Letter From The CEO
As the clock struck midnight on 2020, many promised themselves that the year of tumult and strife would be behind us as a nation and that in 2021 we would be well on our way to better days as a country and community. The events that transpired on January 6, 2020, demonstrate that there is no moment, neither in the present nor in the future, during which we can take our eyes off the goal of justice and inclusion for all. Insurrection against American ideals serves no one and actively deteriorates faith in our institutions.
An Insurrection is a violent uprising against an authority or government.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania condemns the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. We express our loudest outrage that the center of the first branch of our constitutional government was violently attacked by individuals hunting and seeking to harm the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and other elected officials. The peaceful transfer of power has been a hallmark of our democracy for over 200 years. It was jarring for Americans everywhere to see it threatened when the Electoral College certification was interrupted. We respect the rights of people to disagree and to assemble peacefully but not to overthrow the first branch of our constitutional government or to attempt to harm elected officials.
Law enforcement, U.S. Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and others will work to identify and bring to justice those who organized, incited, and participated in the insurrection of January 6. This is one of the first steps that will return us to our democratic roots.
In addition to undermining the democratic process, the insurrection has worked in other negative ways by shifting disability policy out of sight and out of mind in the middle of a pandemic that is impacting our community deeply. The pandemic is disproportionately taking the lives of people of color and people with disabilities. We enter a new legislative session with critical issues facing disabled people. COVID-19 testing access, ensuring quick vaccine distribution, protecting and enhancing home and community-based service funding, and continued distribution of personal protective equipment to those facilities that need it are the top priorities. Yet again, focus has been diverted from the disability community as our nation faces
this constitutional crisis. We fear the insurrection will impact the future of policymaking and civic discourse over the visibility and engagement on our policy issues. We cannot fall back into a cycle of disabled disenfranchisement on public policy.
There is some hope, and it already lies in your hands While our U.S. Capitol may be more difficult to physically access, we still have the ability to communicate with our congressional delegation through email.
We have an action item for you that you can read about later in our newsletter. I always say #AdvocacyMatters. Let us start our advocacy for 2021 with an email to our members of congress. Let us condemn the insurrection and urge our delegation to get back to the business of supporting people with disabilities through this pandemic. Join us as we call for a return to focus on COVID for our community.
Peri Jude Radecic, CEO
P.S. You can help support our policy efforts on COVID-19 with a donation of any size today.