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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Harkin, Loebsack at ADA Celebration

Harkin, Loebsack at Iowa City ADA Celebration

Twenty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law with a bipartisan majority and a signature from a Republican President (imagine THAT today), the bill's chief sponsor says the ADA has changed America, but there's still a way to do.

"It's hard to imagine all the things we take for granted," Tom Harkin told the Iowa City crowd Saturday. "We are a fairer and richer country because we are bringing the talents of everyone in."

But Harkin said more is needed.

"Until we get personal attendant services, the primise of the ADA will not be complete. Everyone in America ought to have attendant services if they need them. That is not too much to ask. With a little bit of help, a person can become an income earner and a taxpayer. To say we can't afford it is penny wise and pound foolish."

Congressman Dave Loebsack also addressed the Ped Mall crowd and urged people "never forget those with mental illness."

Governor Chet Culver was scheduled to speak but was called away to deal with the Lake Delhi dam breach. His chief of staff, Iowa City's Jim Larew, stood in.

"Only a handful of senators can say they literally changes the face of the nation," said Larew. "You cannot cross a street without seeing a curbcut or ramp that wasn't there 20 years ago."

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