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 The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence


       The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence

February 28, 2024

The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence ( is taking significant steps to advocate with New York State legislators to request a 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment for Direct Support Professional and for the Direct Support Wage Enhancement to be included in the One-House Budget. These requests were not included in Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal, so members of the agency’s leadership team visited Albany earlier this month to ask for support. Self-Advocates also attended a rally at the State Capitol Building to call on elected officials to, “Invest in Me!”

Lynn Pietroski, Chief Executive Officer; Tara Lortz, Chief Operating Officer; and Michelle Quinell-Gayle, Director of Community Relations, met with Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush and Assemblyman Scott Gray in Albany. Three members of the North Country Self-Advocates group participated in a rally organized by The Arc New York. The advocates included Michael Coughlin, Roger McConnell, and Joe Soares, who attended along with staff members John Leo, the group’s advisor and an Incident Management Coordinator, and with Michelle Leo, Staff Development Educator.

The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence recently partnered with The Arc New York Central Region Chapters on a “Legislative Call-In Day” aimed to raise awareness and garner support for the key legislative priorities crucial to enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The other chapters included were: The Arc Otsego, The Arc of Delaware County, ACHIEVE, Arc of Onondaga, The Arc Oneida-Lewis, The Arc of the Greater Hudson Valley, The Arc Madison Cortland, and Arc Herkimer.

The results of the Legislative Call-In Day are a testament to the dedication and the collective advocacy efforts of the chapters. Together, they made a significant impact, reaching 26 legislators with a total of 2,608 total calls, emails, and faxes, throughout 17 Counties represented by nine chapters of The Arc New York.

Members of the public are encouraged to help by reaching out to elected officials and encouraging them to include the 3.2% COLA and the Direct Support Wage Enhancement in the budget, or by completing a quick and easy, one-click campaign at

The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence provides lifelong opportunities that enhance the lives of people, so that they may achieve their goals and aspirations. To learn more, visit or find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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In the photo from left to right: 
Michelle Leo, Michael Coughlin, Joe Soares, Roger McConnell, and John Leo

Michelle Leo, Michael Coughlin, Joe Soares, Roger McConnell, and John Leo

About The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence:
The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence seeks to be the premier provider of services for people with diverse needs through the continuum of life.