10/18/17 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Chuy Campuzano: (312) 438-0852
Michael Grice: (773) 779-1506
Susan Aarup: (773) 355-1212
WHO: Chicago ADAPT
WHAT: Disability Activists Demand Bobby Rush Commit to Civil Rights
WHERE: Bobby Rush’s District Office, 11750 S. Western Ave.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 18, 2017, happening now
Disability Activists Call on Congressman Bobby Rush to Commit to Civil Rights
Disability rights activists from Chicago ADAPT have gathered at Congressman Bobby Rush’s district office at 11750 S. Western Ave. to address his undermining the civil rights of people with disabilities. “We have the constitutional right to live in dignity and freedom,” said Jazmine Coates.
On October 4, Congressman Rush introduced an amendment in the House to freeze implementation of the Home and Community-Based Services Rule. HCBS restricts residential facilities from controlling the lives of the people living there. It ensures that residents can decide when they eat, when they go to sleep, and who visits them in their homes. “These are basic rights that all Americans should be able to enjoy,” said Coates. Although Rush later withdrew the amendment, Chicago ADAPT wants a commitment that Rush not undermine HCBS.
Activists demand that Rush withdraw his co-sponsorship of H.R. 620, the ADA Education & Reform Act, a bill currently before the U.S. House which would remove incentives for businesses to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act against businesses which choose to discriminate against disabled people and make enforcement more difficult. “The ADA includes protections for businesses which cannot afford to fix problems. But choosing to violate citizen’s rights should not be protected by law,” said Kevin McPhan.
“Rush is a co-sponsor of the Disability Integration Act,” said Susan Aarup, “which will give us the right to live in the community or community-based settings. But if institutions count as community-based settings and we lose our access to the world around us, the DIA will be just another empty promise.”
“Bobby Rush was in the Black Panthers, championing equal rights for minorities in the 1960’s,” said McPhan. “It’s a shame that he ignores his constituents with disabilities, when in fact he was an activist himself.”