Rights Groups Find Power In Numbers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 18, 2003
ALBANY, NEW YORK--In New York, groups facing discrimination have found powerful allies -- in each other.
Two years ago, members of the disability rights group ADAPT joined forces with Housing Works, part of the HIV/AIDS group ACT-UP, along with advocates for people with mental illnesses, to get lawmakers to pay attention to issues that are important to them.
In their first action together, about 100 protested outside Governor George Pataki's offices in the state capitol. Many were arrested for their civil disobedience.
"At the door were people with psychiatric disabilities chained to people with AIDS chained to people in wheelchairs," Michael Kink, organizer for Housing Works told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Since then, the groups have worked together and separately to successfully bring about positive change in state government.
But members are angered now over delays on promises the governor made to them on a new health program, and his plans to keep SSI recipients from getting an increase in benefits.
"The disability community feels under attack," said Kink.
Democrat & Chronicle