AMONG THOSE WHO HAVE ENDORSED THE CONCEPT OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT -- BUT NOT NECESSARILY EVERY WORD OF THIS WRITING -- ARE: JAMES BILLY, MARCA BRISTO, FRED FAY, LEX FRIEDEN, TOM HARKIN, WADE HENDERSON, JUDY HEUMANN, ANDY IMPARATO, BOB KAFKA, RON MACE, PAUL MARCHAND, GINA MCDONALD, KATHY MCGINLEY, RALPH NEAS, BECKY OGLE, MARCIE ROTH, MARK SMITH,STEPHANIE THOMAS, JIM WARD, PAUL WELLSTONE
Individualized Empowerment - A Practical Plan To Make The American Dream Live In Every Life.
Democracy At Risk - The Elections Of 2002 And 2004.
You Have Power Make The Dream Live.
Ten Ways You Can Make The Dream Live.
Our Agenda For Individualized Empowerment Will Be Attacked With The Traditional Stereotypes.
Summary: Our Fight To Expand Humanity.
Epilogue -- We Have The Power. Do We Have The Will?
256 People Who Have Empowered Me.
The Voices of Empowerment.
BELOVED COLLEAGUES, this writing attempts to say one thing which dominates the consciousness of my sunset time.
The first goal, the burning vision, of 21st century people must be the creation of a culture that guarantees the tools and choices of individualized empowerment to every person.
The present politics and media are dominated by the powerful forces of the status quo and of retreat. The people of America are confronted by a painfully divided society: conspicuous prosperity at the top and an increasing underclass of people mired in poverty, involvement with the courts and dependence on welfare and charity. Traditional culture is designed to empower only those who have the traditional qualifications and connections to participate in a hierarchy of power and prestige. This is in total conflict with the goal of democracy: the best life for all.
Only you (and I) and thousands like us have the power to make the dream of individualized empowerment live in every life.
We must give up life as usual and devote long years of passionate, single minded, 365 day advocacy for individualized empowerment. This writing will present ways to do it successfully.
Democracy is under attack. The do or die elections of 2002 and 2004 are upon us. We must defeat the enemies of democracy. We must elect governments that will go forward to guarantee individualized empowerment to all.
FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES I HAVE BEEN A FULL TIME ADVOCATE for the rights and empowerment of people with disabilities. Most often I write in the terms of that experience. Often I address my colleagues in the disability rights movement. They are most of the people I know. How, then, can I claim to be presenting a serious revolution in public policy for all people? I have been a mainstream civil rights advocate for fifty years. I find civil rights and disability rights to have identical root values.
THERE ARE FIFTY-SIX MILLION AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES at any given time. Millions more, their families and friends are personally impacted by disability rights. Seven out of ten Americans will, at some time in their lives experience a serious disability. We have proven that almost all of them have the potential to live lives of quality during and after the onset of disability. Every American family will eventually include one or more members with severe disabilities.
DISABILITY IS A NORMAL CHARACTERISTIC OF HUMAN LIFE. Solutions for people with disabilities must be solutions for everyone.
I HAVE TAKEN THE LIBERTY OF DRAFTING A DETAILED POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PLATFORM FOR INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT. I have printed this as a separate, but allied document so as to minimize weighting the superb concept of universal empowerment with the heavy emotional chains of political correctness. I would not want anyone rejecting individualized empowerment based on a potentially minor disagreement over the details of government guaranteed healthcare.
UNIVERSAL EMPOWERMENT IS IMPERATIVE TO THE FULFILLMENT OF THE HUMAN DREAM. Somebody must plant the seeds, no matter how rocky the political soil, no matter how dim the prospects of instant progress. And so I write, and I earnestly solicit your criticism, your edits and your co-authorship of this draft in progress.
I AM PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL to those many who have already contributed to this writing either through editing or inspirational example. A very few of their names follow. Many more will be listed in the final document. Among them are: Yoshiko Dart, Fred Pelka, Frank Bowe, Marca Bristo, Paul Marchand, Fred Fay, Bobby Silverstein, Judy Heumann, Bob Kafka, Lex Frieden, Wade Henderson, Gina McDonald, Kathy McGinley, Mark Smith, Dan Fisher, Lucy Wong-Hernandez, John Lancaster, Konoka Izumi, Masami Morigami, Asuka Sato, and Mari Dart.
