I know many of you are as disappointed as I am in the results of this election. But in the face of bigotry, derision, and ridicule, people with disabilities made progress:
- Our presidential candidate put our issues on the front burner of her policy agenda and established state disability networks
- Throughout Texas people with disabilities recruited volunteers, organized phone banks, block walks, and voter registration drives at disability events. Volunteers with disabilities tweeted, re-tweeted and shared our message, thus putting a spotlight on the disability community.
- This year’s national convention featured numerous people with a variety of disabilities and leaders in the disability movement.
- The Democratic National Committee established a Disability Council, keeping our issues in the permanent focus of the party. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) principal author and former Congressman, Tony Coelho, will lead the Council.
- Locally, Collin County Democrats With Disabilities (CCDWD) partnered with Bruce Sherbet, Collin County Elections Administrator, to rectify a major problem with curbside voting that directly affects people with disabilities- at many sites there was no designated parking spaces with signage instructing them how the process works.
CCDWD organized a coalition of non profit, non-partisan organizations that included Disability Rights Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, Prosumers, and REACH of Plano Center for Independent Living. Volunteers from these groups identified irregularities and alerted the Elections Department when the polls first opened so that the problem could be corrected quickly.
2017 will be challenging for us as will 2018. Now is the time to reflect, mourn, and do whatever one needs to do to get past this significant loss and come out organized and energized for 2017.
Stay tuned… there are better days to come.
Kate Garrison, President
Collin County Democrats With Disabilities