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On January 16th, over 50 people came to the Self-Driving Vehicles for Minnesotans with Disabilities kick-off event and explored how we might make self-driving vehicles accessible, reliable and affordable to many Minnesotans with disabilities.
Representative Jason Isaacson (in person), and Senator Matt Schmit (by pre-recorded video) declared their support for our work and their commitment to sponsor legislation in this year’s session. If passed, this legislation would create a “self-driving vehicles for Minnesotans with disabilities” task force.
The kick-off event participants had conversations about each of the five task force focus areas: legislation and public policy, community engagement, technology, social impact measures, and business and service delivery models. You can view the harvest from our conversations here.
At the end of the meeting, over 20 participants volunteered to work on one or more of the focus areas!
So Now What?
Our focus now turns to working with Representative Isaacson and Senator Schmit to procure state support for our task force, and get a pilot project started as soon as possible.
This means that our Legislation and Policy Team (with its 10 members!) is already hard at work drafting content for the legislation for consideration in this year’s legislative session, which begins on March 8th. The Community Engagement Team will launch in the next couple weeks to build support for this legislation throughout the state. Expect to hear updates from these two teams by the end of this month.
How Can I Help?
There’s a lot to do to get the legislation written and passed this session. Here are a couple things you could do right now.
- If you are interested in serving on any of the focus area teams, please fill out our “How You Can Help” form.
- Help us build our network of supporters. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, pet’s groomer, neighbors (you get the idea) about how important it will be for self-driving vehicles to be accessible, reliable and affordable for Minnesotans with disabilities. Encourage people to go to selfdrivingmn.orgto learn more about our efforts and sign-up using our “How You Can Help” form.
We’ll be sending you updates on our efforts to get the task force creation legislation written and passed.
In the mean time, if you have ideas for ways we can build public support for self-driving vehicles for people with disabilities, please connect with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for your support!
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