SABE Region 3


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New Mexico

There has been a lot that has happened in the past three months in the different New Mexico People First chapters. In each of the next sections, we will talk about the status of each chapter and how we are currently involved in each chapter.


The Albuquerque chapter has been doing great and we believe it is one of the leading chapters of People First of New Mexico. They have done quite a bit of fundraising over the past quarter and have had members become leaders in other areas. Amira is continuing work as the Region 3 SABE Representative and  is participating in the Partners in Policymaking advocacy program. The Junk in the Trunk fundraiser on March 1 raised $75.25. They have discussed future Junk in the Trunk fundraisers and holding them at various locations. They are also collecting $5 dues from members to help raise money. They have moved their pancake fundraiser to October. The chapter has also heard presentations from various groups such as the Parks and Recreation Manager of Rio Rancho regarding the “Park Above” Program. Finally, the chapter recently held new elections and named Roel Adamson as their VP and Byron Newman as the Treasurer. Amira Rasheed is staying on as the President and Daniel Ekman is staying on as the Secretary.


The Gallup chapter has been very active and has been working at length with other organizations. One of these groups is called the Association for Persons in Supported Employment Group. It is part of a national level group that meets twice a year to promote employment leadership among people who are in supported employment. Many members of the Gallup People First Chapter are officers in this organization. Jennifer is the current president and Alfred Begaye is the current secretary. Jennifer will be taking on the position of secretary in the future. They are also active in fundraising and have followed important pieces of legislation, such as the Doris Act in the Navajo Nation. This piece of legislation helps protect vulnerable Navajo Nation adults. They have consistent attendance at their meetings and will hold officer elections in the near future. They are planning on two events in the future. They want to conduct various Stop the R-Word events over the next three months, including at City Hall and the courts.

Las Cruces

This chapter has a good number of members and is still in the process of finding the right officers for their chapters. They still have strong membership and their secretary was just invited to participate in Partners in Policymaking. Advisors will continue to assist this chapter in finding and maintaining stable leadership in order to provide direction to the members.  That said, they remain active in the community. They are working on a proposal for next year to provide disability awareness education to first responders.

Santa Fe

This chapter has been doing well. They are currently doing training on self-advocacy for its members. The core group of members is strong, which is an improvement from the previous situation. The goal with this group is to attempt to grow and gain new members. They have started work on an accessible sidewalk campaign and have already begun to take pictures and write individual stories about the accessible sidewalks. They hope to meet with leaders and raise awareness about the issue in the future. The Santa Fe Chapter will continue their work on accessible sidewalks.


This chapter’s situation has improved dramatically from the last quarter and they have taken the lead in an exciting project. The advisors had to find new leadership for the chapter, but found a good individual for president named Victor. They collaborated on a phone tree and Victor called everyone 3-4 days before the meeting. Victor also suggested using a potluck to turn out. Turnout continues to be strong as a result of their improvements.

New Chapters

Las Vegas

This chapters is relatively new, but promising. They have regularly had attendance of 20 or more at their meetings. They also have strong leadership in Judy Sena, which has helped attendance. We are working with them to find what works best, but the future is bright for this chapter.


This chapter is a new chapter and a work in progress. We have identified leaders, but are working on solidifying the leadership and membership within the chapter. One official meeting was held just to go over the basics of People First.


This is another new chapter and we have identified named Tom. They are interested in self-advocacy and want to use People First to gain a voice for themselves. Self-advocates have attended their meetings and given presentations on various subjects. We will continue to work with them on leadership development and finding members.


This chapter is being formed from an existing Bing Bang Boom advocacy group. They want to be a People First chapter in order to solidify their outreach opportunities and network better with self-advocates across the state. Some members used to be a part of the Las Cruces chapter, but they found that their region and goals were distinct from Las Cruces, which meant that they felt they could be better served with their own chapter. They have strong leadership and support from The Arc of Southern New Mexico. Bing Bang Boom has also been active in various self-advocacy events on their own, which bodes well for the chapter in the future. They want to have an officers meeting on April 30 and we will be attending.

