Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, ADA

Hello lovely readers!

This past week comprised mostly of following the status of the CRPD in the senate and working on an article about the treaty and how it would affect me if the US were to ratify it.

Exciting to say--success on both fronts!

Thursday, the CRPD was voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a count of 13-6! the number of "Nays" is a little disappointing, but there are a few "issues" with the CRPD that will have to be worked out on the Floor. These issues include ensuring that the treaty has no effect on abortion laws in any country (it was never intended to) and the remaining hot topic of sovereignty that some legislators are still concerned the US will lose if it ratifies a UN treaty. But despite all of these controversial matters, the majority of the Committee wants to continue moving along what they agree to be an uncomplicated, just human rights treaty.

I didn't make it to the hearing this time around, but I did watch it live online, and tensions were definitely high from what I could see. I especially enjoyed watching Sen. Kerry's frankness in correcting what he considered to be the opposition's argument's flaws. I've never seen such personality in political debate before!

On the other hand, I completed writing my article--a brief vignette depicting the energy of the initial hearing and our community's enthusiasm, as well as a quick overview of the CRPD for those who aren't well acquainted with it. I'm pretty happy with it and I am grateful to my supervisor for acting as my editor!

Also--happy birthday, ADA! Thursday, and the day of the Committee vote, was the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was fun to be around so many like-minded advocates to share in the celebrating! AAPD hosted a wonderful anniversary event Justice for All, which honored key figures of the disability rights movement, such as Sen. Harkin (IA).

All in all, it was another great week in Washington, with so many more reasons to miss the amazing experiences I have had this summer!  
                         --Liz H.


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