We are pleased to welcome Carrie Duran in her new role as Legislative Liaison at Lakes Region Community Services. Carrie comes to us with over five years of legislative and advocacy experience. Her advocacy journey began when her youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome. “After my daughter was born, I was compelled to do all I could to ensure a wonderful future for her and for others with disabilities. By sharing my personal experiences, I have found a way to give back to my community. As a single mother, my focus has evolved to include issues that affect all families. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to help others.” Recently, Carrie shared part of her journey with the Disability Rights Center in their recent Issue of the RAP Sheet. https://drcnh.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Fall-2019-RAP-Sheet-WEB-POSTING.pdf

During the 2017 legislative session, Carrie advocated for both the expansion of New Hampshire’s child care scholarship program and state funding for full-day kindergarten. In both 2016 and 2018, she was integral to the fight for the reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion. Her willingness to share her personal story with lawmakers, community members, and other advocates led to increased funding to support early childhood development and the continuation of access to health care. Her work resulted in becoming an appointed public member to the state commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the state’s Medicaid Expansion program; she will serve in that capacity through 2021. In 2018, New Futures recognized her advocacy efforts by awarding her with the Health and Wellness Scholarship Award.

As a parent, Carrie volunteers with many organizations, including the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disability, the New Hampshire State Family Support Council, and as a board member of Lakes Region Community Developers. “As a mother to a child with a disability, staying engaged in the legislative process and being active within my community is very important.” In her new role as Legislative Liaison, Carrie’s goal is to develop strong relationships with LRCS families, to not only keep them informed of what is happening at the state legislative level, but to also encourage and support them along their own advocacy journey. “I have testified at the state house on legislation many times and I hope to share with families how fun and meaningful it can be.” Each legislative session, Carrie will be monitoring bills that affect the disability community, and communicating the positive or negative aspects to the area agency and the Family Support Council. If an important hearing is scheduled or there is an opportunity to make a difference by attending the hearing or contacting your legislator, she will send out a notice on Facebook or Constant Contact. Carrie is excited about her new position and looks forward to serving Lakes Region Community Services families. Please feel free to reach out to Carrie with any questions at carrie.duran@lrcs.org or contact her by phone at 603-219-6777.