Valentine’s Day Message to RI Elected Officials: Have a Heart!

Karen Baldwin, an 1199 member at the Blackstone Valley ARC, addresses the rally.

On Valentine’s Day, 1199 members from the Blackstone Valley ARC joined with advocates, family members, and allies of the developmentally disabled to call on the RI General Assembly to “Have a Heart” and restore the $24 million in cuts passed last year – cuts that are now causing to program closures, layoffs, wage and benefit cuts for direct care staff, and more.

The action was covered by several different media outlets – including the Providence Journal, Channel 12, WPRO-630AM, and the Boston Globe, which noted:

Relatives and caregivers for people with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island are rallying at the Statehouse to encourage state lawmakers to reverse $24 million in budget cuts that they say are hurting programs for the disabled.  More than 100 members of the Have a Heart Coalition filled the capitol rotunda Tuesday to call attention to the budget cuts.

Members of the group say the cuts have led to layoffs at social service agencies and reduced programs for the developmentally disabled…Several speakers at the rally said lawmakers should consider tax increases on wealthy earners to raise money for the programs.

Perhaps the most in-depth story came from ABC6click here to watch the ABC6 video which features several 1199 members!

Together with our allies, we will continue to call on decision-makers to increase taxes on those with incomes over $250,000 per year who can afford to pay a little more so that our most vulnerable neighbors can have the care and support that they deserve.

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