Good Morning my Extraordinary Marin CIL Family and Community,
Welcome to the first PM Report of 2021! Happy New Year! I hope each of you were able to enjoy the new year and were able to get some rest and enjoy time with your bubble. This morning started early for me. Phone rang early….lots to do.
Breaking news: My wife Jennifer just let me know that KTVU channel 2 in Oakland reported that Zoom, slack, Microsoft Teams, and Gmail web are currently having periodic outages. Apparently, Slack is the platform primarily affected. I am hoping for a kinder, gentler 2021 for all of us. Sending a smile your way.
County of Marin Update
Stay Home Order: What’s the status?
One of the top questions we’ve received recently is, “when can Marin County – and the entire Bay Area – exit the State of California’s Regional Stay Home Order?”
The Bay Area region is scheduled to remain under the Regional Stay Home Order until January 8 at the earliest with potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections. On Friday, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will begin issuing four-week ICU projections for the 11 county Bay Area.
The ICU capacity projections are based on four factors:
- current estimated regional ICU capacity available
- measure of current community transmission
- current regional case rates
- the proportion of ICU cases being admitted.
CDPH’s projections are calculated daily. Once the Bay Area region's four-week projection shows an ICU capacity of greater than or equal to 15%, the order will be lifted.
Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region's projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.
You can follow the region’s ICU capacity and order status on the State of California’s Regional Stay Home Order webpage
Sharing from DREDF
DREDF Honors the Life & Legacy of Disability Rights Pioneer and Ally, Richard A. “Dick” Thornburgh
“Perhaps the most satisfying change the ADA has brought about is a change in attitude. As new generations of Americans have worked, lived and played side-by-side with persons with disabilities, the debilitating barriers of stereotypes and prejudices are disappearing. Participation in everyday American life has brought a sense of self-worth for persons with disabilities.”
—Richard A. “Dick” Thornburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2, 2015
Thornburgh, whose public career spanned more than twenty-five years – first as Governor of Pennsylvania, then as the Attorney General of the United States under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and later as Under-Secretary of the United Nations – passed away on December 31, 2020. He was an early ally in the fight for disability rights, access and inclusion.
For Thornburgh, the fight was both personal and political.
A car accident took the life of his first wife, Ginny Hooton Thornburgh, and severely injured one of their three sons, Peter, in 1960. In a 1979 New York Times
interview, Thornburgh recalled: “I was left with three little children, including Peter, who suffered brain injury in the wreck. That’s a jolt. It made me think about what I wanted to do with my life, what I can do to contribute to the world.”
At the request of President George H.W. Bush, then Attorney General Thornburgh made what he considered perhaps the greatest of his many contributions – taking the lead role for the administration to ensure congressional passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. After the ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, Mr. Thornburgh described the day as “one of emancipation, not just for the millions of Americans with disabilities who will directly benefit from this Act, but even more so for the rest of us now free to benefit from the contributions which those with disability can make to our economy, our communities and our own well-being.”
“The day was a high point of my tenure as attorney general,” Thornburgh emphasized in his 2003 autobiography, Where the Evidence Leads
Born July 16, 1932, Thornburgh is survived by his second wife Ginny Judson Thornburgh, a former schoolteacher from New York, who holds degrees from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ginny served as Director of the Interfaith Initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities, and co-authored That All May Worship
, an award-winning handbook for religious organizations to include people with disabilities in their congregations.
In addition to his wife, Ginny, Thornburgh is survived by four sons and their families: John and his wife, Sharon; David and his wife, Rebecca; Peter and William; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
“When I approached Attorney General Thornburgh about filing an amicus
brief in Lane v. Tennessee
, a case involving the constitutionality of the ADA,” remembered DREDF’s Directing Attorney Emerita Arlene B. Mayerson, “Attorney General Thornburgh was not only eager to participate, but also as down to earth as one could be.”
“Attorney General Thornburgh was the linchpin that secured the draft of the ADA,” recalled DREDF cofounder, Patrisha Wright. “His life experience and legal and political skills led the way for the Bush Administration to endorse and support the law.”
Everyone at DREDF appreciates and honors the pioneering contributions to disability communities and longterm commitment Mr. Thornburgh made by helping secure, protect and sustain our civil rights. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and loved ones.
