02/22/18 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – HAPPENING NOW
For More Information:
Marie Hickey: (585) 851-4538
Sophia Ardi: (631) 521-0167
WHO: Long Island ADAPT
WHAT: Long Island ADAPT holds Kathleen Rice Accountable for supporting HR620
WHERE: Kathleen Rice’s District Office, 229 7th Street, Ste 300, Garden City, NY
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2018, Happening Now
ADAPT Condemns Kathleen Rice’s Attack on Disability Rights
Last Thursday with one vote, Representative Kathleen Rice (NY4), joined House Republicans in undermining the civil rights of 59 million Americans with disabilities. By helping to pass HR620 the ADA Education and Reform Act, Rice contributed to efforts to destroy the Americans with Disabilities Act. Over 27 years after passage of the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, Rice and the business-backed House of “the people” chose “profits over people”. In response to this, Long Island ADAPT a local Disability Rights group came to Rice’s office today to condemn her attack on Disability Rights.
“I voted for her and she voted to take my rights away,” said Angela Davis a disabled activist from Hempstead, NY. ADAPT and many other disability organizations have spent much of the last five months urging Rice to withdraw her support of the Bill. “The Disability Community has repeatedly asked her to change her stance. Every approach has been met with excuse after excuse for not doing the right thing,” said ADAPT organizer Marie Hickey.
Legislators like Rice have tried to claim that this legislation will address problem lawsuits but disability organizations across the country are in unanimous agreement that HR620 will take away any incentive businesses have to comply with the ADA. “Why would a business feel any need to be accessible if they can just wait until they get notice of a violation,” said Therese Brzezinski Director of Planning and Public Policy at Long Island Center for Independent Living.
“Because Rice was a District Attorney, she knows better. If she wanted to address frivolous lawsuits, she could have proposed legislation to sanction the lawyers, not attack the rights of disabled people,” said ADAPTer and lawyer Kathryn Carroll.
“Long Island ADAPT is here today to condemn Representative Rice’s vote! She has taken a stand here in favor of stripping away the rights of disabled New Yorkers,” said ADAPTer Sophia Ardi. “We expect our elected representatives to defend our rights not take them away. Kathleen Rice has failed Long Island.”
The protesters carried signs reading “Rice voted against us, but we vote too” and “Why Does Kathleen Hate Disabled People!” and chanted “Support Disability Rights! Not Kathleen Rice.” The Long Island ADAPT members all pledged to remember their grievance with Rice during the upcoming campaign and on election day. This follows several calls from several National organizations such as the Political Action Committee “Disability Action for America” to hold the representatives who voted for HR620 accountable.
ADAPT has worked for decades to secure and advance the civil rights guaranteed to disabled Americans under the ADA. Information about ADAPT’s history, currently prioritized issues, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter under the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow fight against HR620 on #HandsOffMyADA, #StopHR620, and #CripTheVote.