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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 11, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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have a real problem. and that means that the plit ra political leeb raj of the community will be reduced as well. >> thank you. eleanor? >> i certainly second everything that's been said. the media is overly infatuated with the horse race and with controversy. but it has ever been thus. so you have to deal with the reality that you find. and donald trump actually did the disability community a favor by doing that mocking presentation which seared into everybody's brain. and the reporter that he made fun of, i was reading about him, he had a long standing relationship with donald trump. i think he had interviewed him over a course of a number of years, like 20 times. this was not somebody who just wandered into the trump tower one time and caught trump off
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guard. so the election is going to be about issues to some extent. but it really is a character issue or a presidential temperament issue. and i think donald trump almost daily gives us examples of the kind of temperament that he has, and at the democratic convention clinton actually had a number of people coming forward basically attesting to her commercials. and i thought the young man who has a form of dwarfism who spoke on the stage, again drove home her commitment to these issues. and reporters kind of make fun of hillary clinton because she's got a 3-point plan or a 5-point plan for just about every issue that you can imagine. and she says that she's controversial when she runs for
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a job but when she does the job she's effective. i was especially struck by a long piece in the recent "new yorker" magazine about the attempts to close guantanamo. and a lot of it is congress's fault, become a partisan issue. but the white house fell down on that job too. threaded throughout the piece is the work that hillary clinton did trying to follow up. if you can get a commitment out of her for just about anything, you can be pretty sure she's going to work very hard to get it done. i must say i'm not really that cognizant of what the legislative goals are for the disability community and i think that's important to get that out front so that the legislative goals can be out there. so i think we want to turn this into a conversation. so i look forward to hearing your questions.
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>> thank you, eleanor. before we started rich sent me an e-mail letting me no that sadly brian clawson, a disability activist in the autism community tragically died and he asked if we could have a moment of silence for him which i thought was a good idea. but i would add that many many the dits ability community have died lately and we should think for some moments about the leaders that we have lost in this community. i especially would like to focus on the 19 people in japan who were brutally slaughtered while they slept. most people watching on c-span probably don't know about this, but very recently in japan, at a place where adults with disabilities, particularly significant disabilities lived, somebody came into the home and decided to eliminate people with disabilities because that
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individual thought it was more merciful that they should be slaughtered. recently there was a movie in hollywood, "me before you" that glorifies people who have significant disabilities to commit suicide because it is a better happier solution for people who don't have disabilities if the quote unquote burden of having people with disabilities around them did not exist. we're very deeply concerned about the messages that people get in the media from movies like "me before you" that showcase really glorify trying to get people with disabilities to commit suicide. and then in japan we had this who risk asas assassination, whs what it was, of 19 innocent people sleeping in a group home in japan whose throats were slit. the media almost didn't cover it
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at all. i'd like to, before we go to the next question, have a moment of silence before i ask the journalist to talk about how we get the stories of people with disabilities out there. just a few moments please. [ moment of silence ]. >> i guess it was the searing of those lost. i wondered eleanor, in campaign
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2016 and beyond, how do we get these stories out so that people with disabilities are seen for having equal value as everybody else? >> well, in the campaign context, clarence said that people love stories. and i thought again the young man who was in -- talked about the democratic convention and hillary clinton in her acceptance speech followed up on that and said, i think he was like 7 years old when she first met him. she lifted him up and he said he must have had a 40-pound brace on. these little touches stick in your memory and they make the stories come alive. and hillary clinton right now is trying to promote her good character. so now is the time -- i think they're very eager to show case people who she has helped over the years. but humanizing disability so
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it's not just one umbrella word. and also expanding it to disabilities that we can't necessarily see. i think people, you know, understand when someone is blind or someone is deaf, we're familiar with that as a culture. but i think the word disabilities covers a lot more than that. and i think the public has to be educated. and we've seen so much progress in the country on, you know, gay rights and same-sex marriage and civil rights. we're talking about everything. so i think this is a moment for this community. and the voting power is there. so whenever you approach politicians, i would have those numbers there. and the fact that this community is well knit together add getting more activists with each passing election cycle, i think that's power, that's real power.
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>> thank you. norm? >> i would say there actually is a little better coverage than we've had in the past. in part that's true. if you look at these tragic cases of people with autism or in so many instances of mental illness being shot and killed by police, in almost every case, not every one but almost every case it's a family member calling for help and what they get is a loved one who is shot. what we know as we get more of those stories out there is that crisis intervention training makes a dramatic difference. that for so many people with mental disabilities, and it's particularly true of those with autism but it's true of so many others, the standard police procedure of giving an order and a command and increasing the level of intensity has exactly the worst effect.
