After days of protest and pressure from disability rights activists in Chicago and Washington DC, Congressman Bobby Rush has withdrawn his sponsorship and support from the misleadingly titled, “ADA Education and Reform Act,” also known as HR 620. Disability advocates, activists, and organizations have all come out against the bill.
Scott Nance, a co-organizers of the direct action that ADAPT held outside Congressman Rush’s Chicago office, told NOS Magazine, “I am proud of the Congressman for being open to learning more about our concerns… Bobby Rush has preserved his identity as a leader in protecting the civil rights of every person.”
Rochester ADAPT activist Anita Cameron was pleased with the outcome and highlighted Congressman Rush’s own past activism. “I thank Congressman Rush for listening to his constituents and colleagues and coming off of HR 620… I hope that he hearkened back to his Black Panther roots.” Cameron also had praise for her fellow activists. “Thanks to Chicago ADAPT for their hard work to get the congressman to rescind his support of [HR 620].”
NOS Magazine reached out to Congressman Rush’s office, but they have declined to comment about the decision or the reasoning behind it. Congressman Rush also did not give a reason when he withdrew his cosponsorship on the floor. His office had released two previous press releases on the topic, but both explicitly stated that he would remain a cosponsor.
Scott Nance attributes the withdrawal to, “the combined efforts of advocacy from Centers for Independent Living and the direct action of ADAPT.” We also asked Scott Nance which HR 620 cosponsors ADAPT might target next. Nance responded, “[Congressman] Bill Foster, BIG TIME.” It is still unclear what action ADAPT will take, as they keep a tight lid on details about upcoming protests. NOS Magazine will continue to follow the story as it develops.