[nfbmi-talk] Jo Ann Pilarski's letter

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Sun Feb 26 05:41:40 CST 2012

I do not quibble with the intent or sentiments of this, but it does show 
some ignorance of the process in at least one instance that is more than a 
small point.

I am not saying this to be unkind or to bash JoAnn here either.

But, she keeps referring to Congress which is the federal legislative branch 
when I think she means our State legislature.

Othere than that I pretty much agree with JoAnn here on fundamentals, except 
for some veiled digs, of course. But, I won't get in to the "blame game" 
here and do not take them personally. Just don't agree with them fully.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Larry Posont" <president.nfb.mi at gmail.com>
To: <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 7:29 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Jo Ann Pilarski's letter

> Dear Michigan Federationists:
>     Here is a letter from an individual that I thought you might like to 
> see.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jo Ann Pilarski" <pilarskij at charter.net>
>    Dear  Director, Commissioners, former
> Commissioners, Consumer Presidents and Friends,
> In 2011 I brought to the table the  question of
> whether we should be proactive and begin to write
> to the Governor about why this Commission should
> stand on its own.
> I spoke of us coming together to work in a
> cooperative way to save what we have, and to not
> use our time to tear down.  I resigned, in part,
> when I was persuaded that that was not the
> direction we were going to agree to take.
> It will be a great time to point fingers of blame
> all over the place.  Again, what a total waste of
> time that would  be.  It has proven out that when
> we judge others, we just invite judgment back. We
> go nowhere. I think we have seen that that is not
> the way to effect positive change.
> You can just not know how angry and stunned I am
> at the attitude of this administration.  We have
> had a  republican - led congress with an attitude
> of power and control, rather than one of
> servanthood to its people.  It began to negate the
> blind community with its 11th hour action to not
> reinstate Margaret or Michael t our Board,
> usurping the power of Governor Granholm at that
> time.  this is not a political
> statement on my part; it is my experience and
> observation.  I urged our blind community to go
> beyond their respective politics and come together
> to correct that action with a collective voice.
> It did not happen, collectively.  I was saddened
> again, because after speaking with Congressional
> reps, I kept getting totally different answers,
> and I felt the dishonesty and intentions toward
> our blind community were not in anyone's interest,
> but were a predictor of what was coming.
> I have seen, as a former teacher, the
> ramifications of playing politics with our
> teachers, state employees and lives of our
> children.  That, of course, is my opinion, but it
> is from experience that I speak.  I have
> experienced firsthand, the ors, under this
> administration arbitrarily dissolve parts of
> insurance coverage that are financially very
> costly to me.  I have seen my pension taxed an
> extra $100 per month , after i  was blessed my
> entire life to work and put into that pension,
> even
> pay more, by purchasing the mip Plan.  Contracts
> and word of honor mean nothing
> to our politicians and, in particular, at this
> time, a Republican Administration.
> The attitude continues, and grows.  It has
> continued  as we see actions which are now
> occuring by our Governor.   Contrast the attitudes
> of Gov. Granholm and Gov. Snyder toward the blind
> community in your own minds.  At the very least,
> the overall tone of Gov. Granholm was one of
> understanding and inclusion of all people in State
> Government.  This Governor and his people have
> shown by their actions a total lack of value for
> blind folks.   We are now not a State, but a
> business, and people are not
> what matters.  Humanity and decency toward one
> another are just not efficiency priorities.
> Our Governor states that we are on the rise.  How
> is that working for each of you??
> This week I heard that Camp T costs have made
> using Camp T prohibitive.  Ask Donna Possant for
> her beautiful letter about Camp t and what it has
> meant for our kids.  Are those actions by our
> State Board respectful to our blind community?
> Do they honor the intent of Camp T?
> Now consider the abolition of our Commission, the
> movement of bep, the overriding of P.A. 260., the
> abolition of a director's role.  Do you have
> doubts about what this Administration feels about
> the
> blind citizens in Michigan?
> Consider the time and energy put into the
> appointments to our current Board.  At the very
> least they have put in much time and energy in the
> faith that they were appointed to serve.  Consider
> that Mike and Margaret had put in the time and
> energy as well, and were just dismissed.  You now
> know that feeling of disingenuine and
> disrespectful attitude toward your time and to our
> blind community as a whole.
> There were consumers who were pretty sure that
> they had connection, or at least an in-road to
> this Administration, both with Snyder and Kelly.
> It appears that they were given a picture that was
> untrue and insincere.
> What I am coming to, here, is that we may not be
> able to change this at this time.
> But elections are coming.  I pray that we think
> about how we can come together to turn this horse
> around.  I pray for a more important reason that
> we choose to
> work together to right this wrong.  We are human
> beings, brothers and sisters under a higher
> authority, and we must, must not attack one
> another, but attack the system decisions here.  It
> is my opinion that we attack with positive energy,
> with
> collaboration and cooperation, with an agreement
> to not make ourselves appear
> as an entitled group without a care for anything
> other than having our own way.
> Services for lbind people are good for all people.
> I'm pretty sure that this Administration views us
> as nonessential, not worthy of their time, not
> worthy of citizenship.  If we can show them that
> we are a reasoned, determined group of citizens
> with needs different from those with sight, that
> we need an agency, that we will not go away, that
> we will not give in to hatred and rhetoric and
> bashing and fear and control tactics, maybe we
> have a chance.
> Divided we will fail.
> I question anymore if this is my country, and now
> I question whether, indeed, this is my state.  I
> will try, and I urge you to try, to word letters
> to the editors of your paper, at least stating
> what the abolition of our Commision will  mean to
> you. The power of personal stories has been
> brought home to me so many times s I listened to
> stories of changed lives, in particular the story
> of Joanne Wilson.  I urge you to state what
> appears to be the attitude of our Governor and
> Congress.  Ask your questions.  If you write, then
> I urge you to consider how to  make your case
> without bashing, as it could very well backfire,
> as has happened in the last couple of years.
> I urge you to study the candidates in the coming
> elections. Tim Skubek stated that
> it is such a waste to base your vote upon ads, as
> they are all distortions.
> Look at the candidates.  Look at the direction
> which has been taken.   You can effect change by
> voting.  we have no guarantee that these decisions
> can be reversed, and it will take much time to
> bring back something that was tossed with a
> signing of a document.   We may not know future
> candidates, but we can certainly see what we have
> here and now in Congress and in our Governor.
> Make your votes count to swing the tide and tone
> of what is happening.
> Above all, I pray that we regard each other in
> kindness and respect, just refusing to
> allow the voice of blame and destruction to
> prevail.   You do not go onto the streets and
> physically hurt someone. You choose not to do so.
> Be unique, in that you choose to respect each
> others' opinions.  HOW we react will carry the
> day, either way, more than what we say.
> Write letters to your Congresspeople; write to the
> papers, to at least let others know what is
> happening and how it affects you personally. Tell
> your stories.  vote!!!
> Respectfully,
> Jo Ann
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