10:06 AM and I'm live from Harvat Hall in City Hall at the ADA anniversary forum. Iowa City has an annual series of events to mark the July 26 1990 passage of Tom Harkin's baby.
We've got staffers from Teams Richardson, Edwards, Obama and Hillary (update: and Biden), and Regenia Bailey from the city council. Also Dave Leshtz, a leading disability and civil rights advocate in his own right who's now working for Team Loebsack.
Intro speaker Jim Whalen takes off his tie and says "the ADA is not a tie, it doesn't choke you. It's more like a sock, you live with it and it changes every day."
Regenia proclaims on behalf of the city. Crowd is about two dozen.
Karen Kubby's presenting an award to Laurie Haag from WRAC for lots of publicity and logistical work (stuff like setting up the sound). Now Haag give out a Cultural Patriot award -- to Kathy Huedepohl (in absentia). Chris O'Hanlon is honoring Nancy Ostragnai and Leshtz. I'm not catching titles on all these awards.
Leshtz is pinch hitting for Loebsack - the congressman's plane was delayed. So here's what Loebsack would have said, more or less..
As an Iowan, proud of Harkin. As an American, proud we stood for true equality. Without people like you this win would not have happened. But this fight isn't over -- the ADA was just the beginning. Proud to cosponsor ADA Restoration Act. Courts have been chipping away at ADA. Also Community Choice act that would provide more support for people to stay in their communities. Thanks again.
Now a video presentation from Harkin. We made clear that our goals were equality and self-sufficiency. Trying to reconcile that with Medicaid through Community Choice act. Will help people and ultimately save $. "We can't afford NOT to do it."
Keith Ruff appears to be the de facto keynote. Says we in the disability community have the responsibility to make ADA work and to educate the public.