Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Action Alert: Support Disability Rights Advocates Protesting at the Capitol!

Action Alert in white blod letters on a burgundy background
Call Governor Cuomo Today to Express
Your Support for Disability Rights Advocates Protesting at the Capitol!

Advocates from across the State are gathering in Albany today to urge Governor Cuomo not to turn the clock back on community integration. It is now 18 years after the Supreme Court's landmark Olmstead decision - which established the rights of people with disabilities to live in the most integrated setting with appropriate supports and services - and four years after Governor Cuomo has issued his Olmstead Implementation Plan, yet the Governor has failed to advance the policies which would help people live independently. The Governor's proposed budget failed to include adequate funding for home care and Consumer Directed; failed to adequately fund Independent Living Centers; failed to fund programs to make housing accessible like the Visitability Tax Credit and Access To Home; failed to address the access concerns around Uber; failed to advance Employment First proposals and failed to give people with disabilities a voice in state government!

ACTION: Call right now!

Call Governor Cuomo today at 518-474-8390.

Rather than leaving a message, press # 3 to ask to speak to an assistant. You will be asked to give your name and your zip code.

Say: "Hello, I am calling in support of the advocates protesting in the War Room for disability rights. Governor Cuomo is failing New Yorkers with disabilities."

Feel free to expand on one of the issues bulleted below that is significant to you personally.

ACTION: Tweet!

In addition to calling Governor Cuomo today in support of the protest, you can also tweet at him. Here are some sample tweets:

.@NYGovCuomo fails to adequately fund Independent Living Centers and fails people with disabilities #CuomoFails

The Office for the Advocate for People with Disabilities is as empty as @NyGovCuomo's promises to disabled people! Fill it! #CuomoFails

.@NyGovCuomo vetoed the visitability tax credit TWICE! Keeping disabled people from our communities means #CuomoFails Again!

Disabled New Yorkers want to live in the community, but @NYGovCuomo keeps pushing back #CFC rollout, while taking federal money #CuomoFails

#CFC puts people with disabilities in the community, @NYGovCuomo keeps us out of it by delaying its implementation! #CuomoFails

#CuomoFails people with disabilities when he decides not to support Employment First policies like the Small Business Tax Credit

.@NYGovCuomo New Yorkers with disabilities need a Governor who won't treat us like an afterthought! On every issue #CuomoFails

.@NYGovCuomo fails disabled people at every turn: #UberFail #HousingFail #ILFundingFail #PayingAttendantsFail #CuomoFails

#NYScrewsPwDs when it creates yet another inaccessible transportation option #RideSharing Fails #CuomoFails people with disabilities

#CuomoFails New Yorkers with disabilities when he doesn't pay our attendants a living wage #NYScrewsPwDs

#CuomoFails New Yorkers with disabilities by underfunding vital home modification programs like 'Access to Home'


Today, protestors are calling on Governor Cuomo to take the following actions to fix his broken promises and implement policies that guarantee the equality and independence of the Disability Community in New York:

- Immediately reinstate the Office for the Advocate for People with Disabilities in State government, ensuring a focus on Olmstead implementation and disability rights and establishing the groundwork for an Office devoted to ensuring full accessibility of state government and the integration of New Yorkers with disabilities in society;

- Publicly express your support in the budget process for addressing the crisis in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance and Home Care workforce by ensuring that wages are at least equal to the fast food minimum wage, and establishing a workgroup to determine an adequate wage;

- Direct the Department of Health to work with the Disability Community to design and implement proposals like a High Needs Community Rate cell that ensures that implementation of the Governor's Care Management for All initiative promotes community integration rather than driving New Yorkers with disabilities into nursing facilities and other institutions;

- Publicly express your support in the budget process for increasing funding to the Independent Living Network - the only cross-disability, disability-led organizations devoted to increasing the integration of disabled people - by the $5 Million, as recommended by the Board of Regents with a framework to increase the base funding level in future years;

- Publicly express your support in the budget process for the employment of people with disabilities by creating a cross-disability Employment Tax Credit to encourage small businesses to hire more people with disabilities and to enacting all recommendations in the Employment First Report;

- Increase access to transportation so ALL New Yorkers can use new services like Uber and Lyft. The State must require transportation network companies to serve all people with disabilities, and must not limit the right of municipalities to increase access requirements;

- Publicly express your support in the budget process for the Visitability Tax Credit and committing to sign the Tax Credit into law if it is passed by the NYS legislature for the third year in a row; and

- Expand the use of unexpended Access to Home funding for non-veterans to begin to address the crisis shortage of affordable, accessible, integrated housing stock.

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