"Several attendees during public comment urged council members to allocate funding for disability needs.
Kaci Messeder, a policy analyst with Detroit Disability Power, said during Thursday's public comment that she and other activists sent more than 200 letters and shared more than 20 public comments advocating for funding for the disability office.
"The Office of Disability Affairs needs a budget of $1.4 million to be a permanent and successful fixture of the city of Detroit. Their three-year strategic plan includes vital services for our communities and that work requires and deserves funding," Messeder said.
The approved resolution indicates that City Council will "work to ensure that Office of Disability Affairs is fully funded" with $1.4 million.
Blythe Kim, also with Detroit Disability Power, told the council that the disability community is "not here to be paraded around as your cause" without change and improvement.
"We know that we are more valuable than this. If you don't see this now, you will see the power of our disability community come through election time," Kim said."
ID: A screenshot of a Detroit Free Press article that reads, "Detroit City Council approves 2023 fiscal year budget. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press. Published 5 PM ET, April 15, 2022. Updated 5:46 PM ET April 15, 2022.
After several clerical delays and a lack of quorum, Detroit City Council approved the annual budget for the 2023 fiscal year about 11 p.m. Thursday.
Council voted 8-0 in favor of a $1.2 billion general fund spending plan after weeks of deliberations and hearings. Councilmember Gabriela Santiago-Romero was absent after testing positive for COVID-19 but urged her colleagues during the public comment portion of the meeting to pass the budget.
The budget, subject to mayoral approval, includes $50,000 to increase outreach for disability services, $100,000 for a strategic plan for the Immigrant Affairs office and $6 million to fund a property tax overassessment program for legacy Detroiters.
Other plans include $1 million to establish a comprehensive six-week parental leave policy for city workers and $70,000 for three law students to assist with the city's Freedom of Information Act request backlog."