City Councilor Jodie Barram is right about how noteworthy it is when an entire community unites for a cause. I applaud those who worked for positive change at the OLCC. I agree: let's look for other ways to partner together for the betterment of Bend.
Imagine how noteworthy it would be if the city council and city staff worked to unite the community in bipartisan support of civil rights for people with disabilities. That would be a powerful example of people working together for a better community.
It would represent positive change, too, given that councilors and city staff have tried to get out from under a federal mandate to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and told people with disabilities to be patient even as they deny them access, and complained about how expensive, challenging and time consuming it is to obey this civil rights law.
These delaying actions and negative attitudes only keep people apart rather than bringing them together in unity for a common cause. The ADA has been the law of the land for 20 years. That's way too long for anyone to wait.
Citywide unity around the ADA, coupled with a can-do attitude and led by the city council and staff, would be an extraordinary accomplishment that would have an immediate impact on the lives of our citizens and our economy. I encourage city councilors, and candidates for council seats, to demand and deliver civil rights for all.
- Michael Funke