Source: In Honor of Richard “Dick” Thornburgh 1932-2020
A Tidbit from Me:
Dick Thornbugh played a truly instrumental role in the passage of the American’s with Disabilities Act. He was one of the people who carried the message from the administration of President George H.W. Bush pushing for the passage of the ADA. While many people played a key role he is credited with working with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to gain agreement on last minute policy issues which originally threatened to derail the ADA. I remember more than 30 years ago the negotiations around the American’s with Disabilities Act were down to the wire. People with disabilities, even those of us who were invited to Washington to witness the signing of the ADA, breathed a sigh of relief once President George H.W. Bush in a historic moment put pen to paper signing the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Prioritizing People with Disabilities for COVID-19 Vaccination
December 29, 2020
DREDF, along with four other disability or aging organizations that are represented on the California Community Vaccination Advisory Committee, sent a letter to the state’s Vaccination Drafting Guidelines Committee prior to its December 29 meeting. The letter advocates for prioritized vaccination for lower-income persons with disabilities of all ages who receive home and community-based long-term services and supports, as well as those with disabilities who are at great risk of COVID-19 infection and severe illness or death, particularly in light of medical rationing concerns.
Dear Members of the California COVID-19 Vaccine Drafting Guidelines Workgroup,
We write as members of California’s Community Advisory Vaccine Committee who collectively represent people with a wide range of disabilities and chronic health conditions across the age spectrum. After consulting with one another on the proposed 1b vaccine prioritizations proposed by the Drafting Guidelines Workgroup last week, we ask the Workgroup to include two changes to the proposed priority tiers under phase 1b:
- Include people with disabilities of any age who receive long-term services and supports (LTSS) through Medi-Cal waiver services and programs, the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and through Regional Centers.
- Provide a “safety valve” for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions of any age who can demonstrate with medical evidence that they are at great risk of severe health consequences including death if they acquire COVID-19.
We appreciate the Workgroup’s inclusion of people with comorbid conditions ages 64-75 years in category 1b. However, we also recognize that age, in itself, is a highly inexact proxy for the disability communities, particularly lower-income people with disabilities of color, who remain at high risk for COVID infection and/or severe illness. An individual with developmental disabilities in their 50s who lives in a small group home is, in fact, at significantly higher risk of acquiring COVID-19 than someone in their 60s who can safely shelter in place without visitors because of daily exposures to direct support workers in the small group home. Moreover, the CDC’s list of recognized comorbid conditions, does not include either real-time research into how people with different disabilities experience the virus (e.g., Landes, SD, Turk, MA, & Wong, AWWA (in press), “COVID-19 Outcomes Among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability in California: The Importance of Type of Residence and Skilled Nursing Care Needs,” Disability and Health Journal, 101051
), nor the impact of medical rationing and implicit bias on people with significant disabilities. For example, a high-weight individual with multiple healthcare conditions may be unable to access regular therapy for severe lymphedema without risking COVID-19 infection and, if they end up with COVID-19 during a surge resulting in health care rationing, they also are at risk of being denied care because of the application of crisis standard of care guidelines.
There is also the equitable consideration that many people with disabilities receiving home and community-based long-term services and supports require nursing home levels of care but fought to stay out of institutions or return to the community, potentially living with family in multi-generational homes. These individuals have not been subject to the tragic rates of infection in nursing homes, where they would ironically be receiving the vaccination now, but their risks of infection and severe illness during a time of rising community infection rates should accord them a place in category 1b, regardless of their age. Studies are beginning to bear out the disproportionate impact COVID is having on people with specific disabilities, including developmental disabilities, who are 3 times more likely to die, and people with Down Syndrome, who are 10 times more likely to die. (https://tinyurl.com/y2a5f9ql; https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-4986
), but people with less frequently occurring disabilities could also bear disproportionate impacts that have not yet been the subject of study.
We support the prioritized inclusion of personal care assistants who are coming into the homes of disabled people as front-line healthcare workers in category 1a, but since we don’t know the infectious capacity of those who have been vaccinated, those who receive personal assistance services must be separately evaluated for vaccination.
In order to provide some sense of the number of individuals that are being raised here we have some approximate figures below. Please bear in mind that there is considerable overlap both among the groups listed below as well as with other groups that are already proposed for inclusion in 1b (e.g., persons over 75 and persons between 64 and 75 with comorbid conditions).
