Category Archives: 2020

REV UP 2020 Strategy Meeting

Save the date for the 2020 REV UP MA Strategy Meeting!

2020 is a national election year. The goal of this meeting is to continue to strategize and develop concrete objectives on getting people with disabilities registered to vote, educated on the candidates and issues, and to the polls on Election Day on November 3, 2020.

When: Friday, May 29, 2020, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Where: AC Hotel, 125 Front Street, Worcester

Please Note: Out of consideration for people with environmental illness and/or multiple chemical sensitivity, please refrain from using perfume or other scented products.

Sign up to attend at the Disability Law Center MA website: https://www.dlc-ma.org/calendar/

Photos from the 2018 REV UP Forum

Marlene Sallo, ED at DLC, opens the May, 2018 REV UP Forum in Marlboro
Marlene Sallo, ED at DLC, opens the May, 2018 REV UP Forum in Marlboro
Commissioner Thomas Hicks (EAC)
Commissioner Thomas Hicks (EAC)
Zach Baldwin (AAPD)
Zach Baldwin (AAPD)
Richard Villavicencio and audience member ask question
Richard Villavicencio and audience member ask question

November 20 Presidential Democratic Primary Debate

How to Watch Tonight’s Debates: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/20/politics/how-to-watch-democratic-debate/index.html

Who is debating?

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Businessman Tom Steyer
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Businessman Andrew Yang

Who didn’t make the cut?

  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
  • Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
  • Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak

2020 Presidential Forum on Disability Issues in January

Tickets are on sale now for AAPD’s forum on January 13, 2020 in Austin Texas. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchases here: https://www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/2020-presidential-forum-on-disability-issues/.

We have not yet seen a list of participants or a schedule for the event.

Learn more about the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Electing People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are increasing their ranks in elected office. But they’re still underrepresented.

www.inquirer.com

From the Philadelphia Inquirer by Stephanie Lai, October 20, 2019

A study at Rutgers University shows that more people with disabilities are being elected to local, state and federal government with the greatest proportion at the local level. The Massachusetts disability community has great advocates in Massachusetts who should run for office!

You can also read the Rutgers Study.

Disability Policy Questions for Candidates

From the Center for American Progress:

Interestingly, the Center for American Progress is not a disability organization. Read the article by Rebecca Coakley on October 15, 2019: 10 Disability Policy Questions Every Presidential Candidate Should Answer.

The questions are listed here, but read the whole article for more context.

  1. It is still legal for disabled people to earn pennies an hour thanks to a loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act. How will you close it and help these works transition to the fairly paid workplace?
  2. Adding asset limits and work requirements to programs that help people with disabilities and their families access food, housing, and health care means that folks in need are constantly on the edge of economic instability. How would you address this?
  3. Almost 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 60 percent to 80 percent of polling places still remain inaccessible, leaving most disabled Americans unable to access the ballot box or see who they actually voted for. What would you do to increase access to democratic institutions for people with disabilities?
  4. Many candidates have talked about the need to invest in infrastructure. Clearly, this is important. In the past, accessibility has not been part of the conversation from the beginning, which has resulted in a persistent lack of access. What specifically would you to do ensure that accessibility and inclusion are included in your plan for the nation’s infrastructure and the jobs that come with it?
  5. How would you create a system of long-term services and supports that sustains the rights of disabled Americans to live in their homes as well as lifts up and supports the domestic workforce?
  6. Natural disasters are all too common, and climate change disproportionately affects the disability community. What is your plan for ensuring that disability issues and the community are front and center in your planning and execution of emergency management planning and your climate agenda?
  7. In more than 20 states, parents with disabilities can lose custody of their children largely on the basis of a disability diagnosis. How would you change this?
  8. Lack of affordable and accessible housing continues to be a significant impediment to people with disabilities and their families achieving economic security What changes would you implement to remedy this?
  9. What policies would your administration advance to improve access to quality affordable mental health care and protect the civil rights of people with mental illness?
  10. Children with disabilities, especially those who are also people of color, often have unequal access to educational resources, despite the law guaranteeing such access. What will your administration do differently?

