Got this letter today outlining support for Obama from people who served in
disability policy positions under Bill Clinton. They endorse Barack Obama.
FORMER CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ENDORSE BARACK OBAMA
"Barack Obama is the disability community's best choice for change."
February 6, 2008
We were privileged to work for President Bill Clinton in senior appointed
positions related to disability policy and programs. We are proud of the
progress made during the 1990s on behalf of the disability community and all
Yet, in 2008, we believe that Barack Obama is the disability community's
best choice for change. We support Barack Obama for the Democratic
nomination for President of the United States. We urge you to join us in
voting or caucusing for Barack Obama.
Every day, people with disabilities face unimaginable barriers and blatant
prejudice that most Americans never encounter. As a result, people with
disabilities are employed at a much lower rate than other Americans. They
have a higher poverty rate and a lower home ownership rate. Students with
disabilities are less likely to earn a high school diploma and even less
likely to get a four-year college degree. The number of people with
disabilities who depend on Social Security Disability Insurance and
Supplemental Security Income is rising while fewer and fewer are able to
live independently and support themselves.
These challenges did not arise for the first time when George W. Bush
entered the White House. The problems are stubborn and long-lasting.
the empty rhetoric and lackluster policies of the past seven years have made
a difficult road more difficult for Americans with disabilities. We believe
change --- dramatic change --- is necessary and possible. We deeply believe
that Barack Obama is the best candidate to lead our nation and to help us
change our world.
Barack Obama's goal is our goal --- a world free of barriers, stereotypes,
and discrimination. He has proposed a Plan to Empower Americans with
Disabilities that sets the right agenda for achieving that goal. We urge
you to read his Plan by going to www.BarackObama.com, clicking on the
"Issues" tab, and then clicking on "Disabilities," or going directly to
http://www.BarackObama.com/issues/disabilities. Even more important than
the specific details of the plan is the fact that he has a plan. He has
Barack Obama's understanding of the hopes and dreams of Americans with
disabilities and their families, and his knowledge of the barriers they
face, run deep. He knows what it means to be denied health insurance
because of one's pre-existing condition: his own mother worried about whether
her new health insurance policy would deny her coverage as she lay dying
from cancer. He learned about the every-day barriers people with
disabilities face from his father-in-law, Frasier Robinson, who lived with
multiple sclerosis. From his wife Michelle, he learned what families must
overcome when supporting a loved one with a disability. Barack Obama has
faced down and helped others topple bigotry all of his life. As a community
organizer, a civil rights attorney, a state legislator, and a U.S. Senator,
he has constantly reached beyond what divides us to forge a working majority
for hope. He believes our nation's best days lay ahead of us --- not behind
us. He helps us believe in the most powerful American dream --- that
together we can build a more just and perfect union, that together we can
change the world. For Americans with disabilities, this is the kind of
leader we need. Barack Obama has the experience we must have in the next
President of the United States of America.
As President, he will bring us together --- all of us --- to build a society
in which every person can feel that they belong, each person can achieve to
the limits of his or her abilities, and all people can make a difference. We
hope you will join us in supporting Barack Obama for President of the United
States. Thank you very much.
Seth Harris, Former Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Former
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy
Paul Steven Miller, Former Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment
OpportunityCommission, and Former White House Liaison to the
Sue Swenson, Former Commissioner, Administration on Developmental
Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Robert R. Williams, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of
Health & Human Services
An unreasonable man (but my wife says that's redundant!)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
depends on the unreasonable man.
-George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
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