11/29/17 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Gregg Beratan (610) 247-4188
Laura Halvorson (214) 738-1655
WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: National ADAPT
WHERE: DNC HQ, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
ADAPT Members from across the United States, ready to protest, meet with the DNC Chair Tom Perez to secure the Party’s Support for the Disability Integration Act
11/29/17 – Washington, D.C. Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT, the same group that spent summer fighting Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, today set their sights on the Democratic National Committee. The ADAPT activists had traveled from as far as Colorado to express their anger at DNC chair Tom Perez because he didn’t live up to his commitments to them for the DNC to support Disability Integration Act (DIA – S910/HR2472) which would ensure that no Disabled American is denied Life and Liberty by unwanted institutionalization.
“Tom Perez promised me personally that he and the DNC would work tirelessly to put the full weight of the party behind the Disability Integration Act and instead we get the empty gesture of this council and still struggle to get Democrats in Congress onto our bill.” said Dawn Russell from Denver. “Too many disabled people are still forced into nursing facilities and other institutions and too many Democratic Party leaders have been doing almost nothing about it.”
When ADAPT activists showed up to disrupt the launch of the DNC Disability Council, Perez agreed to meet with them and stated that the DNC would be issuing a statement in support of DIA and would work with ADAPT and other organizations to better address issues of importance to the Disability Community.
“We’ve been here for the Democrats all year, fighting to save Medicaid and the ACA” said Rochester ADAPT member Ericka Jones “and then we’ve had to fight them just to get them to support our lives and liberty. It has been disheartening and exhausting. Frankly, Democrats who do not support legislation that would allow us to live in our own homes are no better than the Republicans; and they damage the party’s relationship to the Disability Community.”
The group was also frustrated that the DNC has not publicly condemned HR.620, a bill that would drastically undercut the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that eleven Democrats are sponsors of this bill.
“The ADA has been around for 27 years, which means businesses have had 27 years notice that they need to be accessible. We’ve waited long enough!” said Laura Halvorson of DC Metro ADAPT “For Democrats to even think of sponsoring this bill is appalling. Is anyone else required to endure a legal waiting period before they can have their civil rights be enforced? Absolutely not. And we shouldn’t either.”
ADAPT has proposed that the DNC coordinate a meeting with Congressional Leadership to get the Democratic cosponsors to withdraw their support for the bill. Recognizing that there are concerns from small business, the activists hope to work with Democrats on an alternative approach that will address the concerns while not undercutting the rights of Disabled Americans. The DNC also agreed to work to phase out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows Disabled workers to be paid less than minimum wage.
ADAPT’s history, the issues it is fighting for, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.