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TEXT: ADAPT Action Report National Governors Association July 14, 2002 Boise Idaho ADAPT logo: universal access symbol breaking a chair overhead; text: FREE OUR PEOPLE!
ADAPT Action Report: Photos, eyewitness reports, news and commentary daily from the ADAPT action at the National Governors Association Conference in Boise Idaho.
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PHOTO: ADAPT begins the march downtown

PHOTO: ADAPT at the Idaho Capitol Building

PHOTO: Dress guards for the event are helpless to stop ADAPT

PHOTO: Another captured SUV

PHOTO: Cops watch as ADAPT takes the governors S-U-Vs

PHOTO: The Tennessee Governor can't get to his car

PHOTO: Sundquist forced to walk

PHOTO: Marsha Katz from Montana ADAPT

PHOTO: Sgt. Furman -you will be arrested-

PHOTO: A street musician sings to Barbara

PHOTO: The police massed for the ADAPT assult

PHOTO: ADAPT passes a sign - The road to Perdition

Where is my car? 

ADAPT blocks state governors transportation around Boise

PHOTO: Cecil, Sheila and Gil capture an S - U - V

Cecil, Sheila and Gil capture an SUV

(BOISE, July 14, 2002) ADAPT blocked five of the governors courtesy SUVs and harassed the participants of the National Governors Association Conference in downtown Boise Idaho today to get support for Medicaid reform. 

At exactly 10:00 a.m. ADAPT maneuvered to the east side of the Idaho Capitol and took over several Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that appear to be gifts to the various governors attending the conference. The SUVs are easy to spot because they carry a specialized license plate that begins with the letters N – G – A.

The Boise police, helpless to move as quickly as ADAPT, opted to close the road that the captured SUVs were on. State Street, the road at the back of the Capitol Building, was shut down until after noon. Advocates eventually surrounded five SUVs, but the action had a chilling effect on the governors’ ability to travel around the city. The noticeable SUVs were not seen at the other venues for the conference or on the downtown streets.

Don Sundquist, the governor of Tennessee who is familiar with ADAPT, was one of the governors who was unable to use the Idaho supplied SUV for transportation. Tennessee is the worst state at providing alternatives to nursing homes spending 99% of public funding for the most expensive and least desirable form of long-term care: an institution.
PHOTO: Governor Don Sundquist, from the worst state for attendant care

Governor Don Sundquist, from the worst state for attendant care. ADAPT took his ride.

Sundquist waited with the guards for about five minutes before he walked to 6th Street and around the block. The governors had some of the SUVs running to cool them off on the 100-degree day, but instead those governors were forced to ‘hit the pavement.’

ADAPT had made plans to meet with the Health and Human Resources Committee Legislative Director for the NGA at 11:00 am. Barbara Toomer suggested that Matt Salo of the NGA come to talk with ADAPT in the middle of closed State Street. Salo waffled, but eventually met with ADAPT at 11:20. State Street remained closed during the meeting 

“I have seen many of you in Washington,” Salo said. 

Sheila Dean told of her friends back in Denver Colorado who have been camped out for nine days and nights in front of the Medicaid office building demanding reasonable Medicaid policy funding (Read more about the Colorado ADAPT Action). 

“This will be happening all over the country,” she said.

“Kansas has more home and community services,” said Greg Jones, “and we have a lower proportional Medicaid budget than any state on our boarders.”

Advocates found out quickly that Salo was not familiar with Medicaid and Health Care Policy. At one point Salo suggested that ADAPT change the name of MiCASSA.

“Hell, if it gets the people out of nursing homes,” said Ken Wulla, “we’ll name it after you Matt.”

Matt Salo, however, got most of his knowledge about long-term care from ADAPT today. He attempted to banter briefly with advocates, but it became obvious to everyone that Salo did not know what he was talking about and was not a reasonable spokesperson for the NGA (e-mail Matt Salo at msalo@nga.org).

Advocates were asking for a short meeting with the governors at this conference and to get on the NGA agenda for the next conference. The basic goal was to get the NGA to endorse MiCASSA, which they have nearly done with Gov. Howard Dean’s testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Although the NGA has sanctioned many of the concepts of MiCASSA, they have not endorsed the legislation.

Salo could not help ADAPT with the demands either. He resisted Roxan Perez’s request to allow only one advocate to assist him with calling someone that could address the demands. He also would not give Roxan the phone number of Susan Dotchin who he claimed could make these decisions.
PHOTO: Barb Toomer speaks with Salo

Barb Toomer speaks with Salo

At 12:30 pm ADAPT moves out and hikes back to the Grove Hotel where the governors were staying. In front of the hotel Roxan, who was leading the march, did not use the curb-ramp the police had instructed. This made a tense moment as ADAPT filed past a line of police and motorcycle cops as well as men in suits who were likely federal police.

Sergeant R.L. Furman announced that the Boise Police “will now enforce criminal activity ordinance.” He claimed that they would arrest ADAPT members if they violated any innocuous city rule such as crossing against the lights.

Coincidentally, Sgt. Furman knew Susan Dotchin and agreed to call her and “see what we can get done this afternoon.”

It was not Sgt. Furman, however, that came back with the reply. 

“I cannot arrange that for you,” said Lieutenant Jim Kerns about a meeting with Dotchin, “no one from the NGA will meet with you.”

The Lieutenant’s statement said a lot about the NGA hiding inside the Grove Hotel. 

ADAPT opted to leave downtown “loud and proud,” leaving the governors with the additional message that they can expect more from ADAPT. In a final tense moment, ADAPT marched down the sidewalk past the barriers manned by several police arriving back at the hotel just before a thunderstorm hit.

- Tim Wheat


ADAPT in Seattle, July 2004 and the skyline of the city.

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