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#bFair2DirectCare Launches Voter Registration Drive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 12, 2018 CONTACTS: Steve Greenberg, steve@greenbergpr.com, 518-469-9858 & Bob Bellafiore, bob@stanhope-ny.com, 518-928-8471

#bFair2DirectCare Launches Voter Registration Drive

Non-partisan effort to touch 90,000 workers, 130,000 self-advocates and their families

“Make sure everyone knows their vote counts.”

#bFair2DirectCare announced it is launching its first-ever voter registration drive in an effort to increase voter participation among direct care workers, persons with developmental disabilities and their families and to ensure they know “their votes count.”

“New York has some 90,000 direct care workers that support 130,000 persons with developmental disabilities and their families. We want to make sure everyone has the tools to register if they’re not already and make sure everyone knows their vote counts,” said Ann M. Hardiman, President & CEO of the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, and a leader of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign. The non-partisan voter registration drive includes outreach to the hundreds of non-profits that are part of the #bFair2DirectCare network and have participated in the dozens of living wage rallies over the past two years. All local agencies are being provided with a flier that contains information on how to register to vote. #bFair2DirectCare was created two years ago to advocate for direct support professionals and the persons they support, who include New Yorkers with autism, Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Last year, the Governor and Legislature included the first two years of a six-year plan to provide a living wage for direct care workers. However, due to the growing staffing crisis in the direct care field, #bFair2DirectCare this year is seeking a “spin-up” of this living wage funding, amounting to 0.01 percent of the state’s $168 billion budget. Some 73 percent of direct care workers are women while 53 percent are black or Hispanic. #bFair2DirectCare non-profits do their work on behalf of the state, at a lower cost than the state could and at rates set by the state. They receive 90 percent of their funding from government.  

# # #

  About #bFair2DirectCare #bFair2DirectCare gives voice to the more than 130,000 New Yorkers with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and who often cannot speak for themselves. #bFair2DirectCare is also the call to action to remind state leaders that direct care non-profit agency workers are agents of the state who need a fair rate of pay that is commensurate with their vital support responsibilities. For more background, videos and news stories, go to www.bfair2directcare.com.

#bFair2DirectCare members include

Alliance of Long Island Agencies (ALIA)

Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS)

The Developmental Disability Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY)

Direct Support Professional Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS)

The InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC)

The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation

(formerly two separate entities – the NYS Association of Community & Residential Agencies

and the New York State Rehabilitation Association)

The Arc of New York (formerly NYSARC)

Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)

Statewide Advocacy Network of New York State (SWAN)

  Facebook:     www.facebook.com/BFair2DirectCare Twitter:           @Fair2DirectCare Hashtag:        #bFair2DirectCare Website:        www.bfair2directcare.com