Yesterday I had the honor of testifying at a hearing on behalf of INCLUDEnyc and the hundreds of thousands of young people with disabilities and their families living in New York City. The hearing topic was the impact of the United State Senate’s most recent health care proposal held by New York City’s Public Advocate, Letitia James.
As I listened to many other concerned citizens and change agents speak truth to power, I kept wondering why the energy in the room was like nothing else I had ever experienced during my short advocacy career or as a parent of a teenager with developmental disabilities.
Was the energy so powerful because the implications of passing this bill are unprecedented? Or was it because, like much of my professional work, this issue is deeply personal and feels like an attack on the elderly, poor, sick, and disabled?
Yes, those reasons had something to do with it.
But it was the passion and compassion in people's voices and words that were most powerful. It was seeing the strength of people of many backgrounds, ages, identities, races, classes, and differences taking action and banding together.
It’s about uniting as a city to secure our future so we don’t go backwards. It’s about inclusion in every way.
Follow Lori on Twitter: @Podvesker