By Jordan Sibayan
ADAPT Fun Run: Though the Decades
In an overcast sky surrounded by the familiar warm atmosphere of D.C., ADAPT gathered, we spent our morning catching up and mingling. A homecoming, a start to a new year; a new year full of new fights that lay ahead. The work we have is almost overwhelming; our two pieces of important legislation in this congressional session, as well as lingering threats of cuts to services important to the constitutional rights we hold so dear. If it’s anything I have learned about ADAPT, it is this: when we are shoved, we push back all the way.
The troops rallied at noon, ready to roll out to our site for this year’s Fun Run. Our formation was quick and efficient as ADAPTers young and old filed down the avenue’s and roadways. Once at the park, the celebration began.
Our celebration was made extra memorable, and somber as we celebrated one of our brightest beacons, and fierce teacher, Barbara Toomer. Coming from Utah, Barbara (or Sgt. Grandma as I knew her) was one of the earliest ADAPT members. Up until the age of 88 she was active, breathing life and fighting for liberty for her fellow brothers and sisters. She will be dearly missed; a fallen warrior forever lifted on high to live eternal as an ancestor.
We all took a moment of silence to reflect and remember Barbara along with our other fallen warriors.
With those thoughts in mind we continued. Our Fun Run course circled a beautiful fountain, which made a great backdrop among the scenery and greenery of DC in Spring. Music blared, people cheered. It was very nice to get to see the ADAPT family again. After a few laps, and some refreshments, we gathered together and headed back to our hotel.
Our post Fun Run meeting reaffirmed our mission to do what it takes to Free Our People. We will have a full plate, with the Disability Integration Act and the EMPOWER Care Act in both the House and Senate. After a good dinner, and a busy night, we were ready to face the next day…
By Ed Sandoval
Today was training day. I spent the morning in three different meetings. The second one, our Big Meeting, is full of procedures and information. First-time ADAPTers learn what to expect during an action, and we go over procedures and the issues that we are fighting for. The third meeting was for the Media Team. We received our media badges and assignments.
Then after lunch we lined up and rolled out into the streets of Washington, D.C. It’s like drilling. For the new ADAPTers it’s a one-day Boot Camp. For the rest of us, it’s a review, and practice. We looked a little ragged out there today. We worked on tightening up our formation, so we don’t have any cars or pedestrians breaking through our line. We chanted and marched and snarled up traffic on Capitol Hill on the the way to Spirit of Justice Park, for the National Fun Run For Disability rights.
Once at the park, it was a celebration. We honored some ADAPT warriors that we recently lost, and celebrated their lives. We did laps around the park to raise money to travel around the country to fight for disability rights. Because that’s what we do!
So we marched back to the hotel, chanting and blocking traffic and letting our nation’s capitol city know that ADAPT is in town. Starting tomorrow we’ll go to the corridors of power and they’ll know it too!
Tonight we had a gourmet meal provided by Mary Troupe of Centene. It was Wonderful! We are grateful.
By Ed Sandoval