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CESSA Virtual Lobbying Week 2020


Support Non-Police Emergency Response Option for Illinois

Advocate for CESSA During Virtual Lobbying Week, October 2020

Two people sit on a bench as one consoles the other by touching the other’s shoulder.
CESSA would create emergency mental and behavioral health services WITHOUT POLICE. (Image created by Genevieve Silva)

Join us in our campaign to pass Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA) in the Illinois General Assembly. CESSA increases coordination for 911-level emergency services in order to create a mobile response option for mental and behavioral health crises, one that does NOT RELY ON POLICE.

From October 12th to 16th, Advance Your Leadership Power members will hold a virtual campaign for CESSA. We are asking mental health professionals, community organizations, and community residents to join us in advocating for CESSA, and to share your testimonies about how and why CESSA can fill a key gap in emergency mental and behavioral health needs. CESSA is NOT based on a co-responder model, in which police are accompanied by social workers. Instead, CESSA aims to take the load off the law enforcement system by more appropriate response to non-violent emergency situations. You can find more specific information about CESSA and what CESSA would do here.

Virtual Lobbying Week Schedule

Monday, October 12 – Friday, October 16

  • October 12: Advocate Personal Testimony Day
  • October 13: Emergency Responder/Professional Testimony Day
  • October 14: Illinois House Advocacy Day
  • October 15: Illinois Senate Advocacy Day
  • October 16: Governor of Illinois Advocacy Day

After our Week of Action, join us for an online mobilizing meeting. Date TBD.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are a ton of ways for you to get involved with the CESSA Virtual Lobbying Week and help us advocate for this important Illinois State bill:

Social Media

  • Share images and action alerts (download on left-hand side of this page) on social media
  • You can write your own or follow Access Living on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share Access Living’s posts about CESSA.
  • Use #SupportCESSA on any posts you publish on social media!

Contact your elected representatives in Illinois

  • Email and call your Illinois State Legislators and ask them to support CESSA during the November 2020 veto session. Look up your legislators here.

Share Your Testimony

  • Write a paragraph (500 words or fewer) on why you support CESSA.
  • Write a post about CESSA on your personal blog and send us a link to your post.
  • Create a short video about why you support CESSA (videos need to be captioned).

Use the form at the bottom of this page to contribute your own personal testimony about how and why CESSA would benefit you and your community.

Upload a video testimonial:

Submit a written testimonial:

This form is closed for submissions.