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Category archive for: Bernie Sanders

Will Bernie, Hillary or Trump Win the California Disability Vote?

5.9 Million Eligible Voters with a Disability in California

Washington, June 2 – Next week’s California primary is being called the final battleground for the Democratic primary. While Hillary Clinton is expected to secure the nomination in New Jersey, which also goes to the polls on June 7, California has become an unexpectedly tight race between her and Bernie Sanders, who has pledged to stay in the race until the Democratic convention in July.

California has 5.9 million eligible voters with a disability, and as it is a race to watch, RespectAbility is sharing its California Disability Voter Guide. California’s voters are looking to know where the candidates stand on important disability issues in order to increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

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Clinton, Sanders Woo New York’s Disability Voters

Washington, April 12 – There’s a noticeable shift in the content of the Democratic presidential nominees as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are taking turns pushing the disability agenda – a first for any presidential campaign.

Both the former Secretary of State and Vermont Senator were quick to complete the #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire. They have significantly different views on the issues.

Since then, the candidates have taken turns trying to one-up each other on issues such as subminimum wage (see statements by both Clinton and Sanders) and the Disability Integration Act (Clinton, Sanders) while on the campaign trail in New York.

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Sanders Becomes Co-Sponsor of Disability Integration Act

Washington, April 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders signed on as a cosponsor of The Disability Integration Act (DIA) on the same day his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton released an official statement on her website announcing support of the bill. The DIA was introduced in the Senate in December 2015 by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and currently has five co-sponsors.

The DIA will ensure that people in need of long-term services and supports such as personal care attendants can receive these services while living at home or in the community instead of in an institutionalized setting if they wish to do so. Studies have shown that it is more cost effective to do so than to live in institutionalized settings such as nursing homes where people with disabilities can no longer participate and contribute to society by working and paying taxes.

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Sanders: End Subminimum Wage for People with Disabilities

Washington, April 5 – Sen. Bernie Sanders is joining the rally call to raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers – including people with disabilities.

“This campaign is about building on these successes so that everyone in this country can enjoy the dignity and basic economic security that comes from a living wage, no matter what state they live in,” Sanders said in a statement as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New York and California respectively. “That includes ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers and persons with disabilities.”

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Hillary Clinton’s Making the Case Against Subminimum Wage for People with Disabilities

Washington, March 29 – On Monday, Secretary Hillary Clinton called for the end of tiered wages and the increase of the minimum wage for all people, including those with disabilities.

“When it comes to jobs, we’ve got to figure out how we get the minimum wage up and include people with disabilities in the minimum wage,” Clinton said in Madison, Wisconsin while replying to a question by an autistic adult about subminimum wages for disabled workers. “There should not be a tiered wage, and right now there is a tiered wage when it comes to facilities that do provide opportunities but not at a self-sufficient wage that enables people to gain a degree of independence as far as they can go.”

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Flint Debate Misses Opportunity to Highlight Disability

Washington, March 7 – The Democratic debate held in Flint, Michigan last night had potential to delve into a variety of disability topics. Flint is a disability issue after all, as the water crises causes lead poisoning, which results in a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Imagine this for a second, imagine a mother who had a bright seven-year-old gregarious girl doing well in school; two years later, that child is now in special education, intellectual capabilities significantly deteriorated,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recounted a story from a mother he met on the trail while responding to a question about holding people accountable for the poisoned water. “That is a crime against that child, and the people of Flint.”

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Bernie’s Joke on Republicans Offends Disability Community

Washington, March 7 – During last night’s Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders made a joke about the Republican candidates – but offended many in the mental health community.

“We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health,” Sanders said. “And when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in that.”

While many people, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, understood Sanders’ joke regarding the middle-school name-calling and innuendo-laden references at last week’s GOP presidential debate, many within the mental illness community are saying that these are not signs of mental illness. By making this joke, they say, Sanders is showing his ableism.

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Clinton: Invest in People with Disabilities

Washington, Feb. 21 – During last night’s victory speech in Nevada, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton addressed the disability community, pledging to ensure that they would have the same opportunities as anyone else to participate in society.

“Don’t you think it’s time to face head-on the reality of systemic racism and invest in communities that have been left out and left behind,” the former Secretary of State said at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. “That means reforming our criminal justice system, our immigration systems, ensuring that people with disabilities have the same opportunities to work and fully participate in our society!”

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Sanders: Must Fight for Disability Rights

Concord, N.H., Feb. 10 – During last night’s victory speech celebrating his win of the New Hampshire primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders excited the disability community when he included a shout out for disability rights.

“We must pursue the fight for women’s rights, for gay rights, for disability rights,” Sanders said to applause.

Disability leaders tweeted it out, happy for the mere mention of the phrase “disability right.”

.@BernieSanders mentions #disability rights in #NHPrimary speech tonight #FITN

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New Hampshire #PwDsVote 2016 Candidate Questionnaire & Voter Guide

Concord, New Hampshire, Feb. 8 – RespectAbility released its New Hampshire update to its first #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities (PwDs). For the New Hampshire release, more than half of the presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle have responded to the questionnaire.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls.

“Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. There are 56 million Americans with disabilities, and we have the ability to determine who wins or loses elections,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “In the early voting states, there are 357,730 people with a disability in Iowa, 166,258 PwDs in New Hampshire, 680,038 PwDs in South Carolina and 357,035 PwDs in Nevada. Our community will play a major role in the outcome of this election, and it is vital for us to know where the candidates stand on our issues.”