AMERICANS ARE INSTINCTIVELY CONCERNED ABOUT A POLITICS OF STATUS QUO AND RETREAT. THEY SEEK A POSITIVE VISION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. A forward vision that includes all unconditionally, that loves them for their distinctive humanity rather than their TV bodies and personalities, and their ad agency life styles.
WE HAVE THAT VISION: THE INDIVIDUALIZED EM-POWERMENT OF ALL. A society based on the value that every human life is equally sacred and equally worthy of optimal personalized empowerment to achieve his or her best possible quality of life. An America for all. A world for all.
FORCED TO DEAL WITH THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF DISABILITY, our disability rights movement has played a leading role in pioneering the infant science of individualized empowerment. Many of our (your) experiments have had dazzling success. We of the disability community have a unique ability and therefore a unique responsibility, to lead the world toward a culture that empowers all to live the life of quality that is possible.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ELIMINATE THE deadly residue of traditional authoritarian culture, which attempts to create cookie cutter people for hierarchies of privilege. Millions who do not fit the stereotypical molds are forced into an underclass of poverty and degrading dependence on welfare and charity.
NOW IS THE TIME TO CREATE A CULTURE THAT FOCUSES THE FULL FORCE OF SCIENCE AND FREE ENTERPRISE DEMOCRACY ON THE INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT OF ALL PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE THEIR UNIQUE, PERSONAL GOD GIVEN POTENTIAL.
THE CULTURE OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT will provide all human beings the customized education and services, and the customized tools to meet each of their distinctive needs and to maximize each of their distinctive abilities. This will not mean that individuals are given lock step formulae for success, but rather that they are empowered to make their own choices and to create their own successful lives based on the development of their best personal abilities and to fulfill their self-evident responsibilities to the interdependent quality of democracy.
ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE PROMISED LAND, OUR DREAM OF ALL INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY IS BARRICADED -- BY OUR OWN SELF-INDULGENCE AND BY A SEDUCTIVE POLITICS OF RETREAT. We Americans have struggled for more than 200 years to achieve the richest, most democratic culture in the history of the world. We finally have the resources to overcome the devastating ancient poverty and social gaps that still exist, and to empower all Americans to live lives of profound quality in the productive mainstream. But we are not taking all of the necessary action. Why?
WE THE PEOPLE OF PROGRESS, ARE IN THE THROES OF A BRILLIANT, TURBULENT, CULTURAL ADOLESCENCE. We struggle valiantly to live the "adult" values of science and democracy -- to live the lives of superb quality and responsibility that are clearly possible. But parts of too many of our minds retain primitive addictions to symbols of power, prestige, and to stereotypes ingrained during millennia of "childhood" under authoritarian regines. We fear a future of responsibility for a world of change and complexity that no human is experienced to face. We squander enormous amounts of money and time on frantic escapism.
MANY OF US ARE EASY PREY FOR A POWERFUL POLITICS OF RETREAT that has achieved increasing measures of control in the Congress, the White House, the judiciary, the public media and the public consciousness.
WE WHO LOVE DEMOCRACY MUST MOBILIZE TO SAVE IT. We must give up life as usual. We must become passionate everyday advocates for democracy -- in our homes, in our communities, in the media, in our churches and civic organizations and especially in the elections of 2002 and 2004.
I am not saying that the advocates of retreat are evil people who are stealing democracy from innocent citizens. In many ways they are us -- grasping fearfully for a vision in a time of terrifying change and complexity. We the people enable them to do everything they do -- through our direct support -- financially, in the polls, at the voting places; through our conformity to their dogmatic political correctness and especially through our roles as escapist spectators of democracy rather than active members. We who love democracy must stop being spectators and start being leaders.
THE LEGITIMACY OF OUR GOAL IS SELF-EVIDENT. BUT CAN WE OVERCOME the psychology and the politics of retreat? Can we overcome forces that invest billions in the maintenance of traditional stereotypes? Not quickly, not easily. But we can win. We have the ultimate powers: people, truth, love. We have you. We have each other.
COLLEAGUES, YOU HAVE THE POWER, and therefore the responsibility, to defend democracy and to create a society of individualized empowerment for all. Because you are the society. Society is not a magical super god that can give or withhold quality of life. Society is nothing more than what you do and think everyday. When you speak, the society speaks. When you change, the society changes. When you expose, turn off the ads, and boycott the interests that support the far right, they are weakened instantly. When enough people do it, their power is gone. They have little money except what we give them.
