In my last post I wrote about the public forum on December 2 for Mayor-elect Bowser’s health and human services transition committee. That forum was dominated by issues of homelessness, which was no surprise. But this is still the committee – chaired by Laura Meyers and Louvenia Williams - that will be making recommendations to the mayor-elect with respect to disability concerns, as well. There are crucial issues on the horizon – the need to bring the Evans lawsuit to a close, a goal that’s nearly within reach; the need to alter D.C.’s outmoded system of “commitment” for individuals with significant intellectual disabilities; and the need to broaden the system of waivers to cover not only persons with intellectual disabilities, but those with developmental disabilities as well. If Laura Nuss, the current director of the Department on Disability Services, is replaced at this time, all these urgent goals will be dealt a serious setback. Every one of you reading this has a stake in these essential reforms, and therefore you have a stake in keeping Laura in this position.
The mayor-elect and her transition team have a great many important decisions to make about filling key positions in the administration. Just today she began making her first appointments, but as she herself has said, not all incumbents must go. She needs to hear from us, and she needs to hear from us now, that Laura Nuss is one of the senior appointees she must keep on the job! So put yourselves down in front of your computers, go to the mayor-elect’s transition website, www.wearewashingtondc.com, hit “Contact us,” and tell the mayor-elect, as well as Ms. Meyers and Ms. Williams, that Laura Nuss needs to stay. It’ll only take you a minute, but it’s an important minute.
Once we know Laura is being kept on, we can get back to focusing on the reform agenda. And when the mayor-elect gets all these messages, she’ll also know there’s a constituency out here that cares about disability issues, and we’re going to speak up!
All together now! Just do it, folks!