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27, 2009 – FRIDAY
“Federal Trigger” Cuts
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE NOW – AND REMEMBERING THE LEGACY OF AN AMERICAN HERO
draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live.
We shall endure."
shall strike. We shall organize boycotts. We shall demonstrate and have
political campaigns. We shall pursue the revolution we have proposed. We are
sons and daughters of the farm workers' revolution, a revolution of the poor
seeking bread and justice. "
the chance for political participation is there, we who are poor will continue
to attack the soft part of the American system - its economic
structure…These attacks on the status quo will come, not because we hate,
but because we know America can construct a humane society for all its
Cesar Chavez [photo left is copy of Time Magazine cover story on Chavez, 1969]]
This coming Monday (March 30th) is
’s observance of the birthday of an authentic American hero, Cesar Chavez.
It is perhaps fitting that we think of him, his work and legacy as we ponder
how it is that
can allow terrible things to happen to its own people.
legacy was about fighting for what was right and decent. The struggle
was a moral issue as much as it was a legal one in fighting for the rights of
farmworkers and others who worked the fields.
And the impact of that struggle sent a ripple of hope far beyond the
boundaries of any field.
at the time he began the struggle is was a politically lonely battle – with
a goal that seemed unreachable. Until you reach for it.
se puede. Yes we can. It can be done. If we try.
there is a will and if there is an effort what follows will always be a
is truly the harder choice to make and the harder choice to do. No one
would ever claim that the work of Cesar Chavez was easy. Doing the right
thing and reaching for something that seems unreachable never is.
brings us now to what
is doing to its own children, its elderly – its own people.
recovery in the federal economic stimulus bills are not just for banks, for
investment firms, for auto makers or for those who own homes. It is not
just for AIG, the Big 3 Automakers and other entities that somehow are seen as
more deserving than others.
community is deserving too. Children and adults with disabilities,
mental health needs, people with traumatic brain and other injuries, people
with MS and Alzheimer’s and other disorders, seniors and their families have
a right to share in the recovery like any other Californian. Our
community should not be the ones targeted to pay for it.
or other lending institution can force a family out of their cherished home
due to foreclosure. And the Governor and the Legislature through their
actions in making harmful budget cuts can force a family out of their
cherished home too – by cutting needed services, like Medi-Cal, and supports
through regional centers, home health agencies, accessible transportation,
In-Home Supportive Services, SSI/SSP.
Governor and Legislature should find solutions that protect Californians from
losing their homes in either instance – through foreclosure, or through bad
budget decisions that lead to cuts or elimination of needed supports and
services, or even cuts in support worker jobs.
there is any lesson to be learned from any of this – it is simply that the
lack of accountability, of oversight leads to bad decisions, and harmful acts
against innocent people. And one more lesson: that these harmful acts
don’t just hurt one family or one individual. It has a ripple effect
that can bring down a national – and state – economy. It harms every
one. It is also just wrong.
people keep their jobs is not just for people who work in certain industries
– it is also important to do for the hundreds of thousands of Californians
who work hard each and every day as supported living, independent living,
direct care and respite and other workers, as In-Home Supportive Services, in
mental health and home health and other services and programs. Our
community has a right to recovery too.
talk of hard choices that need to be made – or the mantra that everyone and
everything needs to share in the budget solution. What is missing from
that talk is the bottom line that sometimes the hardest choice is doing what
Governor and Legislature need to restore these terrible cuts to In-Home
Supportive Services, to Medi-Cal optional benefits, to SSI/SSP, to CalWORKS,
to regional centers and make the recovery of California fair because it is the
right thing to do and because it will never work unless it is.
doing so is forgetting a moral responsibility and a moral right. It is
forgetting the legacy and work of Cesar Chavez and so many other advocates and
if they forget, we will remind them. We will be there – as parents and
others were there so many years ago at the State Capitol in fighting for the
civil rights of people with developmental disabilities, who said “we are
here to speak for justice”.
Si se puede. Yes we can.
OMOTO COMMENTARY AND ACTION ALERTS
This is a periodic personal commentary
and ACTION ALERTS by
, director/advocate of the
Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN). These commentaries represent the
personal opinion of
only - and does not necessarily represent the viewpoints or opinions of anyone
else. These commentaries are separate from the CDCAN Reports, which strive to
be objective in getting information out to people with disabilities, mental
health needs, seniors, their families, workers and others.
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archived copies. Omoto's sister Alana had developmental and other
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