Re: [ACBL-Board] FW: [Presidents] Disability/Aging Advocates Public Transit Mask Mandate Decision Statement Sign-Ons
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I agree with Ray and Mitch that we should take our focus back to issues directly impacting people who are blind and severely visually impaired! Seems many other groups have advocates, but not people with vision loss, and specifically in Georgia!
From: ACB-Lions@... <ACB-Lions@...> On Behalf Of mitch.pomerantz@...
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2022 2:07 PM
To: ACBL-Board@...; ACB-Lions@...
Subject: Re: [ACB-Lions] [ACBL-Board] FW: [Presidents] Disability/Aging Advocates Public Transit Mask Mandate Decision Statement Sign-Ons
I wholeheartedly agree with your statement and, in fact, would prefer that ACB not sign on as well. At one time, both organizations in the organized blind movement focused exclusively on blindness-specific issues. That has changed and in my view based on 50 years of experience, that change is not for the better. ACB is becoming as politically polarized as the nation as a whole which means that issues directly related to being blind and having low vision do not get the attention they deserve. All I can do is shake my head and be glad that I am no longer in a leadership position in the Council.
Below is a statement that ACB is circulating for organizations who want to do so to sign on too regarding the court ruling which struck down the Federal Mask Mandate. I’m inclined to not have ACB Lions sign on, but I want to hear your thoughts.
My main reason for this recommendation is that while I understand that COVID is still with us, it will be, probably forever. No one who either wants to wear a mask while traveling on public transit, by air, in a ride share vehicle or other situations is prohibited from doing so. If someone chooses to wear a mask, that choice needs to be respected. We don’t need to have the Government continue to mandate masks. There are COVID vaccines, treatments, and we all should know our individual situation and how to protect ourselves and those around us.
Please share your thoughts by midnight on Sunday, central time so that if the majority of those I hear from want ACB Lions to sign on, I can take care of that as sign-ons have to be in by 1 p.m. Eastern time. Monday.
Yours in Lionism,
Lion Ray Campbell, Immediate Past President, Glen Ellyn Lions Club and
President, American Council of Blind Lions
Several disability and aging advocacy organizations have drafted the below statement in response to the recent court ruling ending the mask mandate on public transportation and air travel. They are looking for sign-ons from state and local organizations and individual advocates in addition to national organizations in support of this statement. Sign-ons are due by 5pm EST on Monday, April 25th. Please sign on to the statement using this Google Form. You can find the full statement at this link. It is also copied below. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at snandhakumar@....
The recent ruling to end mask mandates on public transit has put the lives of disabled and older adults at risk. As the pandemic continues, there is an urgent need to maintain mask mandates and protect public health. While the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Justice pursue an appeal, disability and aging advocates have prepared a statement for sign ons encouraging transit providers of all types to continue to require masks. The deadline for sign ons is Monday, April 25 at 1:00 pm ET. The statement is open for sign on by national organizations, state and local organizations, and individual advocates. Please sign on to the statement using this Google Form. You can find the full statement at this link. It is also copied below.
Washington, D.C. - Following the recent court decision striking down the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s mask mandate for public transportation, disability and aging advocates released the following statement:
People with disabilities fought for decades for the right to safe, accessible transit. Those rights and our ability to participate in our communities, connect with our families, get to work, and access healthcare have all been put at risk by this decision. We are relieved that the Biden Administration will seek to appeal the decision
Let us be clear: we are still in a pandemic, and COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of people across the United States every day. Although we all wish the pandemic were over, cases are rising yet again, Congressional inaction has left treatments and information about treatments scarce, and the vaccine has yet to be approved for young children. High risk and immunocompromised people are in danger.
Eliminating masking requirements on transit increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 faced by those who rely on transit to engage in community life. Disabled people of color are among the most frequent public transit users, and for many use of a personal vehicle is not an option. Until this latest wave has subsided, community transmission rates have dropped, vaccinations are accessible to all ages, and treatments are readily available, we urge all transportation providers including transit agencies, bus companies, airlines, railway systems and ride-sharing businesses to protect everyone, especially young children, people with disabilities, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults most at risk, by continuing to require masks.
Swatha Nandhakumar | She/her/hers
Advocacy and Outreach Specialist
American Council of the Blind
1703 N Beauregard Street, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22311
(T) 202-467-5081 | (F) 703-465-5085
Learn more about us at www.acb.org