Help us keep the promise

January 1st, 2009

“The Lanterman Act – Helping us keep the promise of services in California in the coming years”  By Connie Lapin

Decades ago, 1969 to be exact, there was a promise, a commitment, a law, by the State of California to protect, respect, and support its citizens with developmental disabilities.  The Lanterman Act assures necessary supports to that population so they can have a valued, productive life as part of their community.  It is the most humane and progressive law in the country.  Is the promise of the Lanterman Act broken?

My 41-year-old son, Shawn, has the challenge of severe autism.  He is indeed my hero.  He was around before there were services.  He was around when services began and expanded, giving him a “real life of hope and success”.  He is around today to watch the promise “breaking” thru chronic underfunding and short-sighted fiscal decisions.  Will he be sent back to a time to watch his dreams and chances to grow disappear?

Our most vulnerable citizens need your support, leadership, insight and protection.  Fiscal leadership and responsibility mean “Do No Harm!”  We have seen bad times before.

Let us help you save the promise.  We all as stakeholders have ideas to help, both short and long-term.  We are acutely aware of how fragile our California economy is.  Many of us have lived through warehousing and institutionalization of our population.  It was not cost-effective , and in fact, it was established as the most expensive system, and one that failed.

What will be your legacy in California with this current budget disaster?  Meet with us, listen to us.

We all can and must KEEP THE PROMISE.