Jager, Newman dis Eureka’s disabled community
[Guest Post by Andrew Bird.]
Tri-County Independent Living in Eureka has been helping those with disabilities in our community gain more control over their lives for 32 years. TCIL’s mission is to promote the Philosophy of Independent Living, to connect individuals to services and to create an accessible community, so that people with disabilities can have full access to the community.
This election, TCIL sent surveys to candidates for county supervisor, Eureka City Council and Eureka mayor.
The surveys focused on issues relevant to people with disabilities, including seniors, as well as care providers. TCIL published the answers from the candidates about 10 days ago. They can be viewed on TCIL’s Facebook page.
“We wanted to raise the awareness of these issues in the eyes of the candidates,” Glenn Reed, TCIL’s Outreach & Resource Development coordinator, told the Times-Standard. “We also wanted to help area people with disabilities, seniors, care providers and others to make more informed decisions in this election.”
Ron Kuhnel, Peter La Vallee, Bonnie Neely, Larry Glass and Patrick Cleary took the time to read and complete the survey. So did Marian Brady, Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg.
But Frank Jager and Mike Newman did not. Newman completed only part of the survey, ignoring the tougher questions. Jager ignored the survey altogether – at least he didn’t bother to submit answers.
I humbly suggest to Mr. Jager and Mr. Newman that it is a mistake to disrespect those with disabilities and the people at TCIL.
As Reed put it to the Times-Standard: “All too often (persons with disabilities) are ignored by those in elected office at all levels because they aren’t viewed as a powerful voting block when, in fact, they have a voice and can make a difference.”
In my two years experience working for the Legislature, I have found that people with disabilities are indeed very much involved in the political process – and they do vote.