Dear Mayor-Elect Bowser,
You’ve been elected now, and we’re looking forward to the new ideas and initiatives you’re planning for our city. But we wish you’d had more to say during the campaign about those ideas and initiatives. For example, you didn’t answer the questions I submitted on October 6 with respect to the support that D.C. citizens with developmental disabilities can expect from you as mayor. Granted, I’m just a person with a blog, but there were plenty of folks out there eager to see your answers, and we didn’t see them before Election Day. We’re hoping they’ll come now, and soon, so I’ll repeat them here for the benefit of your transition team:
- What do you believe has been the District’s most significant accomplishment of the past five years to support adults with developmental disabilities?
- What is your #1 priority once the Evans case has been closed?
- As mayor, will you support reintroduction of the Developmental Disabilities Reform Act? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Would you retain the current director of the Department on Disability Services if you are elected? If not, what attributes would you look for in a new director?
- As mayor, what specific work or educational initiatives would you promote for adults with developmental disabilities in the District?
- Are there policies or practices in other jurisdictions with respect to adults with developmental disabilities that you would like to encourage in D.C.?
I’d like to say one thing about the fourth question. I know you have a great many people to reward for their support during the campaign. But the theme you’re putting out there is one of creating new opportunities for underserved citizens, and it’s important for that to extend to D.C. citizens with disabilities. They need your firm and vocal support, and keeping Laura Nuss as DDS director can help ensure that they get it. She walks the talk, and her dedication is clearly evident even to those who sometimes disagree with her. Mayor Fenty knew what he was doing when he elevated her in 2010 to the director’s job, and she’s vastly increased the effectiveness of DDS while also bringing closure of the Evans lawsuit within reach. She still has ideas and direction, and she can ensure that your administration reaches out with heart, determination and intelligence to your constituents with disabilities.
Let’s keep the train on track, Muriel. Hang onto Laura.