[nfbmi-talk] FW: [State-affiliate-leadership-list] NFB State of the Union Response [1 Attachment]

Kane Brolin kbrolin65 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 4 19:49:05 UTC 2014

I'm glad the Federation has addressed this point head-on.


From: State-affiliate-leadership-list
[mailto:state-affiliate-leadership-list-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Lewis, Anil
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 5:31 PM
To: Affiliate Leadership
Subject: [State-affiliate-leadership-list] NFB State of the Union Response

February 3, 2014

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

In your January 28th State of the Union Address, and via a conference call
with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Perez on January 29th, it
was announced that all contractors would be required by executive order to
pay their federally funded workers at least $10.10 an hour under any new
contracts. The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest
nationwide organization of blind Americans, urges you to include workers
with disabilities in this executive order, affirmatively and explicitly. We
further urge you to announce that you will sign the Fair Wages for Workers
with Disabilities Act (H.R. 831) if and when that legislation reaches your
desk. With a Republican sponsor and substantial Democratic co-sponsorship,
this nonpartisan piece of legislation will responsibly phase out the
discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the
minimum wage.

Our respect and prayers go out to Americans like Sergeant First Class Cory
Remsburg, who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and
equality we seek to enjoy as American citizens. We are thankful that
Sergeant Remsburg is recovering from the wounds he suffered in service to
this great nation. But we must point out that his value to our society is
not a function of the restoration of his eyesight and ability to walk, but
of the simple fact that he is a human being with determination, belief in
himself, love for the United States, and aspirations for his future. There
are millions of others who actively seek to serve this nation we love with
our unique talents and strengths, whether or not we can benefit from
technology or medical intervention that will mitigate or eliminate our
disabilities. Some of us may be blind in both eyes; others may not be able
to hear; some may be unable to walk; some may have developmental
disabilities that require innovative interventions; and still others may
have other disabilities that require them to perform everyday tasks a little
differently. We seek to have our different characteristics embraced as
respected contributions to our nation's diversity, not as badges of
inferiority that condemn us to a life of low wages and low expectations. We
are no less valuable, we are no less capable, and we are no less American
than any other citizen.

We wholeheartedly agree with you when you say, "The America we want for our
kids - a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are
strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go
as far as our dreams and toil will take us - none of it is easy. But if we
work together; if we summon what is best in us, the way Cory summoned what
is best in him, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast
towards tomorrow - I know it's within our reach." We believe that this
America includes people with disabilities, and we ask you to demonstrate
that you believe it as well.


Marc Maurer, President

cc: Vice President Joseph R. Biden

     The Honorable Thomas E. Perez

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