Cure Autism Now: POLITICAL ACTION ALERT | May 13, 2001

[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.

Finance Committee

Please forward this message to everyone with a developmentally disabled child.

Thank you,

Jonathan Shestack, Co-founder, Cure Autism Now Elizabeth Emken, Political Action Coordinator, Cure Autism Now

One response to “Cure Autism Now: POLITICAL ACTION ALERT | May 13, 2001”

  1. Tax was not Bush the younger’s strong point.

    And nor was making it core policy.

    It did bring a lot of ordinary families to the Republican Party and the conservative causes of the United States more generally.

    But much of the wider disability community has been liberal since John Fitzgerald Kennedy [and at least centrist].

    Remember too there is not a united political front.

    The Trisomy 21 community has skewered conservative and reactionary for very good historical reasons. Over the past 10 years I have seen and heard the more liberal and radical parental voices silence.

    Cerebral palsy and epilepsy have been much more variable.

    As have the generic intellectual/developmental disability community – whether by genetics or environment [the broad split].

    Also it is very much a matter of having something done FOR you or TO you or WITH you or BY you.

    We live in a society; not an economy.

    Meanwhile in Australia – there was a by-election that week.

    In the United Kingdom – local and general elections – people were losing faith in Blair after his messianic first term – and through Foot and Mouth. [and this spilt over to local Members of Parliament].

    [France would not have elections for another year – and there was averted a big lurch to the right in the second round – a bit like this year {2022} in fact].

    Something about part of me admiring Shestack’s chutzpah and the way he rallied the constituency.

    And the other point: GOOD CARE IS NOT EXPENSIVE.

    [Read some Wikipedia articles about Care in the Community – UK and US versions].

    Many people in the business world love a rebate or more.

    This is why private equity has become the gold standard [!!!!!].


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