No to cuts for the disabled

February 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO--More than 100 people protested against the proposed "statewide service standards" to be imposed on the Department of Developmental Services in California. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed $750 million in cuts to a department that oversees services provided to people with developmental disabilities.

The protest assembled outside the State Building and marched a few blocks to City Hall for a rally. Most of the protesters receive or provide the services that are on the chopping block. Signs read, "Which 20 percent of my life is extra?" "Service standards mean cuts," and "My life matters."

Lupita Martin, president of the San Francisco chapter of People First, said, "They can't cut [my program]. What would we do? What would people do?"

Shirley Rodriguez, founder and director of Community Employment Services, said, "In 30 years, we've never been fully funded. You look at how little rich people pay in taxes, and you look at how little we get, and you know who's important. We've laminated our protest signs to use them again. What does that tell you about what we have to expect?"

The service standards have not yet been announced, but are rumored to include "lowest cost provider" requirements and caps on individual stipends for housing and care.

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