LANSING — State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) hosted members of nearly two dozen organizations that represent people with disabilities in Lansing Thursday for a Civic Engagement Day. The purpose of the Civic Engagement Day was to learn how to speak with legislators about the needs and concerns of people with disabilities, about pending legislation that might affect people with disabilities and to speak with legislators about current legislation and personal concerns.

“I’m always encouraged when I see more people become involved with government and the legislative process. I was thrilled to be asked to host this event and to offer some suggestions about how to make the most of their day at the Capitol,” said Rep. Brinks, who is the Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Health Policy Committee. “I know that families across the state are deeply concerned about health care matters, and I’m always ready to listen to the concerns and ideas people have about the quality of health care in Michigan and their ability to access it.”

Organizations participating in the Civic Engagement Day included the Arthritis Foundation Michigan Chapter, Disability Network, Disability Rights Coalition, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, Michigan Family Voices, Michigan Paralyzed Veterans, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter, Sickle Cell Disease Association’s Michigan Chapter, Susan G. Komen Michigan Chapter, Michigan Hands & Voices, Area Agency on Aging 1C, American Diabetes Association, Justice in Mental Health Charter House Clubhouse, Michigan Physical Therapy Association, Peckham, Common Ground, Community Living Services, Autism Alliance, Michigan Protection and Advocacy, Michigan Education Association and The Arc Michigan.

“Health care is a major concern for all families, but for families who have a child with diabetes, a veteran parent with a brain injury or a grandparent with cancer, having access to excellent health care isn’t just important — it’s essential,” Rep. Brinks said. “I’m committed to making sure everyone in Michigan can get the health care they need, and to protecting the rights of people with disabilities to pursue opportunities and achieve their dreams.”