Every October during an election year, Access Press has brought you information on the national candidates running for office. This year we asked the three major candidates for Senate and the congressional candidates for the fourth district where there is an open seat to answer two specific questions on disability issues. We then gave them some space to tell us why we should vote for them. (see page 1) I would suggest that you read the answers carefully before making up your mind. The next Senator and Congress person from Minnesota can make a huge impact on our lives during their terms.
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I had known Tony Labahn for more than twenty years and was shocked to hear of his passing. (see below) As you will see, while reading Steve Kuntz’s article about him, Tony was living his dream. Learn to drive, find a job, get married and have a family. He had set specific goals for himself and was achieved them. That is something I don’t think most people do. Tony had a great sense of humor and way of putting people at ease with his disability. This was especially true with kids. He was a real asset to the disability community and will be missed, but not forgotten. I wish his wife and children only the best.
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In October and November the Work Incentives Connection will be holding their regional community meetings throughout the State. (see page 9) This is a great opportunity for people with disabilities who are thinking about going to work and would like to find out how earning income will affect their government benefits. By attending one of these meetings you will get to hear from the experts. You’ll find out how earning income may affect your section 8 housing, medical assistance, Social Security benefits and how in many cases these programs are intertwined. You need this information before going to work. If you are working today, it would be a bad idea to attend and find out if there is anything you are missing.
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My endorsement’s for November 7th elections are as follows.
Al Gore for President. Mr. Gore has had a good history on disability issues and is a supporter of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Mark Dayton for U.S. Senate. I first met Mr. Dayton while he was the State Auditor, he understands disability issues and would be a friend in Washington for people with disabilities.
Betty McCollum for the 4th Congressional District. Ms. McCollum has been a great supporter of our community and carried important legislation for the disability community when she was in the House of Representatives.
For those who live in Minneapolis, vote yes on the Library referendum. The libraries are in need of updating and deserve out attention.