ADAPT in Washington

For Immediate Release May 1, 2008

For information contact:
Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

Disability Rights Advocates Challenge McCain and Republicans on Lack of
Support for Community Choice Act: McCain's Office Responds by Arresting
Over 40

Washington, D.C.--- ADAPT took over the offices of Sen. John McCain and
the Republican National Committee Tuesday, demanding support for the
Community Choice Act (S799, HR1621) from the only presidential candidate
who has thus far not signed on as a co-sponsor. What they got for their
efforts were arrests, excuses, and statements about how the National
Republican Committee doesn't have the power to call its own presidential
candidate to ask for a meeting.

"I don't get it," said Cassie James, an Organizer with ADAPT of
Pennsylvania, "Sen. McCain's website says 'There is no cause greater
than protection of human dignity.' We were at his office asking him to
partner with us to protect OUR human dignity by supporting legislation
that allows all older and disabled Americans to live in their own homes
instead of being forced into nursing homes where all dignity and personal
privacy are lost. This is not rocket science; it's basic human and civil

About 250 ADAPT activists filled Sen. McCain's office in the Russell
Senate Building and the halls just outside the office. A few blocks away
another 250 ADAPT activists stormed the offices of the Republican National
Committee (RNC), with 5 wheelchairs gaining entry, and the remainder
blocking all the doors and driveways. There was a nine hour standoff into
the night, during which the RNC staff refused access to the bathroom for
the ADAPT members who were in the building. The main ADAPT demand was that
the RNC assist to schedule a meeting with Sen. McCain where ADAPT
representatives could talk about support for the Community Choice Act. The
RNC staff repeatedly stated that they did not have the power to call their
candidate's campaign staff to ask for such a meeting.

"I find it very hard to believe that the organization that raises so much
of the funding for the presidential campaign can't talk to its own
candidate," said Randy Alexander, Tennessee ADAPT Organizer, who was
trapped inside the RNC building for nine hours and not allowed to use a
bathroom. "We weren't asking them to guarantee a meeting, just to pick up
the phone, call Sen. McCain, and try to get a meeting set up. Any person
on the street could make that call, yet they said they didn't have the
power to do that."

During the nine hours ADAPT spent trying to gain cooperation from the RNC,
many Congressional co-sponsors and supporters of the bi-partisan Community
Choice Act came by to personally meet some of the people affected by this
important legislation and to congratulate their efforts to get it passed.
The 500 ADAPT activists in Washington this week from nearly every state in
the union represent thousands more ADAPT members back home who don't have
the ability travel to the nation's capitol, a very expensive destination,
to make their voices heard. And those thousands of ADAPT members
nationally are only the tip of the disability voting bloc nationally, a
voting bloc that is currently feeling disrespected and ignored by Sen.
McCain and the Republican Party.

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