Today, we want to ask your help to ask that U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago withdraw his co-sponsorship of HR 620, the ADA Notification Act. HR 620 is a bill in Congress that is intended to address the problem of abusing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through "driveby lawsuits" on small businesses. However, instead of preventing legal abuse by attorneys, HR 620 would make it much harder for people with disabilities advocate that small businesses improve their accessibility. No other protected civil rights class is made to wait for access to places of business; HR 620 would deepen segregation for people with disabilities.
Unfortunately, Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago has signed on as a co-sponsor of this bill. Although he has published a public statement that he will not actually vote for the bill, his cosponsorship is still a problem because it will go into the historical record. Learn more about HR 620 at this link.
Here is how you can help stand up for disability rights today:
If you live in the First Congressional District of Illinois (click this link to see a map of the district and the townships/cities in the district), please e-mail him to ask that he withdraw from HR 620. Go to this link for his constituents, verify your zip code, and then e-mail him using the form provided. It is important to use his website to get your message through. You can use this letter as an example (copy/paste):
"As a concerned disability advocate and constituent, I am writing to ask that Congressman Rush please withdraw his cosponsorship of HR 620, the ADA Notification Act. He should not be on permanent record as supporting a bill that hurts the rights of people with disabilities. I know that he has stated that he will not actually vote for this bill, but I ask that he exercise integrity to disability rights by withdrawing his cosponsorship. We need to know that he is on the record as supporting disability rights. Thank you."
If you live in Illinois, you can take action by phone, as follows:
Please call Congressman Rush's office in DC and Chicago.
DC Phone: (202) 225-4372
Chicago Phone: (773) 779-2400
Phone script: "Hello, my name is ______ and I am a concerned Illinois disability advocate. I am calling to ask that Congressman Rush please withdraw his cosponsorship of HR 620, the ADA Notification Act. He should not be on permanent record as supporting a bill that hurts the rights of people with disabilities. Thank you."
Thank you and let's help Congressman Rush understand why his withdrawal is important for disability rights. Let me know if you have taken action! Please feel free to share this alert.
Director of Advocacy, Access Living