The Services, Research and Policy which is a sub committee under IACC (Federal Autism Committee) met today. As you know, the co-chairs are Denise from AHRQ and David from Univ of PA. The writings of this blog are solely my opinions and no way or shape reflect IACC or SRP.
Monthly Archives: August 2013
SRP Sub-Committee of IACC Meets
50 Years Later – Where is the Progress? Shall we wait another 50 for it?
Fifty years ago in 1963, an immensely talented African American man uttered words that would change American history. Let freedom ring, I have a dream that our children will not be judged by their color, but the content of their character. This speech no matter how many times you read can make you learn and grow as a human being.
Here is the text of the full speech – I highly recommend framing it and posting it in your house and teaching your children about it.
It was 100 years before President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. And, as Dr. King’s eloquent and heartfelt speech states it – there were still sufferings in equal rights, economically, employment, housing, health care, and justice just to name few.
This speech was the tipping point for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race, national, gender, religious, school segregation and public accommodations. Of course, many others followed including the 1965 and 1968 Civil Rights Acts.
All of this bloodshed, lives lost, generations suffered so that the next generation of African Americans would not have to go through the same pain and frustrations.
Fast forward to 2013 – 50 years later after the famous MLK speech and 150 years after Lincoln freed slaves. Black unemployment is the highest it has ever been and Minneapolis takes the cake of being the worst. Black education gap is higher than ever, Minnesota almost takes the cake – it is #48 worst out of 50 states. Black home ownership is at its worst, guess where it is the worst – wait for it….Minneapolis. Health disparity and gap for Blacks is at the bottom and Minn again one of the worst for health disparity gap even though it is one of the healthiest states. I can say more, but I am getting a headache.
As a Black autism advocate, I had the hardest time getting policy makers to understand equal means equal in Minnesota state legislature this year. It is why we need to rethink who we vote for and why. If we keep voting the same way, we will be at the bottom of every stat in another 50 years. If we don’t wake the heck up and demand equality means equality in employment, in opportunities, in education, in health care access and in justice, our children will be in worse shape. And, that is not a good legacy for any parent.
We need to fire and not vote for again any legislator who writes, votes and pushes unequal legislation or policy similar to the one Rep Norton has pushed for years for low income autism families who are disproportionately minorities. We can not afford to vote for the same people and somehow expect different policies.
On August 28, 2013 – there will be countless celebrations and remembrance across the country including one in Minneapolis. Here is the link and I urge folks to go and participate so that we are not asking for simple equality for another 50 years. Enough is Enough and the time for equal access to good education, healthcare & economic opportunities is today. I also highly recommend new immigrants from Africa go to these events and really take in and learn how our freedom today came about. We stand on many shoulders of African American leaders and we need to leave a better mark and policies in place for the next generation. Please note the Mpls events will take place on Sat Aug 24th, 2013.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate
What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander, right? Not so fast
As many know by now Abdi Warsame has won the MN DFL caucus to be the next city council member of Ward 6 in Minneapolis. To give a little back ground, Mr. Warsame did not just win, he knocked it out of the park with tons of votes.
Further, Mr. Warsame had a plan and a vision by working on the redistricting of this ward to assure that East African population was in the same district so that they can elect one of their own. If you hear this guys story of why he did this and why he chose to run, the hair of your arms will stand up. His story is inspiring and he tells it eloquently. Mr. Warsame gives hope to thousands of young Africans and other minorities that one day they can represent themselves, they can write their own policies and govern their own communities. He is the true deal.
Fast forward to today which unfortunately, the current city council member decided to defy the system and not leave graciously. To make matters worse, Mr. Martin, the chair of MN DFL sent out a letter to Minnesota democrats asking those running against another fellow candidate in a different ward 3 to respect the process, and not run because he won that caucus.
I guess my question then is if what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, why didn’t Mr. Martin send a letter on behalf of Mr. Warsame and ask his competitors to respect the DFL process and leave graciously?
My guess is that Mr. Martin and so many like him are still under the impression of we will talk for you, write for you and govern you. This is a bad policy at it’s core and Mr. Martin should do the fair and EQUAL thing and send out similar request for Mr. Warsame who after all won fair and square in his caucus.
If not, then we as minority communities need to rethink how we vote, who we vote for and why.
Insanity is voting for the same people and somehow expecting different policies. Listening to Mr. Martin when he is clearly practicing double standard is not going to empower our community or inspire our children.
