Friday, January 17, 2014

CRPD and Plan B

On January 15, 2014, Senator Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with Tennessee advocates for persons with disabilities. Senator Corker expressed his opposition to the ratification of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on December 20, 2013. The Tennessee advocates, lead by Carol Westlake, Executive Director, Tennessee Disability Coalition, welcomed and were pleased that Senator Corker agreed to meet with them. By all accounts it was a long, open exchange of points of view (http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articleAID=2014301160120). That was good, but Senator Corker did not change his position. He remains concerned that ratification of the CRPD would undermine U.S. sovereignty. Well, in spite of the Tennessee advocates' heart-felt efforts to convince Senator Corker to change his position and support ratification of the CRPD, we must respect the Senator's decision not to. We must move on.  We need to reach out to other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and attempt to find others, who, like Senator Barrasso and McCain, on the Republican side, would also support ratification and hope, because he is a gentleman, Senator Corker would not actively counter our efforts.

Here are the 5 Republican Senators that we should approach now and urge them to join other Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who have expressed their support for ratification of the CRPD. If you are from one of the key states you could help build the momentum for ratification by talking to your Senator.

Johnson (R-WI) (202) 224-5323
Flake (R-AZ) (202) 224-4521
Paul (R-KY) (202) 224-4343
Risch (R-ID) (202) 224-2752
Rubio (R-FL) (202) 224-3041

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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