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and as you get people trained, there's a judge in florida who has done miraculous things, in miami-dade, who has managed to get police in all of the jurisdictions there, there's more than 20 of them. it's hard to do because you've got to go away for a week to get this training. and a lot of police think they know what they're doing. but when they get the training they now understand -- and they've cut the number of violent incidents dramatically. if we could get a little more of that, it would help certainly. but i'm afraid it's going to make more than that. the bigger problem is not even getting the coverage of the issues. it is the larger reality that in correct me if i'm wrong now, even when you have a consensus on issues -- we have them in whole series of bills in mental policy that have passed through the house and in some cases the senate, heaven knows if anything will make it throw congress
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before they end in this dysfunction. but in every instance when you talk to leaders it's yes, we want to do that but we need a pay for. the pay for means you can't have revenues, you can't take it out of defense, you can't take it out of most of the entitlement programs. that means you have to take it out of food stamps or housing or a handful of other programs. and as long as you have the handcuffs on there that keep us from getting the money to do -- whether it's crisis intervention training or all of the things that need to be done to provide access for people, we're going to be spinning our wheels. >> thank you. clarence? >> one thing that is important to know these days is i just -- what norm was saying, that there's not much happening here on capitol hill expect us right now. and depending on how this election comes out, we may have more gridlock in the future. but it's amaze in the absence of
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action in washington, what's going on in the states, and that hasn't gotten as much attention as it should. the laboratory of the states out there, everything from what, the marijuana legalization debate to the kind of issues that we're talking about today, various states are moving ahead. and other states need to know about what works in those states where various changes are working. and i think -- well, part of the -- the main advice i would give to folks trying to get their message out is to remember you're reporters too. in fact, increasingly you are reporters. because today everybody has a tv studio in their pockets called a smartphone. everybody is in social media. we've seen numerous examples of this where individual nonjournalists -- the whole definition of journalists is
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change in fact. and that's significant. me in my newsroom downtown, for example, i may not know that wonderful story that you are dealing with every day that you take for granted because you see it so often. but the folks downtown need to know about it. it means a lot more to us to hear or to go to a news conference and have actual people there who are experiencing the issues that we're talking about rather than just see the statistics on it. we were talking earlier about people with disabilities in prison. mental health care is a largely unappreciated element of our problems in the country. and, we need more attention to these aspects than just to the violence that is occurring in our streets. what's the follow-up. and there's a lot of programs
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around the country that will make very good stories once i convince my editor because it is a good story. it may even be a good news story. once in a while there's good news going on out there but it doesn't get as much attention as the bad news does. the public doesn't have the appetite for it. everybody says they want more good news but we knows what sells. that's a constant tension we're agreed in. something to be aware of when you're trying to get your message out. >> richard? >> that was a good point. i want to pick up on what clarence just said in terms of good news stories. maybe we should all be grateful for the fact that it used to be all about things like willow brook that put disability on the map back in the '60s and '70s and now we don't have those horrible stories to that extent to draw attention to what's wrong. the problem with good news stories, it would be nice to
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read a few more of them, is that by showing stories of people on the speck strum or people with disabilities who are succeeding, what are you saying? are you saying we don't need any for services or we don't are need a solution to housing or employment, so many issues today are adult service needs because we've done a better job of dealing with the 0 to 21 population over the last several decades in terms of education laws. now what we really need, obviously the cause that jennifer working hard on is employment. we also need much better housing, much better community living, much better solutions for people once they drop off the school transition at age 22. but the stories that we would tell generally speaking, whether they be at a political convention or on capitol hill would be people who are higher functioning, people who are succeeding and that just creates the problem of what is the message that we are sending if
