On the evening of June 15th, ACI had a blast at the Somerset Patriots game against the Long Island Ducks. Although the Patriots suffered a 3 to 1 loss, the ACI participants had fun cheering on their favorite team. The Patriots were celebrating their 20th season by giving away commemorative baseball hats, each participant went home with one. Even Sparkee and Slider, the Patriots mascots, came to say hello in the 7th inning.
On March 15th 2017, President Trump submitted his first Federal budget to the 115th Congress. It features cuts of $54 billion to federal agencies, an increase of $52 billion in military spending, and tax cuts.
The budget will have a negative impact on people with disabilities, low income individuals, seniors and children. Members of the US Senate and Congress need to know that this is unacceptable!
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the 2018 budget proposal:
- Cuts SNAP (food stamps) by more than $193 billion over the next ten years.
- Cuts $72 billion over ten years from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income - which provide income benefits to individuals with disabilities.
- Cuts, by $22 billion over ten years, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and Contingency Fund, which provide funds to states for short-term income assistance, work programs, and other crucial supports for poor families with children.
- Eliminates the Social Services Block Grant, a $1.7 billion program that provides states with flexible funding for services such as adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities, child care, and help for children who are at risk of abuse and neglect, among others.
- Large cuts in rental assistance that would eliminate housing vouchers for more than 250,000 lower-income households, costing these households aid that helps them pay the rent and avoid homelessness.
In addition, the budget would cut health assistance to low and moderate income people by $1.85 trillion over ten years. $1.25 trillion of which will come from the proposal to from the House bill to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and $610 billion of additional Medicaid cuts. New Jersey stands to lose $31 billion in Federal funding of Medicaid over 10 years, as a result.
What can you do to prevent this budget from passing?
Call your US Senators!
Senator Menendez (973-645-3030) and Senator Booker (973- 639-8700).
Call your US Representative!
You can be connected to your representative by contacting the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121. If you wish to speak specifically about Medicaid or other healthcare issues in the budget, ask to speak with the Representative's Heathcare Staffer.
Tell them to vote "NO" on the President Trump's proposed budget. Indicate that the budget proposal will put the lives of people with disabilities at risk!
For more information:
ACI recently hosted a workshop on Social Security Work Incentives. 20 attendees heard Elisa Cohen of the NJ Work Incentive Network Support (NJWINS), discuss how those receiving SSI and SSDI can get back to or start paid work through incentive set up by the Social Security Administration. NJWINS is a program of the Family Resource Network. Thank you Elisa for the informative presentation!
On May 22nd, friends of ACI gathered at the PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits in Bridgewater to share their creative writing endeavors. Poets, Short Story writers, Essayists, Novelists, and novice writers spent the evening sharing and giving feedback on their work. Participants took part in prompt writing exercises to practice spontaneous writing. Discussions spanned from writing styles, reasons people write, important writing topics, and issues related to sharing your work with the public. Thank you to all that attended for making it a fantastic evening and big thank you to PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits for opening your doors to our group!
On the morning of May 19th 2017, Rutgers Master Gardeners Anne Ryder and Jerri Barclay came to ACI to help our volunteers start this year’s ACI garden. The volunteers and staff learned how to plant and take care of our new tomatoes, marigolds, and basil. We are all looking forward to watching our hard work grow into something great. A big thanks to Anne and Jerri for their guidance and knowledge!
According to the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS), approximately 845,000 individuals, or 9.7 percent of NJ residents, have reported having at least one type of disability. People with disabilities accounted for 7.3 percent of the state’s 18-64 year-olds, and 3.5 percent of the state’s children under age 18.
ACI and REV UP NJ have requested that the NJ gubernatorial candidates participate in completing a questionnaire to better inform NJ voters with disabilities on where they stand with important issues. Click the buttons below to read the responses that we've received so far.
UPDATE 5/22/17: Responses from Democratic candidate, Raymond Lesniak, have been added.
UPDATE 5/31/17: Responses from Democratic candidate, Phil Murphy, have been added.
UPDATE 6/1/17: Responses from Democratic candidates, John Wisniewski and Jim Johnson, have been added.
UPDATE 6/1/17: Responses from Green Party candidate, Seth Kaper-Dale, have been added.
On May 1st, about 20 people assembled for the spring 2017 REV UP NJ meeting about the upcoming gubernatorial race. REV UP NJ, established by ACI, is part of REV UP, a national effort to engage people with disabilities in the election process and to increase the voting turnout of people with disabilities. Zach Baldwin, Outreach Coordinator at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in Washington, led the discussion. "2017 is a crucial election year for NJ voters, especially those with disabilities," Baldwin explained.
If you would like to join REV UP or become part of our efforts, please contact ACI.