BUT THE EMPOWERMENT SOCIETY WILL NOT OCCUR THROUGH ADVOCACY AS USUAL. It is not enough to meet the President or the Mayor. We must vote, all of us. We must not only vote and petition government, we must become government, through official positions, and through 365 days a year citizen advocacy. We must create a social environment in which no person who requires public support -- public official, businessperson, media person -- could afford to oppose individualized empowerment for all.
WE NEED YOUR AGGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP to increase our passion and our tiny empowerment army one hundred fold. We need leaders who are ready to live, and if necessary to die, for democracy.
YOU CAN LEAD. Unlike our opponents on the far right, you will not be able to buy multimillion-dollar ad campaigns. But if you reach out constantly, repetitively with love and truth, spoken and lived, to everyone in your personal universe, you can be a walking/rolling/talking ad for individualized empowerment that no money could buy. Your truth in action will change the part of society that you are. The intensity of your loving truthful action will be a powerful influence on others.
OUR AGENDA IS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE and simple family values. It is simple justice. But the traditional stereotypes will be raised.
STEREOTYPE: THE TRADITIONALISTS WILL CRY "GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES ARE UN-AMERICAN, socialism, the death of free enterprise. "
BULLFEATHERS! The empowerment of all is the American Dream, the Dream that brought millions to the Statue of Liberty. It is the pledge of liberty and justice for all. It is the opposite of the paternalistic regimentation of primitive socialism. It empowers each to make maximal choices. It's the culture doing what every good family and business does: giving the tools of empowerment to its members. We already try to provide the minimum necessities of life to every person, but we often do it in such a messy, degrading way -- crisis welfare, charity and law enforcement -- that we make beggars and prisoners out of millions and rob them of their health, productivity, prosperity and pride.
I SPEAK OF STRENGTHENING, NOT WEAKENING, FREE ENTERPRISE. I speak of strengthening it by adopting values that are self-evidently in the interest of choices by people as individuals, by people as business, by people as government. I speak of greatly expanding free enterprise by empowering all to participate in its mainstream -- free choices, free enterprise made real for all.
I SEE A NEW MARRIAGE OF GOVERNMENT AND FREE ENTERPRISE. I see a stronger government that guarantees individualized empowerment to each citizen, and oversees the implementation of those guarantees. I see a leaner, more streamlined government passing much process -- millions of choices and actions -- to individuals and free enterprise. I see a stronger free enterprise with a much-expanded role in implementing the mandates of government. Government guarantees, free enterprise provides choices, individuals decide.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREE ENTERPRISE ARE NOT IN CONFLICT; they are two sides of the same solid gold cultural currency. In combination, they have powered American democracy to miracles of productivity, self-realization and quality of life that have revolutionized the political, economic and cultural processes of the world.
STEREOTYPE: "UNIVERSAL EMPOWERMENT WILL COST TOO MUCH. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO DO IT."
BULLFEATHERS! That's what they said about the Homestead Act, rural electrification and Social Security.
WE CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO DO IT. Emergency room health care costs twice as much as guaranteed quality health insurance. Policemen, prisons, substance abuse, welfare and crisis charity cost far more than guaranteed subsidies for quality education and employment. Institutions, hospitals and nursing homes cost far more than guaranteed community based services. Homelessness and breadlines cost far more than guarantees of subsidies for housing and nutrition. Our unemployed, underemployed, welfare and charity poor cost us tens of billions of dollars annually in crisis spending and lost productivity. Empowerment government can eliminate hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, millions of paper forms and billions of dollars in paternalistic overhead. As people are liberated by individualized empowerment, they will have thousands of extra hours and thousands of extra dollars to invest in productivity and quality of life.
THE CULTURE OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL RESULT IN EXPLOSIVE INCREASES in productivity and quality of life at least equal to the astounding progress of the initial revolutions of science, industry and democracy. It will be the ultimate form of free enterprise democracy for all. But it is not inevitable. It won't happen without you.
TODAY WE HAVE AN HISTORIC WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND THE HORIZONS AND THE QUALITY OF HUMANITY. We have this opportunity because patriots past and present -- including many of you -- have given their fortunes, their sweat often their blood to move free enterprise democracy toward liberty, justice and prosperity for all. We owe our grandchildren the same passionate dedication.
WE MUST FIGHT AS WE HAVE NEVER FOUGHT BEFORE -- not simply to defend our movement and democracy, but to lift the eyes of America to a vision of action that will make the patriots' Dream live.
