Announcement of Candidacy for First Vice-President - DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

September 21, 2010

MCB News Wire

by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

I am herein declaring my candidacy for the office of first Vice president of the Missouri Council of the Blind. Because I believe in the democratic process and wish to be of service to my new state affiliate, I am offering my skills as a consensus builder, creative thinker and my energy to The Missouri Council of the Blind so that there will be a choice in filling this vital support position. I moved to Missouri four years ago and shortly thereafter lost my heart to my new home state. The generosity and warmth of Missouri citizens impressed me greatly. I have been an active member of ACB for thirty years, serving at local, state and national affiliate levels. I was elected for two terms to the board of publications of ACB and chose not to seek a third term when I closed my business and moved to Missouri. I live two miles outside Fulton with my husband of forty years, our youngest daughter and her three children. I am totally blind, a guide dog user and a life member of both ACB and GDUI. I work as a legislative liaison for Services for Independent Living in Columbia and am a published poet and writer. I currently serve on the Wolfner Advisory Council, the Governor's Council on Disability, The Disability Coalition on Health Care Reform and The Congress On Disability Policy. I am an elected member of the boards of VSA of Missouri (a disability arts organization) and Friends of Wolfner Library. You are probably asking yourself why I would want to take on anything more. The answer is simple. I believe in MCB and want to be a part of insuring that we continue to grow in numbers and service to blind and visually impaired Missourians. When I was president of The Oregon Council of the blind, we had over four hundred members and successfully passed a guide dog protection bill and fought off an attempt to close our school for the blind. As chair of the Colorado Council of the Blind, I was able to guide the state organization to adopt full membership voting. When Chris Gray was elected president of ACB, he left BRL as president at a time when our treasurer was caught up in a hostile takeover of the Radio Reading Service where she worked. All of our membership information and bank records were removed from her office and it took months to get them back. I was able to hold the organization together while we rebuilt our database and records. I first ran for the Board of Publications of ACB when the firing of our Braille Forum editor and ACB director had left the membership with a serious lack of confidence in the board of directors. I wanted to work for transparency and rebuild the membership's trust. Whatever the challenges, I have given each office I have held my best efforts and worked to deal with issues by finding solutions and doing what was necessary to problem solve. Although a relative newcomer to Missouri, I believe I can bring to the table a wealth of leadership skills and proven ability. If elected, I pledge to listen to you, the membership and work hard to move our agenda forward. It would be an honor to serve MCB in meeting the needs of blind and visually impaired Missourians.

Respectfully Yours,

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

Deanna Noriega - Legislative Liaison
Services For Independent Living
1401 Hathman Place
Columbia, MO 65201
573-874-1646 x234
dnoriega@silcolumbia.org