2020 Disability Questionnaire

from AAPD on August 1:

2020 Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies  

Washington, D.C. –  The 2020 Presidential elections will have significant implications for 20 percent of the US population- people with disabilities. As we move towards election day, the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Campaign and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) have developed a Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies. Through their responses to this questionnaire candidates will share their views and positions on key disability policy priorities.

“There will be over 35 million eligible voters with disabilities in 2020. We encourage all the Presidential candidates to engage the Disability vote,” said Maria Town, President & CEO of AAPD. “Our organizations are committed to empowering our community and speaking out about critical issues with the candidates.”

The Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies has been sent to all the 2020 Presidential candidates. Each campaign has been asked to return the questionnaire by September 6th so AAPD/NCIL can share their responses to our community before the September Presidential debate. All other responses will be posted after the October debate on an ongoing basis.

“It is important for the candidates to stay informed on disability policies and engage in initiatives that empower our community,” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of NCIL. “We encourage voters to reach out to the Presidential candidates, including through social media, to share the Presidential questionnaire and request their responses.”

The Presidential Questionnaire is split into categories such as:

  • Civil Rights
  • Climate Change & Emergency Preparedness
  • Healthcare
  • Employment
  • Education

You can find a copy of the Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies through this link: https://www.aapd.com/2020-presidential-candidate-questionnaire-on-disability-policies/.

Webinar – Engaging Young Voters

Free Webinar from NonProfitVote.org

As part of the “Summer VOTEcation Series,” this last webinar will give you TEN strategies for better engaging and encouraging young people to the polls.  

Join the webinar Thursday, September 12, 2pm-3pmET, 11am-Noon PT when staff from Opportunity Youth United and CIRCLE will be on hand to discuss how YOU can combat lower turnout rates for young folks. 

Nonprofits are trusted messengers that can support young voters as they navigate complicated registration processes and dispel common misconceptions about eligibility and the voting process. 

Register online at https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=7xlkvxelih9b&campaign=ppqotjrdnj0b

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Needs Your Help

Democracy Diverted – Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote – September 2019

This report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund details the creation by Congress of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its Section 5 Amendment (See below). This law discouraged much of the racism previously associated with voting rights. In 2013, Section 5 was dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby decision. Since Shelby, polling location closures have skyrocketed.

” Closing polling places has a cascading effect, leading to long lines at other polling places, transportation hurdles, denial of language assistance and other forms of in-person help, and mass confusion about where eligible voters may cast their ballot. For many people, and particularly for voters of color, older voters, rural voters, and voters with disabilities, these burdens make it harder — and sometimes impossible — to vote.”

” One of the more alarming trends we discovered is a widespread practice of blaming polling place closures on another civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The leading closers of polling places from Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana used ADA compliance as their major pretext. In several cases, little to no effort was made to understand ADA compliance. Instead, election officials took advantage of the public’s lack of understanding about the law to grossly inflate the estimated costs of compliance for both publicly and privately owned polling places .”

Recommendation:

“…restore the Voting Rights Act, reactivate Section 5, and strengthen its other provisions that require elected officials to seek the input of communities of color and provide notice of any polling place change for any reason. “

In other words, your vote matters. Without the VRA, it is too easy for election officials to discriminate against specific types of voters. Talk to the candidates about the Voting Rights Act, Section 5 and how important it is for every single voter to be able to vote!

Section 5

Jurisdictions with a demonstrated record of racial discrimination in voting were required to submit all proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for “preclearance” in advance of implementation. The jurisdictions were required to prove that the proposed voting change would not deny or adversely affect the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or an eligible voter’s membership in a language minority group.

Disability Vote and Presidential Debates

During the upcoming presidential debates, the REV UP network would like to further promote policies that the presidential candidates should address. We would also like to see intentional discussion around disability issues during the debates. We could use your help!

  • Please share questions and topics that you would like the Presidential Candidates to discuss during the upcoming debates. Please share your thoughts through this link before September 9th.  AAPD will promote questions and topic areas to the debate moderators and via social media to amplify the Disability Vote. 
  • Leading up to the presidential debates, we encourage folks to amplify #SayTheWord. #SayTheWord is a hashtag to encourage individuals (including campaigns) to say the word disability. Please also use #REVUP and #CripTheVote.
  • Finally, during the presidential debate on September 12th, we encourage folks to participate in the #CripTheVote twitter conversation.

Help us amplify the Disability Vote!