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we take somebody like my son who is sort of poster child for autism, not severe, not high functioning, just down the middle, limited language, he doesn't have, you know, severe needs. he has a loving family that takes care of him. but his story is sort of a lack of. it's a lack of a housing solution for the future. it's a lack of a better job. he has a job. it's a good one. he could use a better job. so those stories are sort of -- they don't come with pictures. they're what people are lacking. so the stories of the past were these horrible conditions at a place like willow brook, that obviously led to improvements, vast improvements. but now thankfully since we don't have those types of stories. we do have little things that happen, runners, so leads to something like avonte's law or
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some of the things norm was talking about with the police not knowing how to handle police with disabilities. i think in some states now, including virginia, there's something on your, not driver's license, not a license but something that identifies you as a person with autism or a person with disability. those are minor solutions -- i hate to call them minor problems but they're not the major problems of we don't have enough housing and we don't have enough money. it's difficult to put a face to those problems because it's a lack of rather than a condition that you would expose like institutions of the 1970s. >> we're going to take questions from the audience right after my final question that i'm going to ask. and my question is that there are two issues that we're grappling with at respectability that i would like your advice on. so one is that when we look at the sort of poverty civil rights
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agenda, we see these silos where the african american community or the immigrant community or the hispanic community are in silos and people with disabilities are not within those organizations. i know that's starting to change largely because of what rodney hood and j.p. morgan chase are doing. but also the disability organizations of which there's more than 100 different really good national disability rights organizations or service organizations largely around one particular disability, every single one of these ceos and presidents is white. every single one. so the first question is how do we break down the barriers so that people who are disenfranchised can work together towards making that greater success in the economy and in other places like criminal justice reform where people thought that's a black issue and they didn't realize,
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no, it's a disability issue also and here's how. and if you're minority or immigrant and you have a disability, all the more likelihood for the school-to-prison pipeline. the first is how to break down the barriers. the second is we have great success with the candidate questionnaire to the presidential candidates. hillary clinton, jeb bush and others gave incredibly thorough answers. donald trump hasn't answered it yet. but we would like to see senate races and governor races for them to really seriously address the policy issues in these candidate questionnaires. how do we get candidates to pay attention to our issues. they fill out questionnaires on guns and abortion but until now there has never been a candidate questionnaire on disability issues on a national level ever. those are my two questions. you can choose how you want to answer and then we'll turn it
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over to the microphone. there's a microphone in the center of the room. >> you should rate members of congress, rate officials that letter grade. that is something that people can relate to. it pops up. and people who are interested in the disability community, even those who aren't are going to notice where somebody is. and i think where you are on disabilities, it's a marker issue. it tells you a lot about where a candidate in or an official is on other issues as well. i would recommend -- i would take up the congress's idea on that. >> you know, many, many years ago the environmental community had a dirty dozen and it really had an impact. no member of congress wanted to be one of the dirty dozen. taking eleanor's suggestion and brad's to be a good one. on the first point, jennifer, this is a universal problem. look at the medical research and
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the individual diseases that all see the others as rivals for financing. and instead of joining together to try and enhance the overall amount of money going to medical research, they see everybody else as intruding on their turf and that's the problem here. and so it's going to take some creativity to get organizations to see that there's a synergy here in working together rather than somebody trying to intrude on their own turf. and somebody has got to take the lead and maybe that's one of the areas that respectability could do. and i would just take eleanor's point one step further. this shouldn't just be about office holders. it should be about candidates. if candidates don't answer the questionnaire, put out something that gives them an f until they respond. and then maybe you'll get a little more sensitivity. >> it's been interesting because legally our lawyers have told us that we can't give people a
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score card because we're a 5013 c nonprofit. we've sent out the identical questionnaire to all of the candidates. both the elected officials and the opponents. they have them. we report on whether or not they answer it and then we have to give verbatim exactly what they answered. but clearly another entity could be formed with a different legal status because we as a nonprofit has a certain tax status that allows contributions to us to be tax deductible aenl you can't do that and rate people in that way. it's a very interesting idea. clarence? >> you taught me something about that. not for profits. i'm on the board of a committee to protect journalists which has had a lot of work, you may have noticed, around the world and we run a list of -- like the dirty dozen.
