Monday, July 30, 2012

From Pumpkins to Politics

July 26, 2012: While it is honorably noted to be the 22nd anniversary of the ADA, for me, it is so much more. It is the the mark up and vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. After much discussion and debate, this exact moment is what I and so many others have been waiting for. The Senate Committee is taking a roll call vote. I am on the edge of my seat, my right hand clasped with my roommate's left. My breathing has slowed. I am sorting through the ayes, nays, and inaudibles. Time and the votes go by painfully slow. I think back to the weeks I spent on Capitol Hill, where I visited and talked to the staff and interns for the Senators who are in this room today. Countless visits and hand-written letters, expressing the importance of ratifying the CRPD. Until a week ago, I had felt secure in hoping that the CRPD would pass through this Senate Committee. But last Friday when I had called the Senator's offices, I felt a different feeling settle in and take root; fear. That fear continues to fill me as I sit.

My reminiscing has caused me to lose track of the direction of the votes. I wait. By a vote of 13-6 the CRPD will move to the Senate floor! It is a moment of celebration, but more importantly, it is a historical moment. A historical moment in disability history that I can say I was a part of--assisted with--though my role was small and in the grand scheme of everything revolving around the CRPD, I am a nobody. That's the great thing about D.C., a nobody can become a somebody, at least for a few hours (glass slippers and princes not required). Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!

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