to be utilized as a platform to promote the participation of peer voices during the legislative session. Every voice is important. Every voice should be heard!

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