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the worst behaving countries as far as journalists are concerned. he hates to be on the list. we can get some leverage that way. this is something i throw out. but i think that when it comes to getting attention to these issues, very often it gets -- issues of persons with disability get overshadowed by other issues that appear more pressing. i'm thinking about something i was just reminded of. recently you may recall one of the videotaped police confrontation episodes, a psychological counselor was tending to a young man who was playing with a toy truck, but the report came in that a man with a gun was at this location. police arrived and told them,
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both of them to lay down. the person with a mental disability did not lay down. the counselor did lay down and held his hands up in the air, don't shoot, i'm a counselor, blah blah blah, was shot anyway. an episode like that is going to make people think about the police misconduct. very little attention was given to the fact that this was a person with mental disabilities and he's not alone. there are others like him. that's the occasion for the activists to say, hey, this is what is needed in these conversations. this is what ought to be available. norman is right, very often like-minded organizations will feel competitive when they ought to feel more like convalescing. you look at the areas where you can overlap and work together
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and very often you can bring more attention to folks -- well, the whole issue of law enforcement and police conduct to me is -- there's so much tied in to the problem we were talking about before, 40% of the incarcerated have some disability. and one to have repercussions of that, we need more attention to that to find out. >> it's interesting that you talk about the specific statistic. we work very heavily on the issue of employment for people with disabilities and we're constantly talking about how one out of three people with a disability has a job. one of the things that we did find very, very helpful, i think this goes to what eleanor and what norm was saying, rather than talking about the elected officials, we just talked about the stats in the different states. because what we found was that in some states 50% of people with disabilities are employed and in other states only 25% of
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people with disabilities are employed. and that is a massive difference between one out of every four and half having a job. and what was interesting to us, at least, is who the states were. who had the worst gaps in labor force -- some people would say such and such state has a bad economy. so what we looked at is the gap in the labor percentage rate, the people in the workforce with a disability and without a disability. where were the gaps the largest and the smallest. where was the worst? maine. maine was the worst. people consistently in america think if it's the worst it's going to be mississippi and alabama. african american states. they're going to be the worst. maine was the worst. vermont was catastrophic. and when we released those numbers, we saw -- first of all everyone in maine who works on
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these issues really hated us for putting this list out. but it was absolutely factual and we've seen dramatic improvements in their policies in maine and we're hopeful it's going to make a difference. we had to go about it in a different way. and we haven't done that on criminal justice yet to look state by state, just the national picture. you've made me think about that. >> there's something called the stepping up initiative that's come from the council of state governments, the national association of counties and the american psychiatric foundation where they've come to realize that the jails have this extraordinarily large population of people with disabilities, mostly mental disabilities and it's an enormous drain on them. now they're working to find best practice to try to reduce that. my guess is as you get back to looking at alliances that groups like the national association of counties and the council of state governments, when they come to understand that the
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problems of homelessness, for example, can be reduced -- you know, al franken says the best solution to homelessness is to give people homes. but it's also if you can find ways to get them employment, then you reduce the economic burden on the counties and the states. >> absolutely. >> and getting that message out through those organizations would help. >> rich? >> i want to make sure i understood the first issue that you raised, which was the, what did you say, 150 disability groups all white. is that indicative of whether it's an hispanic organization or black or poverty, that in those populations, their first civil rights issues tends to be that and not disability. whereas whites, particularly well to do whites are coming to this without a poverty issue, without a minority racial ethnic
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issue, that might be the reason for it. i don't know. >> right. so my sense is that if you look at the history of the disability rights movement, i think of justin dart. justin dart was this extraordinary individual from a very wealthy family, dart drugs. his family was very important in the reagan administration. and he himself, because he was a wheelchair user, literally could not get into buildings. so his horizons were really, really hurt by the fact that he literally could not get into buildings. and it was the independent living movement, the people who are wheelchair warriors. i look at them and i see white wheelchair warriors. these are people who had a good education, a two-parent family. they had all of the skills and the drive to make it at the top of the corporate ladder or wherever they wanted to go but because of their disability their horizons became limited.
