My brain is a very active thing. Sometimes it chooses to do thinking, when I prefer to chill. Last night was special. The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) held its inaugural fund raising gala at the Institute of Peace. Although I may be biased, being USICD's new president, I'd say it was a smashing success. Most ticket holders showed up (200+) in spite of the weather; we had a harp and a bag pipe, great food and beverage, hors d'ouvres, and a turkey buffet. The best part was when we gave Professor Gerard Quinn of Ireland and Senator Tom Harkin awards for their tireless efforts on behalf of disability rights.
Today Senator Harkin talked to many advocates by phone urging that we ask all potential presidential candidates in 2016 where they stand on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). That is a great suggestion and one to put in our hip pockets.
I have decided that the focus of my blog for awhile will be the Senate. We need to get to know the new Senate -- the new chairmen on committees that are important to us, the new members that need to shape their priority list, and the ones who may be retiring in 2016. We should each adopt a Senator for the next two years. We should learn as much as we can about him or her and offer to help this Senator on things that are important to him or her. Gradually, we can introduce them to disability issues, advocates, and challenges, through conversations, talking points, and visits to special places where great things are happening and places where things need to happen.
If we each adopt a Senator and do the things I've suggested here as well as other actions, over the next two years the bipartisan interest and support for disability rights will be refreshed, restored, and expanded. It would be beyond amazing if, by 2016 we have 100 Senators who understand the power of inclusion, accessibility, and opportunity from the perspective of us with disabilities and our allies.
Please decide to adopt a Senator and see how you can change the climate in Washington,D.C.
Please checkout my Kindle book -- A Moral Imperative: U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Book link: http://t.co/Vigyant7aM. Take 2 will be out in February 2015.