Washington, July 30 – “Yes we’ve come a far way, yes we’ve accomplished much, but we are strong in will to strive to seek to find and not to yield until we get to the real realization of that promise of the ADA and the promise of America,” Steny Hoyer (D- Md) said to applause at a rally hosted by the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Hoyer has received great acclaim because of his work in the disability community. Twenty-five years ago when the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was in its early stages, Hoyer led the effort to pass the act.
“We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet,” Hoyer emphasized. “We don’t have full access to employment yet. Independent living is a real challenge for so many of us now, so we’re not there yet.”
Hoyer, who spoke at at least twenty ADA-related events this week, also released a statement through his congressional office echoing this sentiment.
“As we mark this milestone anniversary, let us rededicate ourselves to the task of securing full equality, access, and opportunity for those with differing abilities and continue working to ensure that every American can contribute to their fullest measure in our shared project of a better future for our nation and the world.”
Read the full transcript of Steny Hoyer’s remarks at the NCIL rally:
Look I am so pleased to be here with you. I was probably with a lot of you last night. Were you there last night? (cheering) Twenty-five years ago, I mentioned a lot of names and people who had been involved, remember that last night. I am not going to mention any of those names, because the people who really made it happen. You know last night was about pride, power, and promise. Those were the three P’s. And I talked about Robert Frost, the road not taken and and the brambles and the branches in front of it, and none of you allowed those branches to get in your way. All of you said, I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it for me, I’m going to make it for my family, I’m going to make it for others, I’m going to make it for those who come behind me. We’ve come a long way, but as every speaker has said, we’re not there yet. We don’t have full access to employment yet. Independent living is a real challenge for so many of us now, so we’re not there yet. So since this is a rally with a lot of speakers I am going to be brief.
My proudest accomplishment will be working with all of you. Whenever I end my term I tell people, you know, whenever I get through running for Congress. Maybe in 2036 or somewhere around there. (laughs) Yeah right. There was a king whose name was Ulysses, and he did a lot and we’ve done a lot. We’ve come a long way, but Ulysses said he was not there yet. So he said to people of my age, we have a lot of young people here today. I met a doctoral candidate from the University of Maryland. Molly, where are you Molly? Molly’s somewhere back there. She works for NCIL (National Council of Independent Living), she’s young and so many of you are young. Some of us aren’t so young. Some of us have challenges and what Ulysses said, although we are not now that strength, which is olden days moved heaven and earth. That which we are we are, one equal temper of heroic hearts. That’s what you are. One heroic heart, pumping together. Although we are not now that strength, which in olden days moved heaven and earth, adopted that ADA that which we are we are one equal temper of heroic hearts challenged by many things but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (cheering)
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. That’s what this rally is about. Yes we’ve come a far way, yes we’ve accomplished much, but we are strong in will to strive to seek to find and not to yield until we get to the real realization of that promise of the ADA and the promise of America
God Bless you. Keep on keeping on. (Cheering)