in the news

Marta Russell ap888 at
Wed Mar 3 16:22:34 PST 1999

Chuck and Doyle,

The CIL in Berkeley was far advanced as to its politics. The ILC movement across the nation today is much more conservative.

The IHSS program in California from the beginning was set up to save the state money. The amount necessary to institutionalize someone is more when comparied to what it costs to allow people to remain in their homes with a personal assistant. I largely fault the state for the current predicament because it could have given a decent wage and health benefits THEN to workers with the difference in money it saved (I haven't done exact projections but it should work out to cost no more than institutionalization) but instead the state took advantage and did not treat the IHSS program with any respect.

I find myself in a hard place when I speak with disabled people about Left politics because there are so many who have a narrow range of thought and experience with political ideology (it tends to be traditional and put off by left politics). Yet when I speak with progressives about disability issues I also encounter much resistance and demeaning commentary about disability not being "important." It doesn't rate up there with gender and race issues. That is one reason I wrote my book because I wanted to dispell that false notion.

Sometimes it is hard to be a person who ventures to say things that need to be said (or at least I think they need to be said) to both groups. We are a truly divided society and sometimes it feels like an uphill run to bridge a few gaps.

I hope after that ADA backlash Symposium at the law school - at which I anticipate some backlash for my Marxist perspective - I have enough energy to provide a contribution to this discussion in person when we meet for breakfast the next day.

Best, Marta

Chuck Grimes wrote:

> It isn't an exercise in ideals, but a measure of how much was
> destoryed by the entire sweep of conservative and reactionary attacks
> on social service programs.
> Excuse the trip down memory lane (1972-83/4). The way CIL worked was
> through a series of grants and contracts with the fed, state, county,
> and city. The services provided were attendent training and referral,
> housing referral and modification, school aid training and referral,
> wheelchair fabrication, modification and repair, van modification and
> repair, and on call transportation, as well as a series of standard
> routes (para-transit)
> The service components also included benefit advocacy and counseling
> for the full range of health and welfare systems from VA to SSI and so
> on. Also available were a variety of peer counselling groups centered
> on various issues from independent living, sex and family, parents,
> children, and so on. In less tangible terms but still service
> oriented, there were legal, political and policy sections that
> corresponded to the various government divisions in the city, the
> county, state, and fed. Some of these sections broke off from the main
> CIL organization as they recieved their own grants and
> contracts--DREADF was one of these. Later, as CIL disintegrated
> through being starved to death for money, many of the political and
> policy people created WID.
> The orginal CIL organization set up was basically integrated disabled
> and able bodied with the obvious division falling along the line of
> who could physically do what. Most of the administration was
> disabled. It was of course racially integrated--although this was
> still an on-going issue since most of the minority people who were
> managers were in services components rather than policy making,
> and the higher up in the hierarchy.
> Well, you get the idea. It was big and comprehensive and created a
> platform and presence in the community, as well as in
> government. There was nothing incompatiable with any of the
> progressive movements or ideals of the period.
> Gotta go to work,
> Chuck Grimes

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