Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Hampshire disability advocates: now is the time to weigh in with the presidential campaigns

 As you know your presidential primary is February 9, 2016, a Tuesday. Presidential candidates are spending a lot of time in your state and Iowa, which has its caucuses on February 1, 2016. If you follow my blog posts you know that I did a similar list of campaign contacts for the state of Iowa. My source is www.RespectabilityUSA.com.  If you compare the two states you can see that the staff information is more complete in Iowa.

Nonetheless, the time is now for those of you who live in New Hampshire and care about issues that affect people with disabilities to engage campaigns of your choice. Do not wait for the field to shrink. Do not wait for candidates to decide on their own that disability issues are or are not important. Positions and policies on the minimum wage, the tax code, entitlement reform, access to healthcare, immigration, national security, the family, and veterans could affect your life or someone you know with a disability. By connecting with campaigns of your choice now you will be able to influence how these initial policies and positions are fleshed out.

Every campaign website has information about where the candidates stand on most of these important issues. Spend some time looking at them and talking to your friends. Check out www.therespectabilityreport.org. This site tracks what kind of things candidates are saying about the top issues. There are many things that we need to know.  For example, in entitlement reform does any candidate plan to leave intact the benefits available now to people with significant disabilities who have a work history or are poor?  With regard to the minimum wage, if a candidate supports it, does she or he think that people with disabilities, regardless of where they work, have a right to it? If they don't support it, provide reasons why they should.

Now is the time to do our homework. Now is the time to do research. I urge you to go to events where candidates are present. Ask them questions. Tell them stories about how law and practice affect people with disabilities in good ways and in not so good ways. Read and talk about what they are saying. When we see evidence of candidates talking about and using stories concerning people with disabilities in connection to major issues, we will know we have had an impact and are not operating on the margins.

Candidate
 N.H. State Director
 E-mail
 Twitter
Bush
Nate Lamb
@nathanslamb
Carson
David Tille

Christie
Matt Mowers

@mowers
Clinton
Mike Lacich
@mvlacich
Cruz
Ethan Zorfas

Fiorina
Lauren Carney
@laurencarney
Graham
Joe Diron
@joe_doiron
Huckabee
No information available
Jindal
Henry Goodwin
No information available
@henrygoodwin
Kasich
Simon Thomson
No information available
O’Malley
John Bivona

Pataki
Alicia Preston


Paul
David Chelsey
@david chelsey
Rubio
Karl Beckstein

@karlbeckstein
Sanders
Julia Barnes
No information available
Santorum
Nick Pappas
@NickPappasNH

Matt Ciepielowski
No information available

 Remember we are part of the mainstream of America. We are 56 million strong. We have friends and family, who care about our success and independence. Collectively we are very motivated. Campaigns will see us this way, but first we must engage them.

Thank you.

Common Grounder

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