OUR VISION: PASSIONATE LOVE FOR PRINCIPLE IN ACTION.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL AMERICANS TO RISE ABOVE PARTISANSHIP, STEREOTYPES, FEAR AND APATHY AND TO UNITE IN MILITANT LOVE FOR EVERY HUMAN BEING. INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT FOR ALL.
UNITED IN LOVE AND JUSTICE, WE SHALL OVERCOME!
WE HAVE THE POWER. DO WE HAVE THE WILL? Do
we have the will to set aside life as usual and go into passionate action to
save democracy and to create a culture that empowers all?
THE WORLD IS WATCHING. The world will follow. Will the American Dream - the human Dream - prevail? Or will we follow great cultures past down the road of demagogues and self-indulgence to the land of "might have been?" Failure is unthinkable.
YOU WILL MAKE THE CHOICE, to be an explosion of love for all, or to be a spectator of unspeakable tragedy.
COLLEAGUES, I'M THE LUCKIEST MAN IN THE WORLD because I'm in the best movement in the world, with the best people in the world. You. The beauty of working with you keeps me alive. The beauty of working with you gives me hope and faith that against all odds we shall prevail. Lead! Lead! Lead!
I HAVE NEVER DONE A SINGLE SUCCESSFUL THING without the help of beautiful, strong, loving people like you who empowered me directly, or by inspiration -- hundreds of them.
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF 256. This is not my Top 256. It is a work in progress. If your name should be on this list and is not, be not dismayed. I am fighting through a medication fogged 71 year old mind. This list is a work in progress -- of 256 so far -- magnificent human beings whose names might help some of you understand what I try to mean by empowerment. Some of them are well known, many are not. But these are people who have sacrificed for me, invested in me, counseled me, shouted at me, smiled at me -- loved me -- or simply inspired me by their principled living. They have empowered me. They have saved my life and made it worth living. I know that you have such people in your life and that you have been equally effective to empower others.
THE EMPOWERMENT 256
YOSHIKO DART -- A DYING CHILD IN VIETNAM
SUE AMMETER, LINDA ANTHONY, MIKE AUBERGER, POLLY ARANGO, MAX ARRELL, TSUNEKO BAILEY, GERALD BAPTISTE, PATSY BARRETT, SANDY BEASLEY, ELIZABETH BENDER, ROB BENSON, BARBARA BERNHART, JANINE BERTRAM, WADE BLANK, ELIZABETH BOGGS, HENRY BETTS, FRANK BOWE, MARCA BRISTO, MAC BRODIE, KELLY BUCKLAND, GEORGE BUSH, PHIL CALKINS, JUDI CHAMBERLIN, JIM CHARLTON, ALLEN CLARK, BILL CLEMENTS, BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON, TONY COELHO, MICHAEL CONTEE, BOB COOPER, JOHN COOPER, MICHAEL COOPER, BRIAN COOPPER, CHARLIE CRAWFORD, BRUCE CURTIS, FUSAKO DART, IDAR DART, JANE DART, JUSTIN DART, SR., MARI DART, PETER DART, CURT DECKER, JIM DICKSON, BOB DOLE, RICK DOUGLAS, JOHN DOYLE, JOE DUSENBURY, GUNNAR DYBWAD, ETHAN ELLIS, HENRY ENNS, DARRELL FARLAND, FRED FAY, JOAN FEFFER, CHAI FELDBLUM, FERN FIELD, DAVID FIELDS, DAN FISHER, NANCY FLINN, DUANE FRENCH, LEX FRIEDEN, MARK FRIEDMAN, BILL FRIST, MUTSUKO FUKUSHIMA, SUZANNE GAINES, MOHANDAS GANDHI, SHARON GARDNER, TOM GEE, KYLE GLOZIER, CLAUDIA GORDON, MARILYN GOLDEN, NANCY GRIFFIN, LUCY GWIN, VAL HALAMANDARIS, TOM HARKIN, TARI SUSAN HARTMAN, SACHIKO HASHIMOTO, MEGUMI HATANO, PAUL HEARNE, WADE