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Winter 2021 Advocacy Spotlight: Jillene Ford

30. Advocacy Spotlight Jillene Ford

Winter 2021 Advocacy Spotlight: Jillene Ford

Recently, The Arc of Snohomish County held our annual Legislative Coffee series. Our host for the 39th Legislative District was Jillene Ford. Here is her advocacy experience:

Jillene Ford Advocacy Spotlight Winter 2021 1“This is the second time I hosted,” said Ford. “What I’m really trying to do is say ‘yes’ more often to this type of thing. Public speaking is never something I desired to do, but with [her daughter] Natalie, I feel I have a very unique platform.”

“My dad has had ALS for 9 years. So I think that was a good, eye-opening experience for me when it came to mobility issues and ADA accessibility, and now with my daughter, I have a unique perspective. And if I have the ear of [legislators], I feel the need to raise awareness, advocacy, and improve the life of people with various mobility issues, caregiving issues. I think I have a unique experience in my life and I feel grateful to share that.”

Jillene’s daughter Natalie is seven and has developmental disabilities. She uses a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care. Getting accommodations from the state has proven to be difficult.

“We had modifications approved in September for a new chair, so she won’t slip and choke, and we have yet to receive them.”

Beyond advocating for mobility issues, Jillene also uses it as an opportunity to bond with her daughter.

“[I run] with Natalie in 5Ks and my church got together and just bought us this really nice bike carrier to do biathlons. I would really love to encourage other families and people to do this, and it’s a fun way to participate with someone with mobility issues. It would be really fun to see more of that in Washington state. I want to encourage families to get out there and find things to do with your kiddo or your loved one that is fun for both of you. It’s my goal to keep doing these things, and it’s a win-win.”

Jillene has also used her advocacy efforts to help get an accessible swing installed in Haller Park in Arlington, and has served on the Snohomish County Equity and Inclusion Task Force.


If you are interested in learning more about The Arc’s legislative advocacy efforts, or want to get involved, contact Rachel Kube at, or Jake Murray at


Originally published by: The Arc of Snohomish County in Leadership Newsletter (2021, Issue 4)

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