Editor’s Column – July 2002

With the passing of Justin Dart, we have lost another senior leader in the disability movement.  There are few words […]

With the passing of Justin Dart, we have lost another senior leader in the disability movement.  There are few words that we can say to acknowledge the great things that Mr. Dart has done for us as disabled citizens.  Every time we use curb cuts, we should thank Justin.  Every time we slap our hand on the electric door or use a community restroom, we should thank Justin.  Every time we use public transportation, we should thank Justin.  Every time we enter a classroom or receive a paycheck, we should thank Justin and on and on and on.

Thank you, Justin!

His wife, Yoshiko, reports that Justin said this before his passing:  “Beloved colleagues, I am the luckiest man in the world to have been associated with you.  Thanks to you, I die free.  Thanks to you, I die in the joy of struggle.  Thanks to you, I die in the beautiful belief that the revolution of empowerment will go on.  I love you so much.  I’m with you always.  Lead on!  Lead on!”

Recently, we received another Friends donation from Justin and Yoshiko.  With it, they sent a photocopy of one of our recent front pages with an encouraging and supportive note.  They have been longtime Access Press backers and subscribers due to Charlie Smith and his efforts to make the paper visible.

John Tschida, who writes our culture column, submitted a piece about Justin Dart this month.  I had been struggling to shorten the obituary that was written by Fred Fay and Fred Pelka at Justin’s request.  It was written so eloquently that it was tough to shorten while maintaining its integrity.  I decided that John’s article would be a much better original tribute from Access Press.  Our thanks to John for such a perfect piece.

More remembrances of Justin Dart are included.

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We are losing a legislative leader who is retiring from his position at the Capitol to spend more time with his family.  Rep. Kevin Goodno has been a leader in disability rights and complete inclusion for the disability community.  He has held a very powerful seat.  Before November, we need to make sure that all aspiring representatives and senators are clear on the issues that concern the disability community.

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Our longtime desktop publisher, Ellen Houghton, took on another role this month:  writing the Spirituality and Disability column.  Now that we know about some her additional talents, we can continue to “exploit” them.  Thank you, Ellen, for your extra contribution.  You a real asset to the paper.

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Aaron Corcoran, our summer intern, introduces himself and his distribution project below.  He also makes a request for assistance from readers regarding his project.

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Governor Ventura has announced he will not run for office again in the coming election.  Many will miss the governor’s antics, but I won’t.  I’m glad to see him go.  However, our cartoonist, Scott Adams, will miss Ventura.  Scott claims:  “He’s easy to draw.”  In fact, he created a cartoon to this effect.

The governor is still threatening the media for their portrayal of him.  He seems to not understand that the media is supposed ask the difficult questions and print the truth.  Maybe he doesn’t have the answers to the difficult questions and that is why the media has turned into “jackals.”  It’s sad that such a man, who could have made more positive change, will be remembered by many as an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota.

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And don’t forget to attend the ADA Rights & Responsibilities conference on July 26.  See page 3 for more information.