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Eileen FeldmanSomerville Commission for Persons With disAbilitiesP.O. Box 434, Somerville, MA 02143February 21, 2008Noreen...
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Request to City of Somerville for disability rights commission parity, 2008

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Somerville, MA Mayor Joseph E. Curtatone refuses to allow the Somerville Disabilities Commission equal standing with other Civil Rights Commissions. Instead, he treats this Commission as though the members are inacapable of self-determination.

Published in: News & Politics
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    Eileen Feldman
    Somerville Commission for Persons With disAbilities
    P.O. Box 434, Somerville, MA 02143

    February 21, 2008

    Noreen Burke, Director
    City of Somerville Public Health Department
    City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143

    RE: Enclosed DisAbilities Commission Final Report FY07 (with survey)

    Dear Director Burke,

    I’m very glad to have the opportunity to meet you again at tonight’s Human Rights Commission meeting, and to hear from you and your staff about the new organization of the Civil Rights Commissions within the Health Department of the City!

    As you know, the disAbilities Commission has been requesting equal standing with all the other CR Commissions, such as the Human Rights, Women’s and Multicultural Commissions, in writing, since 2006. Our request for parity is based upon the fact that we have equal capacity to inform, serve, resource, guide, and collaborate in every way similar to such other Commissions in bringing social justice and fullest community inclusion for our typically and historically disenfranchised constituents.

    Our affirmative activities are compelled, to a large extent, by the types of complaints we hear from other residents; however, it is our personal experience that helps us to most deeply identify and analyze the interdependent conditions and effects that are caused by merely being designated “disabled in Somerville, 2008.” Then, we bring our skills to bear in helping constituents to describe, and to undertake solving, the problems they encounter.

    We hope that the Health Department’s new Organization Tree grants this municipal Commission an equal branch- with equal Executive Director funding and powers, an adequate administrative budget, and equal municipal policies and procedures- so that our Mission and Objectives can be successfully integrated within City services.

    The many aspects of outreach, collection, evaluation, writing, and dissemination for this Final Report were carried through only with a motivation to benefit all community members, including City staff, city residents, people who work in, and people who visit, Somerville. It appeared there was a general lack of knowledge about what types of disabilities exist, and what the needs are re: PWD in Somerville.

    I hope that this baseline City Knowledge document relevant to accessibility and people with disAbilities (PWD) will be informative and useful to the Public Health Department to continue its fine work in establishing all residents of Somerville in optimal health conditions throughout their lives.

    Sincerely,



    Eileen Feldman, Chair
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Request to City of Somerville for disability rights commission parity, 2008

  1. 1. Eileen FeldmanSomerville Commission for Persons With disAbilitiesP.O. Box 434, Somerville, MA 02143February 21, 2008Noreen Burke, DirectorCity of Somerville Public Health DepartmentCity Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143RE: Enclosed DisAbilities Commission Final Report FY07 (with survey)Dear Director Burke,I’m very glad to have the opportunity to meet you again at tonight’s Human Rights Commissionmeeting, and to hear from you and your staff about the new organization of the Civil RightsCommissions within the Health Department of the City!As you know, the disAbilities Commission has been requesting equal standing with all the other CRCommissions, such as the Human Rights, Women’s and Multicultural Commissions, in writing, since2006. Our request for parity is based upon the fact that we have equal capacity to inform, serve,resource, guide, and collaborate in every way similar to such other Commissions in bringing socialjustice and fullest community inclusion for our typically and historically disenfranchised constituents.Our affirmative activities are compelled, to a large extent, by the types of complaints we hear fromother residents; however, it is our personal experience that helps us to most deeply identify andanalyze the interdependent conditions and effects that are caused by merely being designated“disabled in Somerville, 2008.” Then, we bring our skills to bear in helping constituents to describe,and to undertake solving, the problems they encounter.We hope that the Health Department’s new Organization Tree grants this municipal Commission anequal branch- with equal Executive Director funding and powers, an adequate administrative budget,and equal municipal policies and procedures- so that our Mission and Objectives can be successfullyintegrated within City services.The many aspects of outreach, collection, evaluation, writing, and dissemination for this Final Reportwere carried through only with a motivation to benefit all community members, including City staff,city residents, people who work in, and people who visit, Somerville. It appeared there was a generallack of knowledge about what types of disabilities exist, and what the needs are re: PWD in Somerville.I hope that this baseline City Knowledge document relevant to accessibility and people withdisAbilities (PWD) will be informative and useful to the Public Health Department to continue its finework in establishing all residents of Somerville in optimal health conditions throughout their lives.Sincerely,Eileen Feldman, Chair

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