Asking someone to grant disabled individuals equal rights implies they were someone else’s rights to give. Instead, we must demand and stand up against those who try to deny our rights. The unalienable rights granted to all citizens in the United States are guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. As disabled citizens, we didn’t earn our rights until 1991 with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and even though the Act is twenty-five years old, we are still forced to demand our civil rights be addressed. That’s all I’ve been trying to accomplish in Gardner, to guarantee the civil rights of every disabled citizen, to help them find their own pursuit of happiness. Though some may think my tactics a little extreme, I’ve already tried and failed at asking the city in a nice and professional manner to address serious issues over the past thirty-one months. As a community of disabled citizens, our civil rights have knowingly been denied. God gave me a mission to educate, to address and to find resolutions for a segment of the population who have been ignored. My mission is to protect my fellow citizens who face many life challenges, my goal is to bring light to a subject that has been dismissed in Gardner and find resolutions that work for everyone. Unfortunately for a select few people at City Hall, my next mission is to argue my opinion to federal authorities to not only root out evil, but to move forward with Steve Shute, the ADA Advisory Committee, Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, the entire staff at Gardner Police Dept and anyone else who wants to come together to affect change, to make our beautiful city “all-inclusive.”
Gary Carson