Some Disability Groups See Ally In Alioto-Pier
May 14, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--Friday's Los Angeles Times ran a story about Michela Alioto-Pier, who is the first district supervisor in city history to use a wheelchair.
Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Michela Alioto-Pier to replace him as District 2 supervisor in January. Alioto-Pier uses a wheelchair because she is paralyzed below her waist.
Alioto-Pier makes it clear that, while she is perhaps more sensitive to disability issues than her predecessors, she represents a district in which most residents do not have disabilities.
In spite of this, some disability rights groups in the area feel they now have an ally at City Hall.
According to the L.A. Times, Alioto-Pier was the disabilities constituency coordinator for the Clinton-Gore campaign, a participant in a United States-Japan summit on disability and was appointed by President Reagan to the National Council on Disabilities advisory board.
"It would be nice if the concerns of the disabled community weren't separate but part of everything," she said.
Five months after her appointment to the board, Alioto-Pier does not yet have access to the president's dais in the Board of Supervisors chamber, which can only be reached by climbing a set of five stairs.