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so the beginning of the disability rights community really comes from those individuals who had those disabilities and the parents of individuals with disabilities who were for that disability that individual would be able to succeed. you look at an organization like the autism society, an extraordinary organization largely made up of parents with children with disabilities being like all of the other parent organization, largely driven by whites. but what you don't see is the fact that african americans get autism or have cerebral palsy or mental health issues. and sometimes because of other barriers that they experience, poverty, lack of education, maybe they're not in a two-parent family, that they haven't gotten access. and yet the very civil rights organizations that really enable african americans and hispanics,
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until this brand-new initiative by j.p. morgan which is brand-new, first time ever that they had sign language interpreters, that they had c.a.r.t., captioning that's instant. if you can imagine civil rights meetings have been taking place throughout this city, throughout this nation talking about access to basic dignity and rights based on ethnic groups or immigrants and people with disabilities could not participate at all. so the person who was impacted in a multiple of ways, but they had a minority ethnic or sexual orientation or whatever, and a disability found that they were unable to participate in their basic social justice movements. in fact we're working as an organization with foundations who fund on poverty. there's billions of dollars
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going to enable people who are in poverty to achieve a better future and people with disabilities cannot even apply for funds. because you have to enter a portal of race, gender or sexual orientation and people with disabilities cannot even apply for the funding. and that is across the board. >> i needed that explanation. that just makes it much more enlightening for all of us. on the question of campaign questionnaires, i know that organizations like yours and others like to pen candidates down during the cycle of the election so that they can then say you said you would do x and okay now it's time to put up or shut up. i would only say i understand that. but i think it's far more important -- i wouldn't get too hung up on getting everybody to answer a disability questionnaire, whether it's
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getting trump to do it or governors and senators to do it. it is important but i think what's far more important from a policy standpoint is the three and a half years or the three-year, maybe it's only two now that we're not in an election cycle, presidential election cycle where you're working with the legislative assistants, others to enact policy. if you're doing the right thing, if you're effective in lobbying, congress lobbying at the state legislature level, i don't think it's crucial that it was a top of the list campaign issue in order to get action on a policy issue during those brief periods of time when we're not running another campaign. one other thing i would just mention and that is when it comes to issues like ssi, ssdi and the like, it hasn't been brought up but it's always the case that there's a pushback -- this gets to the issue of funding -- from certain elements
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in politics and in government who think that those programs are abused. and that they are abused not by the disabilities that we're here talking about and trying to invent. people claimed their back got tweaked and now they want 30 years of ssi payments. i'm not trying to color that situation. but there are people in government who think that the programs are overrun by folks who are claiming physical disabilities from an accident that is not severe enough and their interest, these government officials' interest is on cutting back on those programs being abused and i think it's something that we need to be aware of. >> norm is going to make a comment and then we're going to go to questions. >> my wife is a lawyer doing pro-bono work helping people with serious mental illness get on disability. these are people who are the
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least ability to fill out the forms. and if you don't fill out the forms exactly right, you're denied. and then if you appeal, it can take years before they hear your appeal. a substantial number of homeless people are those with serious mental illnesses who should be on disability who deserve to be on disability but they simply are not capable of handling those forms themselves. and that's an issue that really needs a lot of additional attention. there are some jurisdictions in the courts where they've actually trained people to help those individuals get on. when they fill out the forms, they get it immediately. so it's not just -- there are issues of fraud here, no question, but there are also issues of accessibility that are really serious ones. >> thank you. now we turn to the crowd and there is a microphone there. so i ask you to use the microphone. and if you can just pull towards the microphone and lauren, maybe you can pull the microphone down
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so it's more accessible. please identify yourself before you ask your question. >> hi my name is karl cooper and my question is whether or not based on some of the comments you were making, whether you think there's been a shift in the disability community as to the partisanship, specifically disability used to be a bipartisan issue and was viewed equally by both sides, both sides wanting to do something, many of you made comments about that. but specifically with the politicalization of the act and the extra rights that they've been able to get as a result of the aca, whether that is causing a shift in the way that the
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disability vote is going to go forward. i say that as one who grew up in a republican home and i see it hard to vote on the republicans because they say repeal and replace but never provide any details for what that means for someone like me. >> i would say, i was with my friend bob dole a little while ago and bob was telling the story of what was, i think, the lowest moment other than losing the white house in his political career, which is being on the floor of the senate and watching his republican colleagues vote against the international disability convention and then they all came up to him afterwards and said how much they loved him. that was a pivotal moment. it's a story of how outside forces, the social media and the new tribal media have tended to
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dominate on a lot of these issues. at the same time, the fiscal questions, the once i mentioned earlier have become more important. and the fact is to deal with a lot of these shuz, the ones that rich mentioned, hume hugely impt one, housing for people, you need money. and if everything gets caught in a vice, that is how are you going to do a pay for. and you keep most of the pay fors off of the table entirely which is partisan now, then you're going to be stuck and then you get to the question also that rich mentioned of you want to blow up all regulations, that creates another set of issues. and now everything is tribal. >> president george h.w. bush basically is the father of the americans with disability act and it was hugely bipartisan and it was seen as a great asset among republicans. today's republicans, they sort of resent what they see as
