Do Our Votes Really Count? Re-Thinking the Political Participation of the Disability Movement

Written by Ethan B. Ellis.

I just completed an online survey asking my priorities for the newly elected majority in the House of Representatives. It was pretty long.

I could have checked off women’s rights and I did.

I could have checked off LGBQ rights and I did.

I could have checked off voting rights and I did.

I could have been for health care for all, campaign finance reform, a living wage, gun control, rebuilding our infrastructure, reducing income inequality, ending war and a whole lot more and I was - and am.

But there was no place check off disability rights on that agenda.

I also got hundreds of fundraising emails before the election. They all wanted my money and many used surveys to get it. I could be for everything good and against everything bad, but I COULDN’T BE FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS, MY OWN RIGHTS!

Posted on November 15, 2018 and filed under Voting.

Donate to the ACI Toy Drive This Holiday Season!

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In the spirit of the holiday season, ACI is organizing a toy drive to gather toys for children of families who benefit from our food pantry. We will be gathering donations of new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages. Clothing and monetary donations will also be accepted. You can make a donation through our website.

Bring or ship your toy donations to ACI, 629 Amboy Ave (1st floor), Edison, NJ 08837.
We will be putting a donation container outside of our office door for easy drop off.  

For more information, please contact Argenys Caba at 732-738-4388 or acaba@adacil.org.

Thank you for your generosity and have a happy holiday season!

Posted on November 7, 2018 and filed under Donate.

Talk's Over. VOTE!

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Written by Ethan B. Ellis.

Everybody’s made up their mind by now. The only question left is how many of us will vote.

I’m 84 but I will. I just got out of the hospital this week but I will. I have cerebral palsy but I will. I use an electric wheelchair but I will. My hands no longer can mark my ballot so my 12 year-old son will mark it for me and I will.

Why?

Because I want to keep my health insurance despite my pre-existing condition, because I want to avoid a having a limit put on how much health care my insurance will pay for during my lifetime.

Because I want my wife and son to be able to pay for Social Security and get it like I have.

Because I want them to have Medicare when they retire like I do.

Because I want them to have Medicaid if they need it.

Because I want my friends with disabilities to enjoy the rights I didn’t grow up with but helped win.

Because I want my son to to live in country where everyone is equal.

Because I want him to live in a country where rich people no longer pay politicians to make them richer and make poor people poorer.

Because I want him to live in a country where everyone gets the services they need regardless of what they cost.

Because I want him to live in a world where nobody goes hungry or thirsty and everyone breaths pure air and drinks clean water and no one is displaced or dies because of climate change.

Because I want our democracy back so his vote will count at least as much as mine .

I wasn’t born. yesterday. I know I won’t get these things just by voting this year but that’s the best tool available to me - and you - right now. After the election, we’ll have time to decide what we have to do next to win back our democracy and gain full equality but right now the vote is our best weapon. Let’s use it for ourselves and all who and what we hold dear.

See you at the polls.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by this author, are the views of the author only. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of the Alliance Center for Independence/REV UP New Jersey, its staff or board. ACI and REV UP NJ are non-partisan, not for profit 501 (c) (3) organizations, and do not endorse any candidate for political office or political view point.

Posted on November 1, 2018 and filed under Voting, Advocacy.

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Scary Snacks!

On October 26th, all of ACI’s friendly ghosts, ghouls, and goblins gathered to take part in an evening of frightening fun. We kicked off the night with decorating Halloween themed cookies and cupcakes. Thank you to Carolyn, Stephanie, Vivian, and family for your generous donation and your time which allowed this fun activity to happen! After making some spooky creative snacks, we enjoyed the Tim Burton classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Posted on October 26, 2018 and filed under Social Rec.

PETITION: People with Disabilities Need Straws

The New Jersey Disability Community wholeheartedly opposes efforts by companies, cities, and states to ban single use plastic straws. These policies create barriers to independence, community integration, and daily living for people with disabilities, work counter to our community ideals of universal access, and place an unnecessary burden on people with disabilities to fight for the accommodations we need to live independently.

Posted on October 10, 2018 and filed under Voting, Advocacy.

The 8th Annual NJ Disability Pride Parade & Celebration Set for October 5th in Trenton, NJ

More than 800 people with disabilities, supporters, friends and organizations representing a wide variety of services throughout NJ will converge on West Lafayette Street in downtown Trenton for the 8th Annual NJ Disability Pride Parade and Celebration.

The free event is a grassroots effort organized and hosted by the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI). ACI is a 501(c)(3) Center for Independent Living, a community-based, grassroots organization that supports and promotes independent living for people with disabilities in Middlesex, Union and Somerset counties.

"This is the one event in New Jersey that the disabled community can get together and have a day to celebrate pride in each other," says Carole Tonks, Executive Director of the Alliance Center for Independence, and chief organizer of the event.

Posted on October 3, 2018 and filed under Press Release, NJDPP.

Premiere Stages at Kean University: Brick City

Friends of ACI had the pleasure of attending Premiere Stages’ production of Brick City on September 20th. Premiere Stages productions is located at Kean University’s Vaughn Eames Hall. The drama, written by Nicole Pandolfo, was a fantastic story of two high school students Jessie, a cantankerous high school senior with a disability, and Darnell, the star player of the high school basketball team. The play takes place in the study hall classroom of Ms. Vega, a new teacher of this inner city school. Each character is struggling to find their way through their own hardships. Although, each character has their own issues they come together to support one another. This play does not pull any punches and show the reality of each characters lives. I applaud Brick City for not including any ableist themes. Brick City directed by Jessi D. Hill, features actors Rafael Benoit, Jacqueline Correa, Madison Ferris and Chris Grant. Thank you to Heather, Courtney, and the rest of the Premiere Stages crew who made our night run so well. Thank you to all the cast that stayed after the play to answer questions and talk to us!

Posted on September 21, 2018 and filed under Social Rec.