ACI and REV UP NJ hosted its 4th annual National Disability Voter Registration Week event at the NJ State House Annex in Trenton. Everyone braved the hot weather to hear advocates, civil rights activists, and representatives from disability organizations talk about the importance of voting and how the disability vote has grown in influence. Featured speakers included Dr. Doug Kruse, of the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, who talked about the growing influence of the disability vote, and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling of Monmonth County, who encouraged every to get involved to make a difference.
ACI and Other Organizations Visit Congressman Pallone's Office to Support the Disability Integration Act (UPDATE)
On April 26th, ACI, NJ ADAPT, Atlantic County Center for Independent Living, SILC, NJ YELL and other disability organizations visited Congressman Pallone office in New Brunswick to hold him to his promise of co-sponsoring the Disability Integration Act. A meeting with the Congressman and our group is set for May 6th.
(UPDATE: 5/6/19): Advocates from several disability organizations in NJ met with Congressman Pallone at his district office in Long Branch on May 6th. The topic was the Disability Integration Act. Stay tuned...
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) was recently reintroduced in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. DIA is a bipartisan, bicameral legislation that ensures that disabled Americans have the right to live and receive services in their own homes. ACI joined other advocacy organizations throughout the country in celebrating the reintroduction of this important legislation. ACI has been contacting our representatives to urge them co-sponsor this legislation. Advocates hope to have it passed the house by July 26, 2019, the anniversary of the ADA. We are happy to announce that US Senator Cory Booker and NJ Representatives Donald Payne and Bonnie Watson-Coleman have signed on as co-sponsors!
If you're interested in learning more about DIA and how you can advocate for its passage, please contact Luke at firstname.lastname@example.org or Maggie at email@example.com or visit disabilityintegrationact.org.
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!
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.
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.
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.
On September 14th, ACI and REV UP NJ hosted a US Senate Candidates Forum on disability issues at Middlesex County College. Approximately 85 people attended the event, which included participation of 5 independent candidates and a representative of Senator Menendez's reelection campaign. (Republican Senate candidate Bob Hugin did not participate in the event nor did his campaign send a surrogate). The candidates gave opening remarks and took questions from the audience on a variety of issues important to NJ's disability community. Thank you to all the candidates and Dawn Clarke from the League of Women Voters of NJ, who moderated the forum. Funding for the forum was provided by Disability Rights New Jersey through their Protection and Advocacy Voter Access (PAVA) program.
Visit the REV UP NJ Facebook page for details on other public forums hosted at various CILs throughout New Jersey.