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expanding rights for everybody but them. so i think a lot of people who -- they wouldn't identify necessarily with the disability community unless they themselves are part of it and then they would see themselves as deserving. overall they just oppose the expansion of rights and they see the programs as expansion of government. and we've had now decades of, you know, government is bad, big government. we want to shrink government. and so i think the kinds of progress that we identify with and think should continue gets sacrificed through all of this rhetoric and the libertarian ticket echos it as well. i think there could be a case made for more government in these areas that will pay off. that's another thing that the disability rights community can do, is to make some equations
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where if you spend this or have this program, the benefits that you get in productivity or reduced reliance on government, i mean i think it pays off. so i think making the case on economic grounds is something that should be done. >> ak shully eleanor, i have to jump on top of that because i just completely agree with you. our organization, thanks to governor mark howl who is going to get an award from us later, has met with 43 governors and we've seen excitement from the republican governors around the employment of people with disabilities. i'll give you a very specific answer. in dakota, you have the governor and both of his parents were deaf. he was raised in a household with two parents who were hearing impaired and they used sign language. and he saw that they worked hard on the farm, worked hard in their business and that they were enormously bright and successful. and as governor he's created so
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much opportunity, that 50% of people with disabilities in his state have a job. scott walker, not known to be a big government guy, scott walker, governor of wisconsin, not known to be a big spender, he has every single month gone to a different private sector employer in his state that hires people with disabilities, where it's working out well for the employers and showcased how it's helping their companies. and not only that he's dramatically expanded a program for young people with significant disability to enable them to go straight from school into the workplace. they had 12 such sites in the past. now they have 37. and he's getting an almost 80% employment outcome for these young people with disabilities and it is saving a fortune because these individuals otherwise would spend their
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entire lives sitting on their parents' couch until their parents die and then their brothers' couch living on government benefits. because he's invested in this, he's saved a fortune for the taxpayers. one problem that we see is what people call wrong pockets. when he saves the money, he invests in the job training and transition program for the youth for the disability. who saves the money, the feds, not the states. so it's been sort of an issue of how do you incentivize the right people. if the governors can fix this but they're not incentivized by getting the cost savings because it's the feds with the cost savings, we've seen other governors who have said, you know what, government benefits for people with disabilities in virginia and kentucky is good for ou state, that's our job program. you go to walmart the day the checks arrive, everybody is buying their beer and guns with
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their disability checks. a lot of it has to do with the attitudes that they're wringing. but there's huge cost savings that can be achieved with proper policy. thank you for your question. do we have other questions from the audience? >> while she's getting there can i say one thing about the question that was just raised, and that is i think it's fine if folks with disabilities are swayed more by one party than the other given, say, obamacare or what a couple of us have already referred to in terms of what the republican presidential candidate is doing. i think that's fine in the privacy of the voting booth. i don't think it's great if the disability community chooses to become identified with one party versus the other. then that would encourage, for instance, these republican governors and republican legislatures and there are more than a majority of them to think
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disability, that's a liberal democratic issue, i'm not going to invest my time and energy in it. it's so officially staying somewhat neutral even in the privacy of the booth the votes are going democrat, i would urge that it doesn't come public, we're a one-sided lobby. [ inaudible ] >> thank you so much. i've read many of your pieces throughout the years. and thank you for coming today. my name is sue cohen and i run a nonpartisan firm to bring voting issues to the public. i work in new york state. i've had a long time interest in journalism and yet i've never worked as a journalist. when you're talking about bringing the issues to the forefront and you're talking about a gap of the knowledge of the journalist to the people like me in the field for 30
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years, and i have very compelling controversial stories but i'm feeling a gad in how to go about getting the stories i know to the public to get to editors and publishers interested or writing them myself. i feel like i could use some advice. there are some amazingly compelling stories that would get attention. >> you want to know where to sell your story? >> yeah. >> if i knew, i wouldn't tell you. i would keep it to myself. but seriously, though, i think our main concern here, the big question i hear is how do we get our message out, respectability, how does the movement get it its message out. look for the journalists and media that are already picking up on stories like yours, like the ones that you're interested in. and this will tell you, here's somebody who is already on first
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base. let me tell them about this story that's going on. if you don't have anyone who is covering a beat -- the beat system as we used to know it in the typewriter days of my youth, so last century, has crumbled to a certain degree because the staffs are smaller and the structure has changed entirely. but there are still those people who are -- well, i mentioned earlier -- i don't want to keep beating this one issue. but it is one that's so big right now. issue about police videos overlapping with issues of people with disabilities. and with the problems of delivery of mental health service to folks who need it. these are all related stories but which one gets the biggest headline. and when it does get the big headline, that's a time when an observant reporter can come in and say, there's also this story related to that as well.
