On July 13, 2017, a new law was enacted in California proclaiming the month of May as ME/CFS Awareness month.
On July 6, the California State Assembly passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, recognizing May 2017 and each May thereafter as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Awareness Month. SCR 40, introduced by State Senator Steve Glazer and co-sponsored by Assembly Member Catherine Baker, had previously been passed by the California State Senate on May 18.
The new law urges state agencies, medical service providers, health care agencies, research facilities, medical schools, and the NIH, CDC and FDA to work toward increasing clinical care, supportive care, and medical education and research funding to a level commensurate with similarly prevalent diseases, and encourages schools, colleges and media organizations to inform the public about ME/CFS.
The passage of SCR 40 is the first step on a state-wide education and awareness effort spearheaded by a coalition of patients and caregivers, supported by the advocacy efforts of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI).
On May 1st, the Solve ME/CFS Initiative issued an action alert to over 3,000 Californians with ME/CFS and their loved ones to contact their state representatives in support of the legislation. SMCI supported this grassroots effort with direct legislator education calls and letters to key committees in the California State legislature.
On June 2nd, a local resident and ME/CFS Advocate, Marilyn Yu, organized a rally to support the resolution and raise awareness about ME/CFS. The #MillionsMissing event featured remarks from SMCI’s Director of Advocacy and Public Relations, Emily Taylor, and an exhibit at the state capitol which included stories from SMCI’s Humans of ME/CFS project.
We are very pleased with this new California state action; advocates are slowly chipping away at old beliefs. We feel tangible, albeit much too slow, change occurring.
To read the new law, visit http://go.solvecfs.org/e/192652/t-xhtml-bill-id-201720180SCR40/5yglz/33671281