Guest blog post from Catherine Campisi. Catherine served as the director of the California Department of Rehabilitation from 1999-2006. She is co-chair of the statewide disability community's movement to support Jerry, and she has been active in advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities for most of her life.
Jerry Brown has a strong record supporting civil rights in general, and disability rights in particular.
In 1976, he appointed activist Ed Roberts to serve as the Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation - the first person with a significant disability to fill the role. Ed, who is often recognized as the “Father of the Disability Rights Movement,” went on to establish California's Independent Living Centers and became a world- renowned advocate for people with disabilities.
Throughout his career, Jerry signed a variety of disability rights protections into law, making California the leading state on disability rights long before the enactment of the ADA. Notable actions include:
- Government Code section 11135 et. seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability age, etc. in programs receiving state funding.
- Provisions related to “blue curb” or disabled persons parking.
- Provisions promoting the hiring of persons with disabilities by state agencies.
- Funding for programs serving students with disabilities in California's public colleges and universities.
As Attorney General, Jerry has placed greater emphasis on enforcement of laws that protecting persons with disabilities. As our next governor, he will skillfully, justly, and fairly treat programs and services for persons with disabilities so disproportionate cuts are not made on some of the most vulnerable Californians.