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and we ought to pursue that. and that can have more legs, say were for example, mental health services for people who are incarcerated or in jeopardy of being incarcerated. that is a story that deserves more attention. so that would be my advice in general. if you want me to be more specific, i'll be happy to talk to you about it. >> i would like to talk to journalists. like i've been involved with many scenarios, like two days ago someone i support we found out has been abused by his legal guardian. but we're having a terrible time doing anything about that. now that's a story that could really grow legs and be big. but there's a gap in how like someone like me could communicate that to the right people so it's written in a tasteful productive way. >> can i just say, i've given this type of advice over the years, not just to disability
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advocates but to others, and that is more so each and every year, because things spread virally and digitally, you just need one good place to place your story, one major newspaper, one television outlet, one major radio station. you don't need to think about papering the media in general with a million press releases so that they're all going to get the same information at the same time and they're going to think everybody else got this information too so i'm going to ignore pit. it's really better to find one place and usually you can figure out what would be the type of organization, maybe it's the "huffington post", the daily caller, whatever it is that you can interest one reporter so that that reporter knows he's got a -- she or she has a head start, he or she is being tipped off this is a problem, maybe this one instance is endemic of a lot of instances. if you get one really good story
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that others pay attention to, then it spreads digitally. so i always say come to usa today first of course but go to one place rather than -- which i guess most people in public relations don't do this anymore anyway. when i would get something in my e-mail or back in the days of paper and i would realize that this was a routine press release that went to thousands, i'm not going to pay much attention to it. >> we're actually out of time for this particular session. thank you. but i want to -- before we break, let me give a couple of logistics. we're going the take a break and during the break people are actually going to eat lunch in the rayburn cafeteria. we can direct you how to get there, you can pick up lunch, bring it back. this is what happens when you're a disability organization. there's no like fine catering and big lunches with candle sticks. it's everybody buys themselves a
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lunch in the rayburn cafeteria and then we come back here sharply for our next panel which is going to be at 1:15, which is going to be on reaching all voters by making electronic communications successful with sheila neuman, cindy ryan and it's moderated by dock switzer, who has elected dozens and dozens of congressmen and senators and we have several more panels. and we're ending the day with a terrific series of award dooes. so excited that they're going to be here to get their awards and they're going to take questions. governor jack markell who is the chair of the council on state governments today and was the chair of the national governors association and the chief of
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staff for paul ryan will both be here later today. let me turn to the panel and say quickly for campaign 2016, what's the one thing that we in the disability community should really work for to try and achi election cycle going forward? rich? >> this is not the most central thing i could think of, but i would say go after donald trump at this point. you never know what he is going to do day to day, week to week, month to month. maybe he could surprise everybody and become a champion of the disability community. and you'll take it from wherever you can get it. you mentioned he hasn't filled out the questionnaire yet. if a candidate like that who is downey where from 8 to 15 points in the polls sees disability as an effort where he can make a comeback, then great. it doesn't mean you have to vote for him if you're not going to vote for him. but i would see him right now as an opportunity. >> thank you. >> i think raising the visibility of what disability
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is, what the word is. with autism, i have a son with a.d.d., which we did not know until he was diagnosed. and i became an expert on a.d.d., as his mother did too. and we were told that this tends to be hereditary. and my wife said is oh, not in my family. so i checked myself out. and guess what? i got a.d.d. i scored remarkably high. and this helped me to answer a great question i've had for many years, as many newsroom people have. why do newsrooms attract so many weird people. and this isn't as true in this generation, by the way. you young people are so darn bright in this digital age. it's not nearly as much fun as it was in the days of the front page, if you know that wonderful play and movie. but we used to wonder why newsrooms attract such a menagerie of characters. i was talking to a harvard psychiatrist who studied a.d.d. through this theory of mind that
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a.d.d. people like the route of least resistance. are also very much into becoming experts on something immediately, making their deadline and then forgetting all about it and moving on. it's perfect for daily journalism. so i bring this up because now the issue has become visible to me, i really care about it. and you mentioned the governor of was it north dakota? >> north dakota. >> and his family. and as you all know on your website, over half of americans have someone with disabilities in their family. so this reminds me of the issue of gay, lesbian, glbt rights, how much we've had a sea change in the last 15 years on this issue. i never would have predicted we had gone this far, this fast, but we have. you get a certain tipping point where suddenly things do change. and i see this coming with people with disabilities and disability issues. as i mentioned earlier in this
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campaign, there has been more visibility than in the past. "time" magazine wrote about this recently. and i think we're going see more in the future. but a lot of people just don't know what -- they don't think in terms of that guy sitting in the street talking to himself, that that is a disability issue. why is he on the street? why aren't service helping him out. so i think that would be a big challenge this year. and then one other thing. beyond 2016 to 2018, the midterm elections, which so many people forget about in the midst of the excitement of the presidential years, it's those midterm elections, as we have seen, that can reverse the course of congress. and also little towns like ferguson and all can make a big difference with low turnout in those elections. so i would say that would be number two, to think ahead in so far of what are you going to do in the midterms as far as affecting that vote on capitol hill. >> great, thanks.
