Detroit Disability Power is committed to building the organizing and political power of people with disabilities. While there are many ways to make necessary changes in Detroit, Metro Detroit and beyond, we know that elections matter. That’s why, in addition to our continual organizing to make the world around us work for us, we’re pushing hard this fall to Get Out The (Disability) Vote.
Nationally, people with disabilities vote 6% less than on our non-disabled peers. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider that most elections are won or lost by a few percentage points, disabled people showing up to vote matters. Lower voter turnout in our community happens because of inadequate accessibility in the voting process and because we are rarely reached out to by candidates or organizations asking us to participate in this critical part of our democracy. Detroit Disability Power is here to fill that void: Can we count on you to vote by November 3rd?
Engaging the disability community matters more now than ever. We are being hit disproportionately hard by multiple crises. We must vote, because we deserve better.
An adequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic needs to address the needs of disabled people as well as everyone else. Quarantine measures have been devastating for those with limited mobility or who need supports for daily living. Most emergency plans did not sufficiently consider the varying needs of people with disabilities.
The movement for Black lives includes Black disabled lives, and as we witness widespread racism and police brutality, primarily to Black bodies, we are reminded that between a third and half of all people killed by police have a disability. Additionally, according to the New York Times, people with disabilities are more likely to be incarcerated, especially if they are not white. Policing must change. The time for fairness, justice and antiracism is now.
As America moves through recession, the Detroit News reminds that prior to the pandemic in Michigan, 81% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were unemployed, compared to 9% of individuals without disabilities. This reality is now exacerbated. People with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed & underemployed, and twice as likely to live in poverty, than our non-disabled counterparts, and economic assistance is quickly raising the alarm of necessity.
You’re not alone, we all face challenges. And when we show up and vote, we can overcome obstacles together. Detroit Disability Power fights for disabled people and all Detroiters. Join our effort and pledge to vote on November 3rd or in advance.
Here are some of the critical policy changes on our mind. We must let candidates and decision makers know that we’re paying attention and that we need them to do the same.