The 93rd Arkansas General Assembly recently finished its work for the 2021 regular session. For people with disabilities, there was some good news, but most civil rights advocates agree that overall, this legislative session was a giant step backward for the civil and human rights of Arkansans.
A group of advocates have now come together to fight for Arkansas’s future. (Disability Rights Arkansas is part of this effort.) Members of this coalition say this state has a long way to go to be a place where everyone is included, and where the needs and concerns of the many take priority over the special interests of a privileged few. Last week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published a letter from the group of nearly 40 organizations and individuals pledging to hold lawmakers accountable, closely monitor the upcoming redistricting process that will be taken up by the legislature this fall, organize and educate voters, and grow their collective voice in preparation for the next legislative session.
Last night on Speak Up Arkansas, a round table of advocates joined us to talk about all of this, and what it means for Arkansas. We wrapped up the most significant developments to come out of legislative session, why civil rights advocates are deeply concerned by what they’re seeing, what they’re planning to do about it, and how YOU can get involved.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW RECORDING HERE. This week’s broadcast is Show #17.
The struggle for civil rights in Arkansas continues. Listen to the recording of Speak Up Arkansas for the information you need to know to ensure that Arkansas is a place where EVERYONE is included, everyone’s rights are respected, and everyone has a seat at the table.
GUESTS: Tom Masseau, Executive Director, DRA; Christian Adcock, Advocate (Voting Rights and Public Policy), DRA; Michael Thornton, Self-Advocate Coordinator, DRA; Syard Evans, Director, Arkansas Support Network and President, Arkansas Waiver Association; Loriee Evans, Indivisible of Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
Locate your representative and senator at the Arkansas General Assembly website: https://arkleg.state.ar.us
Arkansas Support Network recognizes and supports every person’s right to be included in the life of the community. Learn more at https://www.supports.org.
Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas is an all-volunteer, grassroots activist organization. They are funded by donations from members and friends who share a vision of an Arkansas where every eligible voter exercises their right to vote, and every vote counts. Learn more at https://www.indivisiblelrca.org/
Read the AR Civil Rights coalition letter, learn more about redistricting, and stay up to date with coalition activities at https://disabilityrightsar.org/ARCivilRights.