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norm? >> i think clarence is absolutely right. when people have experiences in their own families, it changes things, it transcends partisanship, tribalism and ideology. it was tom harkin and pete domenici who were responsible for getting mental health parity because of experiences in their own families. when i wrote about the tragedy of my son with mental illness, i've been flooded with responses. and it's made it clear to me that there is scarcely a family in america that isn't touched by mental illness and certainly by the broader range of disabilities. but getting that to politicians is a more difficult task. i wouldn't focus much on the presidential campaign. hillary clinton is going to have a very robust set of policy ideas in this area. the challenge is going to be getting congress to do anything with them. and that's a challenge that is there for all issues. but it means that your focus on senate and house races and state and local as much as you can becomes the critical set of
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issues here. and at the sate and local level, it is doing exactly what you said with governor walker and others. it is getting the message out there that changing policy not only helps and saves lives, it saves money. and that's a message that in florida steve lifeman has managed to get money from the florida legislature to, among other things, create a facility in miami-dade where they have a 5,000-square-foot kitchen, and they're taking people with serious mental illnesses and training them. and they've got arrangements with local indicatorers and restaurants when they come out to give them jobs. that's going to save the community and the state money. and they know it and they're paying for it. >> it's great. eleanor? >> the rallying cry for the feminist movement, women's movement is the personal is the political. and following what everybody has said here, that's what the disability rights community needs to do is to drive home these stories.
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because just about every household has one, even if they don't recognize it. and i agree with norm. hillary clinton, you don't have to worry about her on this issue. but you got to give her a congress she can work with. and you have to build the political structure for the future. all those state legislatures that are out there have flipped to pretty bright red, and they don't want to spend money on anything. you to influence politics down to the grassroots level. and getting people active on this issue is giving people purpose, young people especially do want a cause. and i think this is a cause that's ready made. so personal is the political. >> eleanor clift, norm ornstein, clarence page and rich wolf, thank you for that fabulous session. [ applause ] that was great.
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coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday evening at 6:00 eastern on the civil war, barbara krauthammer, history professor at the university of massachusetts amherst talks about how photography can be used to chart the history of
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american slavery, both before and after the emancipation. >> we had to spend some time with -- a fair amount of time with frederick douglass who wrote extensively about the power of representation. wrote about the power for african americans to be able to present themselves as they saw themselves, right, as they experienced themselves and each other. >> and sunday morning at 10:00 eastern on road to the white house rewind, the first of the 2003 presidential debates between democratic vice president al gore and republican texas governor george w. bush. >> but step one is to make sure we reform the system, to have the system in lace that leaves no child behind, to stop this business about asking gosh, how old are you? if you're 10, we're going to put you here, if you're 12 we'll put you here. start asking the question, what do you know? if you don't know what you're supposed to know, we'll make sure you do early before it's too late. >> parents ought to have more choices with charter schools and
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public school choice tos end send their kids always to a safe school. i think we need to make education the number one priority in the country and treat teachers like the professionals that they are. that is why i have made it the number one priority in my budget. >> also this weekend c-span series "the contenders." key figures who ran for the presidency and lost but changed political history. saturday, the 1972 democratic nominee and former u.s. senator from south dakota, george mcgovern. >> i believe it is yet possible that we will come to admire this country not simply because we were born here, but because of the kind of great and good land that you and i want it to be, and that together we have made it. that is my hope that is my reason for seeking the presidency of the united states. and sunday, former texas businessman ross perot who ran
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as an independent in the 1992 and 1996 races. >> and all that has got to be changed from rules to laws in the next four years, and we're going to have to stand at the gate and keep the pressure on. and we will. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go, to c-span.org. while congress son break this week, we're showing american history tv programs that are normally seen only on weekends here on c-span3. well, coming up, a look at the life and legacy of 1968 presidential candidate hubert humphrey. two hours from now, his 1968 democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech. and that will be followed by "road to the white house rewind" featuring archival video footage of the 1968 presidential campaign. american history tv in primetime continues friday night with a look at the life and legacy of four-time presidential candidate andor

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