CA Assisted Living Waiver: 5,000, with 4,500 on the waitlist
CA Community Based Adult Services Program: 40,000
CA HCBS Waiver for Californians w/DD: 95,000
CA HIV/AIDS Waiver: 1,500
CA Home and Community Based Alternatives Waiver: 5,500, with 600 on the waiting list
CA Multipurpose Senior Services Program: up to 12,000
CA Self-Determination Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: 350
Community First Option: 250,000 (most overlapping with other categories in this list)
Regional Center Service recipients: 350,000
PACE participant: 10,000
Our recommendation would include an approximate 1.1 million Californians who would very likely have fallen within 1a if they were not being cared for in the community.
Finally, we encourage the Workgroup to recommend subpriorities within 1b based on who has been most impacted by the pandemic. For example, all older adults 75+ have not been similarly situated, with death and infection rates disproportionately impacting older adults of color. Further subprioritization based on considerations like race and community would be consistent with subprioritization guidance for phase 1a
and is critical in ensuring a vaccine allocation grounded in equity.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide our input to the Drafting Guidelines Workgroup.
Aaron Carruthers, California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
Andy Imparato, Disability Rights California
Christina Mills, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging
Silvia Yee, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Source: Prioritizing People with Disabilities for COVID-19 Vaccination
Sharing from the Marin Independent Journal
Marin activists seek rent freeze during coronavirus crisis
By RICHARD HALSTEAD
| Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: January 1, 2021 at 6:25 p.m. | UPDATED: January 3, 2021 at 4:48 p.m.
Lana Gasparyan, who lives at Ridgeway Apartments in Marin City, is unemployed because of the pandemic and owes months of back rent. On top of that, her landlord has notified her the rent would increase 8% effective Friday.
“I don’t think it is right,” Gasparyan said.
Marin housing advocates agree. They’re calling on the Marin County Board of Supervisors to place a temporary moratorium on rent increases during the coronavirus emergency.
“Marin Organizing Committee is asking for a freeze on rent increases and an extension and expansion of the current rent moratorium to ensure that no one is evicted until the pandemic ends,” Pat Langley, a leader of the committee, told supervisors at their meeting on Dec. 15.
Langley, a parishioner at St. Anselm Church in Ross, said low-income residents are, in many ways, more at risk than ever. Many owe thousands of dollars in rent debt. Statewide protections are due to expire at the end of January, creating uncertainty for landlords and tenants. Evictions are now being processed in the courts.
“We hear stories from renters living in a constant state of fear about how they will care for their families if their rent is raised as much as $50,” Langley said. “One way we can stretch these funds is to ensure that landlords don’t raise rent during these precarious times.”
For full article: Marin activists seek rent freeze during coronavirus crisis
A Tidbit from Me:
Marin CIL’s core services include housing preservation, retention, and advocacy. Whether you are looking for housing or need support with housing retention or advocacy or to learn more about your rights Marin CIL is here for you! If you are a person with a disability or older adult please reach out to us.
New Marin supervisor faces full plate of issues
By RICHARD HALSTEAD
| Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: January 3, 2021 at 12:52 p.m. | UPDATED: January 3, 2021 at 4:51 p.m.
Ten days after Stephanie Moulton-Peters won a landslide victory to the Board of Supervisors in March, Marin County went into its first coronavirus lockdown.
“I am very realistic that the world has changed a lot since I was elected,” Moulton-Peters said. “I have issues and priorities that I want to work on, but I am very clear that addressing COVID is the No. 1 priority right now. That has overtaken everything else.”
Moulton-Peters, elected to represent District 3 in southern Marin, will take the oath of office Tuesday when the board holds its first meeting of the new year. She previously served three terms on the Mill Valley City Council and has experience serving on several boards overseeing local transportation agencies.
Moulton-Peters, 63, said Marin County and local municipalities should look for new ways to work together and further consolidate services to cope with a huge loss of revenue due to the pandemic. She also said spending on equity initiatives should continue.
Regarding concern about a wave of evictions when state protections for renters affected by the pandemic expire at the end of January, Moulton-Peters said, “All efforts should be made to extend the eviction moratorium and the rent subsidies.”
The county and Marin cities and towns should also coordinate efforts when planning how to respond to new state laws that streamline approvals for the building of new housing, she said.