Goal of Forming a Statewide Board

The goal of forming a state-wide board is so the existing chapters have more of a shared responsibility in People First of New Mexico. It is also so that the advisors can know that they have a core group to meet with and talk about important issues that come up.  An interest meeting was held at the Summit on Social Equality to determine who is interested in becoming board members. We created a detailed presentation on our work that will not only promote the work that we do in People First, but will hopefully encourage people to become motivated to join the Statewide Board or at least consider membership in People First.


There are also important events that have taken place or that we are planning for in the near future. The following sections will review these events.

Arc National Conference

The Arc of New Mexico had been invited to the Arc National Conference in August. Those who will be attending will take materials regarding the self advocacy movement in New Mexico. There will also be a presentation on behalf of People First of New Mexico which has been collaborating with other self advocacy organizations from New York.

SEED’s Conference in Portland, Oregon

The Arc and People First of New Mexico has been welcomed, along with the Center for Self Advocacy, to attend the SEED’s conference in Portland, Oregon. We will be working together to share information about the self advocacy movement in New Mexico and also learn what has been successful in other organizations.

Outside Organization Updates

People First also has a couple of organizations in particular that they work with that have important developments that affect People First. These developments will be discussed below.

Allies for Advocacy

Work is continuing on the $5,000 grant for 2013. On the first goal, we have put together our board after an extensive interview process and will have our first board meeting on July 24. We have put together a very talented and diverse group of people including self-advocates, family members, dedicated allies in the professional community and even two state Senators.  Second, the group is also planning for its next outreach event in August, which will be held in Gallup. We will meet at the end of July to discuss how we will conduct our outreach. Our past event was hugely successful, as we hosted 1,100 people over the two days that we were in Silver City. We even had a visit from the local state Senator, Howie Morales.

Center for Self Advocacy

The Center for Self Advocacy has continued to collaborate with People First and has participated in many different events. We are working on the DD Waiver Waitlist Campaign, an anti-bullying campaign, and a rural outreach campaign. In April, we did a series of presentations for the national Stop The R-Word month on stopping the R-Word. We also continue to host the People First of Albuquerque chapter meetings. We have also assisted with various People First meetings throughout the state.  We have also been active throughout the state. We conducted anti-bullying outreach in a Belen elementary school and even conducted a follow up presentation at a teacher’s retreat for Belen. We also participated in the statewide summit on social equality and did two presentations, a keynote speech and assisted with a statewide People First meeting that reached 55 people. We also did a presentation in front of Albuquerque Public School teachers about our program. We are continuing to keep ourselves busy with events such as a camping retreat, participation in the New Mexico Network Initiative which is conducting statewide forums, a series of presentations to providers in Tucumcari, attendance at an ADA celebration in Las Cruces and our upcoming Fall Class for new advocates.

Last updated September 2013


People First of Utah had a successful conference in 2012. The theme of the Quality of life Conference  was Self-Advocates- Let your Voice Be Heard!

It was held at the  Sanderson Community Center and it included 12 classes on the topics of:

1. Safety training -Financial abuse

2. Voting – Why how when and what

3. Computer skills, social media, and safety

4. Safety training – Neglect and withholding support

5. Legislative Advocacy -How to talk with a Lawmakers

6. How to be a good self -advocate

7. Safety training  Physical and Verbal Abuse

8. People First of Utah Chapter Chair discussion on current challenges and successes- discussion breakout

9. Relationships Dating and speaking up for ourselves

10. Safety- training  Sexual Abuse

11.SABE and National self-advocacy

12.How to start a People First chapter in your neighborhood

The Board planned and organized the conference and did a great job. Everyone had a great time and learned something from the conference.

I am very proud  to be part of People First of Utah and I continue to learn all the time.

Kelly Holt, People First of Utah Board of Directors Chair.

Last updated May 2013


No new information