HENDERSON, JUDY HEUMANN, JO HOLZER, STENY HOYER, RACHEL HURST, KIYOMI ICHITA, MARGOT IMDIEKE CROSS, ANDY IMPARATO, FUMIKO ISHIMARU, KONOKA IZUMI, JAMES JEFFORDS, JAY JOHNSON, LARRY JOHNSON, MARK JOHNSON, CYNDI JONES, I. KING JORDAN, BOB KAFKA, DENISE KARUTH, EVAN KEMP, JOHN KEMP, TED KENNEDY, MARTIN LUTHER KING, NAOMI KITAZAWA, KATHLEEN KLEINMANN, HIDEO KONDO, MICHIKO KOSHIHARA, YUKARI KUWAKADO, JOHN LANCASTER, GINI LAURIE, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, BENGDT LINDQUIST, DONNY LOUX, LAMONA LUCAS, GRANT MACK, NELSON MANDELA, GORDON MANSFIELD, PAUL MARCHAND, JOE MASCHMEYER, RON MACE, YADI MARK, KURT AND TOMOKO MASUR, DURWARD MCDANIEL, GINA MCDONALD, JAMES MEADOURS, OTTMAR MILES-PAUL, COSTA MILLER, PAUL MILLER, NORMAN MINETA, SHARON MISTLER, AYUMI MIYACHI, KENJI MIYAZAWA, MASAMI MORIGAMI, PAT MORRISSEY, HOWARD MOSES, YAYOI NARITA, RALPH AND KATY NEAS, TIA NELIS, JOHN AND MARCIA NELSON, PEG NOSEK, FUSAKO NOZAWA, DAVID OAKS, MARK OBATAKE, BECKY OGLE, TOM OLIN, MARY JANE OWEN, MAJOR OWENS, MARIA CUPRILL OWENS, RALPH PACINELLI, SANDRA PARRINO, FRED PELKA, JORGE PINEDA, PAT POUND, BRENDA PREMO, RONALD REAGAN, ALAN REICH, SHERRY REPSCHER, BRADFORD REYNOLDS, ED ROBERTS, VIRGINIA ROBERTS, DEBBIE ROBINSON, LARRY ROBINSON, JAY AND GWYNETH ROCHLIN, MAGGIE ROFFEE, MARCIE ROTH, FRANCES AND HENRY RUEGG, HAROLD RUSSELL, DAVID SAGI, FUSAE SAKURAI, ASUKA SATO, LIZ SAVAGE, BILL SCARBOROUGH, NATALIE SHEAR, JENNIFER SHEEHY, MICHIKO SHISHIDO, LEE SCHULZ, BOBBY SILVERSTEIN, CHARLIE SMITH, GREG SMITH, MARK SMITH, PATTY SMITH, BILL SPENCER, MAX AND COLLEEN STARKLOFF, JOHN AND INEKO STEPHAN, JOHN J. STEPHAN, RUTH STEPHAN, BILL STOTHERS, QUEEN SILVIA, HIROKO SUGANUMA, SHINYA SUGANUMA, SONIA SUGI, ROLAND SYKES, HIDEKO TAKAMINE, KOTARO TAKAMURA, HISAKO TAKEI, KUNIO TAKEI, MIYUKI TAKEI, KAZUKO TANIDA, SHIRO TANIDA, KOKO TAYLOR, JAMES TEMPLETON, RIE TERASHIMA, AI TEZUKA, STEPHANIE THOMAS, DICK AND GINNY THORNBURGH, STEVE TREMBLAY, RUD TURNBULL, KIKUE UEMATSU, RAE UNZICKER AND OTHER PSYCHIATRIC SURVIVORS, JOHN WODATCH, MYRTLE WALGREEN, JIM WARD, NANCY WARD, DANA WASHINGTON, JOE AND ANN WASHINGTON, NAOKO WATANABE, SUSAN WEBB, PAUL WEHMAN, LOWELL WEICKER, JANE WEST, BILL WHITE, BOB WILLIAMS, PAUL WELLSTONE, MICHAEL WINTER, PATRISHA WRIGHT, PAUL WYSOCKI, KYOKO YAMAZAKI, KEN YAZAWA, NOBUKO YAZAWA, JONATHAN YOUNG, TONY YOUNG, THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER AND
ADAPT of Texas
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Justice For All (JFA) Internet
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Dr. Frank Bowe
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
Justin and Yoshiko Dart
Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Disabled Peoples' International (DPI)
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR)
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS)
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
National Council on Disability (NCD)
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
National Empowerment Center
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
National Organization on Disability (NOD)
Not Dead Yet
Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
The Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy
World Institute on Disability (WID)
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