Below is Mr. Martin’s letter to DFL supporters and I guess I am waiting when he will send out similar one for Mr. Abdi Warsame who deserves equal treatment. He even asks people to donate and indicates that historic DFL caucus. I am sorry, but are you kidding me. Who the heck in Minn or the world does not think Mr. Warsame made HISTORY? Will the real slim shady please stand up here, I mean seriously. Take a read below and you be the judge:
In the Third Ward Minneapolis City Council race, Jacob Frey demonstrated that our caucus and endorsing process works. His campaign drove the highest caucus turnout across Minneapolisand mobilized a diverse super majority of supporters to win the DFL endorsement on May 4.
But, after this record-setting turnout and a sea of red “Frey is my guy!” t-shirts at the convention, Council Member Hofstede went back on her word to abide by the DFL endorsement. We must show that the DFL endorsement matters and should be respected.
You can do so by helping Jacob reach his June fundraising goal of $10,000. He’s already 50% of the way there, but needs hundreds of donors standing with him. Every dollar counts. Please click here to rush your contribution of $10, $25, $50 or $300.
Let’s show that grassroots organizing can trump even the biggest of machines. Let’s show that the DFL endorsement process matters. Let’s do all this by helping Jacob towards another record-setting turnout … this time on November 5. Jacob has made history in this election and will continue to do so with your help.
Sen Franken in the HELP Committee – A waste or Not?
As many remember Senator Franken who was a comedian and a Hollywood darling won the senate seat with ONLY 312 votes in 2008, after a contentious fight with incumbent Sen Coleman.
Sen Franken has been a member of the HELP Committee in the Senate since then. Now, this is probably the most important committee there in terms of Health, Education, Labor and Pension. Yet, Sen Franken has failed, flipped and flopped here similar to a Saturday Night Live Sketch.
Let’s dig deeper;
When Sen Franken very narrowly won over our favorite Senator Coleman, we went to his office and asked if he would continue the great work started by Sen Coleman who was the first person that recognized our autism concerns and not wrote a letter to Gov Pawlenty, but to CDC and NIH. It was very surprising to see Sen Franken’s staff to be mighty arrogant for winning by just 312 votes. First, they ignored us then they said Gov Pawlenty is a different party so whatever Sen Franken asks will not be listened to. Then they told us Sen Franken is simply too busy for autism and the Somali community issues.
Then after Gov Dayton won in 2010, we went back and asked again if they would write letters on our behalf and ask the new health commissioner to address autism by continuing the previous commissioner’s work. And this time we were told – wait for it….
Ah, we think Gov Dayton’s administration is doing a good job for autism. Now what now?
Then they finally allowed us to meet Sen Franken who promised lots of things including writing a letter to Sec Sebelius to assure diversity in IACC. Sadly, most of his promises have been ignored by his arrogant staff again.
Fast forward to 2013, I hear Sen Franken is going around the Somali community businesses, shops and stores bragging how his office helped with autism. Now what now?
I even got a letter congratulating me when I was appointed to IACC. What – Sen Franken had nothing to do with it. Yet, he wants to take credit. In fact, it was Congressman Kline who wrote a letter to Sec Sebelius. But that does not stop Sen Franken claiming credit for things his staff ignored, disregarded and dismissed.
In addition, when we asked them to hire Somalis, we were told they just are not qualified, even though many of the applicants were highly qualified. By the same token, they keep hiring staff of minimum effort with careless attitude.
Further, many have heard the difficult times HBCU’s are having with Sec Duncan and the U.S Dept of Education, yet Sen Franken is MIA in helping them so that these historic Black Universities don’t close where thousands of students have suffered. See more here.
So, what can we do now? Well – thankfully Sen Franken is up for re-election again next year and we should do everything we can to make sure we get someone who will represent all of our concerns in Congress. Someone who will not play partisan politics and will just represent us. Unlike his SNL character I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me. It seems to me that minorities are not good enough or smart enough to be Sen Franken’s policy advisers or hold important positions. I think it has been a waste to have Sen Franken in such important committee and accomplish so little for Minnesotans.
The time to defeat Sen Franken is now. We need a real leader in Congress.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate.
The Sandra Fluke Theory and Autism
Remember when the committee on Oversight and Government Reform decided to talk about women and health care, but they forgot to include in their panels a WOMAN.
Parent’s gut VS Mainstream Doctors in Autism
As moms, we all have these gut feelings of when something is wrong with our children. We usually get this magical ability the minute our kids are born, not sure how it all develops – but we just call them “mom gut” feeling.
What is Autism Disparity?
We often hear the word disparity associated with people of color in education, health, economic opportunities, etc. And, I have always wondered – why is disparity so high in every corner.