For full article: New Marin supervisor faces full plate of issues
A Tidbit from Me:
Marin CIL has had the pleasure of knowing and working with Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters for many years. She is a true champion for people with disabilities, older adults, and other communities who are traditionally marginalized. We look forward to continuing to partner with Supervisor Moulton-Peters in her new role. It is important to take a moment to honor Supervisor Kate Sears. Marin CIL has also had the pleasure of working closely with outgoing district three Supervisor Sears. Supervisor Sears was always friendly, warm, and truly listened. She was a strong environmentalist and a steadfast supporter of people with disabilities and older adults.
Sharing from the National Council on Independent Living
NCIL Presents a National Webinar & Teleconference… Challenging the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Public Benefits Determinations: A CDT Report
December 29, 2020 By theadvocacymonitor
January 20, 2021; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Register online (NCIL members only)
NCIL and the Center for Democracy and Technology are excited to announce a national webinar and teleconference to share the findings of CDT’s recent report “Challenging the Use of Algorithm-driven Decision-making in Benefits Determinations Affecting People with Disabilities”. This report analyzes the various litigation strategies for challenging AI used to cut public benefits. This is a critical issue as many state governments are increasing their reliance on algorithms to determine whether, and to what extent, people qualify for public benefits.
Join us for a presentation of the report’s key findings and how states’ increasing turn to algorithmic decision-making is affecting the rights of people with disabilities. Our presenters will discuss how advocates have challenged these harms inside the courtroom and through other advocacy strategies.
This webinar is free for NCIL members. Non-members may join NCIL to attend.
Meet Your Presenters
Accessibility & Accommodations
This webinar will be held via Zoom, but participants can join by webinar or telephone. CART captioning will be provided. Training materials and connection instructions will be sent 1-2 days prior to the live event. Other accommodations may be requested on the registration form.
Sharing from Disability Rights California
City of Eureka Halts Enforcement, Will Reconsider Illegal Anti-Homelessness Law
- Lydia X. Z. Brown, Policy Counsel on CDT’s Privacy & Data Project
- Ridhi Shetty, Policy Counsel on CDT’s Privacy & Data Project
Dec 30, 2020
– An anti-homelessness ordinance set to take effect at midnight tonight has been set aside by the City of Eureka. City Council will reconsider the ordinance at its next meeting on January 5, 2020. The ordinance made it unlawful to camp in almost every part of the City, including Old Town, the Waterfront, and all City parks and recreational trails; it defined camping as living outdoors as well as occupying a vehicle in the restricted zones.
The City initially adopted the ordinance despite warnings by community advocates, including Legal Services of Northern California, that it violates recent federal court decisions and despite the fact that the City has insufficient shelter space. Shortly after receiving a letter from Legal Services of Northern California and Disability Rights California urging the City to take immediate action to halt enforcement of this ordinance, City Attorney Robert Black informed advocates that it would not be enforced and, instead, reconsidered with minor modifications.
Advocates, on behalf of unsheltered clients, are urging the City Council to refrain from criminalizing homelessness. “Now, more than ever, the City needs to show up for its most vulnerable. Rather than putting its efforts toward circumventing the constitutional protections of homeless individuals, the City should focus on ensuring all its residents’ basic needs are met,” said Rebecca Smith, of Legal Services of Northern California. “We call on the City to seize this opportunity to reconsider its approach to homelessness in our community, and to commit itself to effective, evidence-based solutions to support Eureka residents who do not have shelter. The public health and safety of the community during this devastating time depends on the support of our leaders.”
For full report: City of Eureka Halts Enforcement, Will Reconsider Illegal Anti-Homelessness Law
Sharing from the Marin VOAD
Marin County Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Do you need help paying for rent between September 2020 and January 2021?
The County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is currently open and accepting
applicants. To apply for and receive assistance, please do the following:
Step 1: Call 415-473-2223 or CA Relay 711 to be added to the waitlist.
If your call is not answered, please leave a message with your name and
callback number so a member of our staff can contact you.
Step 2: Our staff will reach out to you to ask some intake questions.
Step 3: Once the intake is complete, you will need to send the following
documents before we can move forward with assistance:
• Copy of photo ID with a Marin County address (if your ID doesn’t
have a Marin County address, you will need to send a copy of a
photo ID with a utility bill/other bill that shows your Marin County
• Proof of Income (pay stub, bank statement)
• Copy of the first page of your rental lease, or other proof of
*Note: if you can’t get some of this documentation, we are willing to work
with you to show your financial situation in other ways.
