Bark’s Bytes #9 | Turn’s Out
While clients on work crews made 2 cents less an hour in 2009, clients working on-site and those hired by a business made 21 cents and $1.23 more an hour respectively. There are 112 clients actively involved in self-advocacy groups, 2 clients completed the 8-month Partnership in Policymaking course offered by the Governor’s Council on DD, 1 client was chosen for the Senate Fellowship Internship Program, 51 clients presented their personal short-story with 19 legislators during the 2010 session, 1 client is serving on the Secretary of State’s Disability Workgroup, and 5 clients are working on 2010 election campaigns.
At this point we have done most everything we can to preserve the availability and quality of services and our future is truly in the hearts and hands of the citizenry. For most of the past 50 years Minnesota took pride in its quality of life and citizens understood that it took both their involvement and taxes to nurture and sustain it. This “social covenant” is now in jeopardy as politicians and people blame others and cut budgets instead of finding long-term solutions. One of our company goals is to “Respond to and influence emerging community norms and expectations for people with developmental disabilities” and this year we plan to engage citizens in conversations about the benefits of having people with disabilities part of our communities and the return on investment for money spent on human service programs.
If this degradation of life in Minnesota is to be stopped, citizens will need to get involved in community improvement projects, model respectful behavior, lift others up, and insist on competent political leadership. We have a great State that offers opportunities for a wonderful life to all citizens; let’s not sacrifice it because we want more so that others have less. Its time to turn things around.