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Disability Rights are Civil Rights; Vote Yes on Measure 26-215!

Measure 26-215 calls for a landmark commitment of funds to support a vital inflection point at Portland Public Schools and creates a thoughtful investment in both physical buildings that are more accessible and safer as well as equipped for the 21st century needs of all students.

We ask you to vote yes for the bond as do our young people. Their voices can be heard here in the “Disability Rights are Civil Rights; Vote Yes on Measure 26-215 PPS Bond“ video created by members of our social justice youth group. Our youth are concerned about disability justice and we as an organization celebrate all the pieces of the bond package as disability and belonging means much more than just physical access to a school.

Daniel Jarvis Holland, a graduate of Benson Tech who studied media and experiences Down syndrome, writes in the voter’s pamphlet this statement, “Kids with disabilities and without should be able to go to school. Grandmas and volunteers, teachers with disabilities should be able to go into any school. When we go in the school teach all students all disabilities all races. We all belong. Instead of talking about equity VOTE for this bond.”

In this bond we will, after 30 years of ADA law passing, see the first floor of each PPS school made accessible in a 34 million-dollar investment. This is both a heartening step forward and an indictment of how long accessibility concerns have languished, and we expect the accessibility needs to be fully addressed in the next cycle of the bond at a cost of 63 million dollars.

Additional highlights from the bond that are critical to equity and people with disabilities include:

• Educational and Accessibility Investments of 53.4 million dollars to adopt comprehensive, culturally relevant, accessible and differentiated current curriculum and instructional materials and differentiated instruction. This will mean every student can learn and be supported to access core curriculum in the unique ways.

• 128.2 million dollars will provide equitable access to technology including assistive technology.

• 13.4 million to improve teaching and learning environments for diverse learners so that they have access to supports for inclusive practices.

• 183.8 million dollars in Health and safety Investments.

• 569 million dollars for modernization and rebuilds which will by law be ADA compliant.

• 60 million dollars for the Center for Black Student Excellence which will include the needs of students of color with disabilities.

• This is not a new tax but a continuation of an existing tax.

Thank you to the youth who have bold dreams about equity and belonging. Hearing your call for change reminds us of the continued importance of our deep advocacy, and the commitment from PPS after our first call out 12 years ago shows us that we can indeed create change with hard work and persistence.

Thanks also to the Yes for Portland Schools campaign, and to all the supporters of equitable and accessible schools which includes community leaders, activists, educators and champions that have helped shape such a vital opportunity to invest in real futures and the dignity and rights of every Portland student to an inclusive and quality education.

Special thanks to the contributors to this video, and to Cleveland students, Arly Holzweissig and Charlie Abrams, for their incredible assistance in creation of this video.

Northwest Down Syndrome Association and All Born (in) are proud to endorse this bond and proud of the leadership in creation of this video by our Social Justice Youth Group! Please Vote YES on Measure 26-215, share our message, and Free Our People!

Click here for the official press release.

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