The Disability Community received an early holiday gift this week when Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined many of his colleagues in co-sponsoring the Disability Integration Act (DIA), S.117. Reed’s co-sponsorship means that Rhode Island joins Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts and Vermont in having its entire Congressional delegation officially support this important civil rights bill. DIA would ensure the right of every Disabled American to live in the community. It currently has 237 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, 33 cosponsors in the Senate. With a strong majority of cosponsors in the House, the Disability Integration Act needs only 17 Senate more cosponsors to have a majority in both houses of Congress.
“Senator Reed could not have given us a better present going into the holidays,” said ADAPT organizer Anita Cameron from New York. “Jack Reed understands that freedom is our most precious gift and that DIA is freedom for Disabled Americans.”
ADAPT has spent much of the year moving DIA through the House. Knowing that the DIA needs to pass in both Houses to become law, ADAPT has recently started to focus on the Senate.
“We have been working the Senate side for a few months. We are grateful to Senator Reed for bringing us that closer to realizing the promise of Freedom for all disabled people that DIA represents,” said ADAPT organizer Jacqueline Mitchell of Colorado. “We look forward to having the rest of his Democratic Senate colleagues following suit in the New Year!”
The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It is supported by Speaker Pelosi and has a total of 251 Democratic cosponsors. It is hard to fathom how there are still 14 Senate Democrats not yet cosponsoring this important civil rights legislation. The following Senate Democrats still need to cosponsor the Disability integration Act:
Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
ADAPT is hoping that they can follow Senator Reed’s lead and help give the gift of freedom to millions of Disabled Americans stuck in institutions this holiday!
We call on local advocates and activists to reach out to these Senators and urge them to cosponsor the Disability integration Act (S.117).