Minnesota House of Representatives Member Shelley Madore of Legislative District 37A was the keynote speaker at the Annual Celebration Dinner for the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living on October 24th.
The title of her address was “What’s Happening with Disability and the Legislature?” Rep. Madore was elected to the Minnesota House in 2006 and is the mother of two children with disabilities. During her speech, she shared many of her family’s trying experiences. These clearly provide her with an invaluable perspective in shaping an active political and legislative agenda to assist those with disabilities.
Madore reminded the audience that nearly twenty percent of the people in Minnesota currently have a disability, and that at some point in our lives most will have a disability, calling herself only “temporarily able-bodied.” She urged the listeners to not be afraid to talk with their legislators. The legislators need to know that people with disabilities have a fundamental right to personal dignity.
The audience gave Representative Madore an enthusiastic response, and was clearly excited by what she embodies—the opportunity for positive political action.
The enthusiasm continued throughout the evening as George Hall, MCIL Chairman of the Board, asked MCIL staff to stand and be acknowledged for high quality service during the last year. In one instance, Hall pointed out Administrative Coordinator Betty Culver to be honored for her work, describing her as “the voice of MCIL, the first person people see when they walk in the door and first to talk to them on the phone – a very important role.” This was the twenty-sixth anniversary celebration for services to the disability community provided by MCIL.
MCIL Annual Awards
David Hancox, Executive Director of MCIL, presented the following awards:
Five Years of Employment: Brenda Hicks, PCA Program Specialist; Tanya Swedo, Fiscal Manager and Human Resources; and Julie Wegscheid, Independent Living Specialist.
Fours Years on the Board of Directors: Julia Washenberger
Outstanding Independent Living Consumer: Mary Kubei
Outstanding Peer Mentoring Team: Jon Lounberg (mentor) and Larry Tegtmeier (mentee)
Outstanding Personal Care Attendant Awards: Aubert Annicette, Emily Godfrey, Arianna Konkel, Tracey Dixon and Ann Sadek.
Community Service Award: Kim Peck, Director, Branch of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Employment and Economic Development, State of Minnesota
Volunteer Award: Lee Perish
Special Community Service Award: Bob Zimmerman, Rehabilitation Counselor, Department of Employment and Economic Development, State of Minnesota