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#PwDsVote Questionnaire Released: Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Complete Questionnaires

Washington, Jan. 30 – RespectAbility has released its first #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities (PwDs).

“Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. There are 56 million Americans with disabilities, and we have the ability to determine who wins or loses elections,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “In the early voting states there are 357,730 people with a disability in Iowa, 166,258 PwDs in New Hampshire, 680,038 PwDs in South Carolina and 357,035 PwDs in Nevada. Our community will play a major role in the outcome of this election, and it is vital for us to know where the candidates stand on our issues.”

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Disability Issues Lack Spotlight But Not Forgotten at CNN Democratic Town Hall

Washington, Jan. 27 – Many minority groups were highlighted at this week’s Democratic Town Hall, with questions ranging from racial inequality to LGBT rights. However, the largest minority group – the 56 million people with disabilities – was not. Even though there were no direct questions, all three candidates brought up issues important to the community.

Secretary Hillary Clinton gave a shout out to Sen. Tom Harkin, who has endorsed Clinton, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), of which Harkin was a co-author.

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Sanders Campaign First to Fill Out #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Jan. 25 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked all of the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. While many campaigns responded positively that they are working on it, the Bernie Sanders campaign is the first to respond with a fully completed #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities (PwDs).

We are presenting the campaign’s answers in full below.

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Don’t Forget People with Disabilities When Talking About Unjust Police Killings And Prison Statistics

Washington, Jan. 19 – Racial profiling. Unjust police killings. Black lives matter. All important topics to be discussed during a presidential debate.

Lacking during Sunday night’s NBC Democratic debate – questions about America’s largest minority group – people with disabilities (PwDs).

When moderator Lester Holt asked Secretary Hillary Clinton about racial profiling and unjust police killings, she called for a “clear agenda for retraining police officers.”

“There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”

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Focus on Heroin Drug Addiction, Mental Health Treatment at Fourth Democratic Debate

Washington, Jan. 18 – Drug addiction took a spotlight once again at last night’s Democratic presidential debate.

“We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as a crime and instead, move it to where it belongs, as a health issue,” Secretary Hillary Clinton said in response to a question on the deadly heroin epidemic, around the country.

Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, said he agreed with Clinton that drug addiction is a disease.

“What that means is we need a revolution in this country in terms of mental health treatment,” Sanders said, before pivoting to his proposed single-payer healthcare plan. “People should be able to get the treatment that they need when they need it, not two months from now, which is why I believe in universal healthcare with mental health a part of that.”

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Sanders: End Discrimination Against People with Disabilities

Des Moines, Jan. 3 – Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an end to all forms of discrimination including against people who may have a disability.

“Either we’re going to end bigotry and discrimination or we’re not,” he said during a town hall in Knoxville, IA, on Dec. 31. “I believe we must do everything that we can to end all forms of bigotry and all forms of discrimination. And that is discrimination against people whose skin may be different than ours or the nation they were born in, or they may or may not have a disability.”

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Drug addiction takes center stage at third Democratic debate

Manchester, NH, Dec. 20 – The third Democratic presidential debate touched on a topic often overlooked among the myriad of issues candidates face at debates – drug addiction, in particular the growing heroin epidemic in New Hampshire and across the country.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called the epidemic a “tragedy all over the country,” and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said, “it’s a huge public health challenge.”

Sanders pointed out that we “need to understand that addiction is a disease, not a criminal activity.”

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Sanders Supports Affordable Healthcare Allowing People To Live And Work

Des Moines, Nov. 17 – At a roundtable with family caregivers and medical experts, presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders listened to Iowans talk about how both retirees needing additional help and working age people with disabilities who choose to work may lose coverage for personal care attendants under Medicaid and Medicare – trapping them in a lose-lose situation with this barrier to work.

When The RespectAbility Report’s Justin Chappell asked how a President Sanders would be a voice for the 70 percent of unemployed people with disabilities nationwide and 55 percent in Iowa, Sanders acknowledged that this is an important issue that he needs to learn more about.

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Sanders: 500,000 Veterans Have PTSD, Brain Injuries

Des Moines, Nov. 15 – The second Democratic presidential debate began with a focus on American foreign policy and military involvement in the Middle East.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders interrupted the conversation, pivoting to veterans’ affairs – causing criticism to grow that he lacks the international affairs experience needed to be presidient.

Yet, with this comment, Sanders was the only candidate to remotely bring up anything related to people with disabilities.

“When you talk about the long-term consequences of war, let’s talk about the men and women who came home from war – the 500,000 who came home with PTSD and traumatic brain injury,” the senator from Vermont said. “And I would hope that in the midst of all of this discussion, this country makes certain that we do not turn our backs on the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us. And that we stand with them as they have stood with us.”

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Sanders Campaign to Focus on Caregiving for People with Disabilities

Des Moines, Nov. 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign is focusing on caregivers and assistance for people with disabilities this month, according to Bruce Koeppl, a senior advisor for the campaign who is based in Iowa.

“That’s what you can look for this weekend as we begin to unroll some additional issues. Sunday we will be having the panel on caregiving. Soon we will be going out and doing coffee with aging advocates around Medicaid, Social Security, caregiving. So it’s going to be an important issue for him this fall as we get into the caucuses.”

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