[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
POLITICAL ACTION ALERT – Sunday, May 13, 2001
We need the immediate help of everyone in the developmentally disabled community!
A group of families have recently begun an effort to get some tax relief for the more than three million families in the US who have children with developmental disabilities.
The basic idea is to leverage the autism community’s political visibility and take advantage of the fact that there will be a new tax code this year. If the administration is going to pass a tax bill, they will need to include some items that help ordinary families. We can not officially do this as Cure Autism Now, because this is not in our mission, but there is a once in a lifetime opportunity here, and it would be wasteful not to take full advantage of it.
We are asking for the adoption of a refundable tax credit to offset a share of the unreimbursed expenses families must often take on. These will include, among others: Behavioral therapy, speech, occupational therapy, auditory processing therapy, assistive communications, respite etc.
On Tuesday, May 15, Senator Torrecelli of New Jersey may, if conditions are appropriate, offer an amendment to President Bush’s tax bill requesting the tax credit for developmentally disabled children. If he is able to introduce the amendment, we will need to persuade additional members of the Senate Finance Committee to vote for the amendment.
***Here’s what you can do to help make this happen***
On Monday, May 14, starting at 9am EST and continuing until 6pm EST, call the members of the Senate Finance committee. Their names and numbers are listed below, and they are in order of priority. Call as many as you can, but start from the top of the list. If one of the members is your personal senator, definitely call them first, and let them know you are a constituent.
Here’s what to say: Ask for their staff member that handles tax matters. Tell him or her, or leave a message on their voicemail, that you understand Senator Torrecelli may offer an amendment that calls for a tax credit for all developmentally disabled children. Ask them to let their boss know that there are millions of American families, like yours, that are urging them to vote for this amendment. Mention your child’s disability and how expensive it is to give them good care.
Please forward this message to everyone with a developmentally disabled child.
Jonathan Shestack, Co-founder, Cure Autism Now Elizabeth Emken, Political Action Coordinator, Cure Autism Now