ADAPT announces the 10 worst states
On the street in front of the National Governors Association, which ADAPT shut down yesterday, Activist’s held a press conference and announced the ten worst states at providing alternatives to nursing homes. Using three sources of public data, ADAPT named Mississippi the worst followed by Nevada, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Illinois to round out the worst five. Georgia, Alabama, New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia were six to ten on the worst list.
The Ten Worst States.
“The governors of America should hang their heads in shame,” said Stephanie Thomas an ADAPT organizer from Texas. “We don’t have a ten best because there are not ten best…no one should be proud of what is going on in America today.”
Representatives of each of the featured states spoke about the human impact of the statistics. The speakers urged the governors of their states to support the Community-based Long Term Care Services and Support resolution that ADAPT got on the NGA agenda through their direct action yesterday.
“I moved from Independence Mississippi to true independence in Denver Colorado,” said Dawn Russell who was born in Mississippi and lived most of her life in the south. “Governor Barber, I challenge you to show your commitment to the people of Mississippi by signing the resolution.”
Jerry Costly told about a Nevada resident that has been shipped to Utah to further devalue people with disabilities. Costly told of the bureaucratic dilemma that is created because the Nevada resident is not eligible for home and community based services in Utah, and Nevada will not fund home and community services out of their state.
“It is a win-win situation for the state and the nursing home industry,” said Costly, “it is only Gary who loses.”
Rick Vitar spoke about Louisiana. He was born there, but because of the Medicaid bias, the state would only provide services through the costly and objectionable nursing home. He moved to Colorado to live in his own apartment.
Harry Caulder of Memphis is not only a Tennessee resident, but also the resident of a nursing home. Harry has lived in the community most of his life, but without minimal personal assistance, Tennessee is willing to lock Harry away at a cost to taxpayers of about thirty-five to forty thousand dollars a year. Harry’s care in the community would be about a fifth of the cost of the institution.
Other speakers were: Quinn Brisben for Illinois, Samuel Mitchell for Georgia, Tim Wheat of Alabama, Nancy Salandra for New Jersey, Gale Hafner for Florida and Bobby Coward for Washington DC.
The press conference was held at Fifth and Stewart, but the Seattle Police control was much tighter. As the line of ADAPT activists turned on to Fifth, they were greeted with a wall steel barricades to prevent a massive shutdown of downtown like yesterday. ADAPT remained in the fortification for the press conference and had lunch in the shade of the Monorail.
After 1:00 the ADAPT line headed south with police escort and passed the hotel where the activists are staying. The tension level rose and ADAPT members could not deny that another “hit” was planned. The line snaked back down to the waterfront and found Seattle Police waiting with barricades at the Federal Building on First Avenue. The ADAPT target; however, was across the street, the historic Federal Station Building, a US Post Office and the offices of the Regional Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The Section Eight program is vital,” said Bob Liston an ADAPT organizer form Montana, “our first priority is attendant care, but you have to have a place to live if you want to get out of a nursing home. That is why we must keep the voucher program.”
Shortly after receiving the demands, John Myers, the regional director of HUD came out of the building and made his way through the police and activists to talk directly with ADAPT. The police were making preparations to counter ADAPT’s next move. Many blocked access to the doors and steps and the bicycle police used their bikes to make a mobile barrier to stop ADAPT from taking the street and blocking traffic.
“I will transmit the demands and tell them that five to six hundred people are here,” said John Myers.
“To his credit,” said Barbara Toomer of Utah, “we have never had a guy come down and through the crowd that quick.”
- Tim Wheat