*Note: this program is open to all Marin residents regardless of citizenship
If you have questions, you can email us at RentalAssistance@MarinCounty.org, or call
415-473-2223 or CA Relay 711.
Requests for disability accommodations may be made by phoning (415) 473-2223 (Voice), CA
Relay 711 or by e-mail at RentalAssistance@MarinCounty.org
Sharing from SCDD
Plain Language COVID Vaccine Information
What is the COVID vaccine?
The COVID vaccine is a new medication that can prevent you from getting sick with “COVID,” “the Coronavirus,” or “COVID-19.” This vaccine helps protect your body so you don’t get sick with COVID. It works by boosting your immune system. This helps the body fight COVID.
The vaccine is given as a shot in your arm. You need to get 2 shots for the vaccine to work. The second shot is given 3 or 4 weeks after the first shot.
Right after the vaccination, some people’s arms hurt. Other people get sore muscles, a headache, a fever, or a sore throat that lasts a day or two. Some people do not get any side effects.
After the second shot, it is unlikely that you will be able to catch COVID.
Who can get the vaccine and when?
In December 2020 and January 2021, there are not enough vaccines for everyone in California. Doctors, scientists, and government leaders have worked together to decide who can get the vaccine.
Health care workers will get the vaccine first so they can keep taking care of people who are sick. Next, people who might get really sick from COVID will be able to get the vaccine. This includes many people with developmental disabilities. In California, that will be in Spring or Summer 2021.
The vaccine is going to be given in different places, such as pharmacies, hospitals, or special clinics. You might not have a choice about where to get it or who gives it to you. That is because there is not enough for everyone yet. Your service provider or doctor can tell you how your vaccine will be given.
Do I have to get the COVID vaccine?
It is your decision whether to get the vaccine or not. It is up to you to make the best choice for your health, and that may or may not be getting the vaccine.
If you have a person who makes your health decisions for you, talk with them about how you feel about getting the vaccine. Your health care provider or doctor can also answer your questions.
How does the COVID vaccine work?
A vaccine works by giving your body tools to fight viruses that can make you sick.
Those tools are called “antibodies.” Antibodies are used by your immune system to fight off viruses. Each type of virus has its own type of antibodies. That is why vaccines only work for one type of illness.
This vaccine uses a new type of technology called mRNA that teaches our bodies to fight off the coronavirus.
Is the COVID vaccine safe?
Scientists believe the COVID vaccine is generally safe. It is still new. There is a lot of information that scientists are still learning.
If you have questions or are worried about how the COVID vaccine may impact you, talk to your doctor or health care professional. Talk to the person who knows your health the best and who knows about the vaccine.
I have heard scary things about this vaccine.
There are a lot of rumors about this vaccine that are simply not true. To find out what is true, it is a good idea to talk to someone who knows the facts, like a health care professional.
How can I make a good decision about getting or not getting the vaccine?
Many people think about what might be good about taking the vaccine and what might not be good. Some questions you can think about:
- Do you have a condition that makes it more likely for you to become very sick from COVID?
- Do you live with, work with, or spend time with someone who is likely to become very sick from COVID?
Health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can increase your risk from COVID. Having Down Syndrome or living in a group home can increase your risk from COVID.
If you are not sure if you are at high risk, you can ask your doctor or health care provider. You can also talk to your doctor or health care provider about what the best things are for you to think about when making this decision.
Avoiding COVID Scams
There might be people who will try to scam you. Don’t fall for it!
You likely will not need to pay anything out-of-pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
You will not have anyone knocking on your door to give you the vaccine.
You will not be contacted from anyone from Medicare or the Health Department.
You will not be asked from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company for any personal information such as your Medicare number, Social Security number, or your credit card or bank account information to sign up to get the vaccine.
Not sure if it’s a scam? Talk to someone you trust like a family member, regional center service coordinator, or call your SCDD regional office.
The goal of the PM Report is to share information that is relevant and meaningful to our communities in support of enhancing full participation through community engagement and advocacy opportunities. Please feel free to send Peter Mendoza (Marin CIL's Director of Advocacy and Special Projects) any announcements or updates that you feel would be beneficial to our communities. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to Peter at: email@example.com or (415) 234-3840.