ACTION ALERT - Support Individuals With Disabilities & Protect DREAMers

February 14, 2018

Members of the Philadelphia delegation at Jewish Disability Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-8th District)

PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

TAKE ACTION NOW: Oppose efforts that significantly weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act and make it harder for people with disabilities to participate in society.

Congress is about to vote this week on H.R. 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017,” also known as the “ADA Notification” bill. This legislation would greatly undermine key federal disability rights protections established 27 years ago by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Please reach out to your Representative and urge him to vote no when H.R. 620 is brought to the floor. H.R. 620 does not “reform” the ADA, but instead imposes new barriers to people with disabilities seeking access to public accommodations.

The Ask: Tell your Representative to vote NO on H.R. 620, the Americans with Disabilities Act Education and Reform Act. Tell Congress not to weaken a law that has allowed people with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society and has been good for the economy. Congress should not roll back nearly 30 years of progress.

Talking Points:

  • H.R. 620 would fundamentally undermine federal disability rights law as established 27 years ago by the bipartisan supported Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill does not “reform” the ADA, but instead imposes new burdens on people with disabilities seeking access to public accommodations.
  • The Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) has been good for the business community, allowing millions of people with disabilities to frequent businesses which they previously could not due to architectural barriers.
  •  H.R. 620 would undermine this law by imposing several new burdens on plaintiffs before they can file a civil action for an accessibility violation in a public accommodation case. Most egregiously, H.R. 620 would shift the burden of ensuring compliance with the ADA to individuals with disabilities who are being denied access to public accommodations.
  • Under H.R. 620, an individual with a disability who seeks to challenge a public accommodation violation would have to wait 180 days before being allowed to file a civil action with the U.S. Department of Justice. There is no waiting period under current law. This is particularly problematic as an individual may have to wait 6 months to access a business essential to activities of daily living, such as a laundromat, doctor’s office or supermarket. No other members of a constitutionally protected class have to wait to exercise their legal rights alleging discrimination.
  • Proponents of the legislation often say H.R. 620 is needed because many violations are “minor,” such as a toilet or bathroom mirror being set at an improper height. However, these issues matter a great deal to a person with a disability and make a significant difference in a person’s ability to participate in and contribute to society.

Congressional Contacts:

Cong. Robert Brady (PA-1st)
Phone: 202.225.4731
https://brady.house.gov/contact-me

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-2nd)
Phone: 202.225.4001
https://evans.house.gov/contact

Cong. Ryan Costello (PA-6th)
Phone: 202.225.4315
https://costello.house.gov/contact

Cong. Pat Meehan (PA-7th)
Phone: 202.225.2011
https://meehan.house.gov/contact

Cong. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8th)
Phone: 202.225.4276
https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/contact-me

Cong. Brendan Boyle (PA-13th)
Phone: 202.225.6111
https://boyle.house.gov/contact

Cong. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16th)
Phone: 202.225.2411
https://smucker.house.gov/contact/email

PROTECT DREAMERS

TAKE ACTION NOW: Let our Senators know that you support provisions that protect DREAMers and immigrant communities.

In the months since President Trump announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides protection from deportation for undocumented immigrant youth known as DREAMers who were brought to the U.S. as children, more than 19,000 young people have already lost their legal protections. Unless Congress and the White House act quickly, they may be deported.

The Senate is planning to vote to begin debate on immigration proposals this evening. Each party will have the opportunity to offer amendments addressing immigration, including a solution for DREAMers. Sixty votes are needed for any amendment to pass, and the process could last all week.

The Ask: Tell Senators Casey and Toomey to support provisions that protect DREAMers and immigrant communities.

Talking Points:
We continue to urge passage of the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615) which would grant DACA recipients permanent residence status and provide a pathway to citizenship for these undocumented young people who attend college, work in the U.S., or serve in the military. If the Dream Act is not brought to the floor, ask to support legislation that will provide DREAMers with a pathway to citizenship, protect family unification and promote responsible and accountable border security measures.

Senate Contact Information:

Senator Robert Casey
Phone: 202.224.6324
https://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/

Senator Pat Toomey
Phone: 202.224.4254
https://www.toomey.senate.gov/contact/

For more information, please contact Robin Schatz, Director of Government Affairs, rschatz@jewishphilly.org, 215.832.0654, or Abbey Frank, Assistant Director JCRC, afrank@jewishphilly.org, 215.832.0553.