Rebecca Vallas Profile picture
Jul 26, 2018 13 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Hi friends!

Today, as we mark the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (#ADA28), let’s do one better.

Let’s stop relegating people with disabilities to a single day in the calendar.

1. One in five Americans are people with disabilities. NEWSFLASH: This makes pretty much every issue a disability issue—from health care to the economy to the environment, to criminal justice, and more.
2. But for too long the notion of “disability policy” has lived in a silo—artificially & counterproductively separate from the fight to end poverty & tackle inequality, to curb climate change, to achieve criminal justice reform, and even the fight for universal health care.
3. It’s that kind of siloed thinking that paves the way for well-intentioned but counterproductive & inadvertently ableist policymaking—like straw bans that may make sense from an environmental perspective, but which in practice compromise the accessibility of public places.
4. Like “universal” health care proposals that leave behind people with disabilities because they fail to include long-term services and supports. And blanket restrictions on access to opioids that ignore people who need them to manage chronic pain.
5. Fellow progressives, take note: Fighting for social justice doesn’t automatically make our work inclusive—or even accessible. (Does your video have captions? Does your event have an ASL interpreter? Does your mic come off the podium so a speaker in a wheelchair can use it?)
6. Wonderful as it is to see disability activism finally gain the broad recognition it has so long deserved following the ACA fight, recognition is not enough. PWD must be appreciated not just as part of an outreach strategy, or a compelling protest meme, or sexy talking point.
7. Real talk: Working with the disability community doesn't mean calling up @NationalADAPT and seeing if they’ll get arrested at a particular place & time to help get earned media around a particular cause. It means ensuring people with disabilities are actually at the table.
@NationalADAPT 8. That’s why I’m beyond proud that this week @amprog launched the Disability Justice Initiative (@CAPDisability)—a project dedicated to applying disability as a lens across every issue we work on, in service of building out a truly inclusive policy agenda.
@NationalADAPT @amprog @CAPDisability 9. Importantly, @CAPDisability’s work will intentionally center multiply marginalized voices, such as people of color with disabilities, immigrants with disabilities & LGBTQ disabled folks—and ensure they have a seat at the table.
@NationalADAPT @amprog @CAPDisability 10. As we launch @CAPDisability—led by my incredible sister @rebeccacokley@amprog is proud to become the first and only progressive think tank with a dedicated disability project.

**Read more about the work in her essay for @TalkPoverty:…
@NationalADAPT @amprog @CAPDisability @RebeccaCokley @TalkPoverty 11. So today, let’s commemorate 28 years of the ADA. But when we wake up tomorrow, and the day after that, let’s recommit daily to the work of building a truly inclusive progressive movement that doesn’t relegate people with disabilities to one day on the calendar. /end

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More from @rebeccavallas

Sep 12, 2018
Later this morning, @uscensusbureau will release its annual report on poverty for 2017.

We expect a slight downtick in the U.S. poverty rate—which is without question good news.

But if Trump tries to take credit, he deserves to be laughed out of the room.

(Here’s why.)
@uscensusbureau Any good news for struggling workers is thanks to Trump’s FAILURE to impose much of his policy agenda (AKA a how-to guide for massively increasing poverty & hardship):

- dismantling food assistance
- tripling the poorest families’ rents
- stripping jobless workers of Medicaid
@uscensusbureau In fact, analysis by my colleagues @rwest817 & @kfgrobbins found that if just *three* of Trump’s draconian cuts to programs that help families make ends meet had been in place in 2015, 2.3 MILLION more Americans would have been poor.…
Read 7 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Literally right as House & Senate began conference on the #FarmBill this morning, @USDA released a report finding 15 MILLION American households—about 1 in 6—struggled to put food on the table at some point last year.…
Yet House Republicans, led by @ConawayTX11, are STILL pushing for massive cuts to nutrition assistance that would take food away from 2 million Americans.
These are the members of Congress who are deciding whether to maintain food assistance through SNAP—or to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids & families to pay for millionaire & corporate tax cuts👇👇👇 #handsoffSNAP #FarmBill
Read 4 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Wow. Internal documents show Trump’s State Department knowingly lied, ignored warnings from top economic advisers & manipulated data in an attempt to discredit the recent UN report on poverty in America, per @ForeignPolicy.…
The same internal documents also indicate the UN’s report on poverty in America did indeed play a role in motivating the US’s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council earlier this summer.
The same documents show that the State Dept. chose to rely on analysis from the conservative Heritage Foundation OVER THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU—the agency whose job it is to produce and analyze the federal government’s official poverty data—in its effort to whitewash poverty.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 16, 2018
Move over, climate change.

Trump’s White House just issued a sweeping denial of poverty in America.

1. In a report released late last week, Trump’s WH declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” The report is literally page after page of gaslighting the very real hardship faced by tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford food, housing, healthcare & more.
2. The WH report brazenly denies that homelessness is a meaningful problem in the U.S.—erasing the plight of the over *half a million* Americans without shelter on any given night (which includes 58,000 families with children).
Read 22 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
Feeling all the emotions watching PA @GovernorTomWolf sign the #CleanSlateAct into law just now. Proud to have worked w/my mentor @SDietrich9 to develop the “clean slate” automatic sealing model (now being picked up by other states & Congress!) & @erincohan to get it done in PA.
My head is swirling with thoughts of all of my @CLSphila clients who will be freed from the life sentences to poverty they‘re currently serving once the #CleanSlateAct takes effect. Watching my friend Ronald speak at the signing about what it means to him brought me to tears. :)
Huge thanks to @GovernorTomWolf @RepDelozier @SenTonyWilliams @RepHarris @SenScottWagner for your leadership in making Pennsylvania the first state to adopt clean slate legislation—excited to see Michigan, South Carolina & Colorado already following in PA’s footsteps.
Read 5 tweets
Jun 18, 2018
For anyone needing more evidence the @SaveOurTips anti-minimum wage propaganda is built on a house of lies…

The lobby group behind the campaign to kill #Initiative77 is the same group that claimed a smoking ban would be the death of DC restaurants over a decade ago.

@saveourtips 1/ One of the main lobby groups trying to keep DC’s tipped workers from getting a raise under #Initiative77 is the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (@RAMWdc).

They’re the ones behind the astroturf @SaveOurTips campaign.
@saveourtips @RAMWdc 2/ @RAMWdc’s @SaveOurTips misinformation campaign is full wild, unsubstantiated claims, as I’ve noted before:

But their effort to kill #Initiative77 is hardly the first time they’ve lied to DC voters to try to sink a popular ballot measure.
Read 11 tweets

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