It seems the folks in Sacramento are pulling out all the stops to fast-track legislation to close Lanterman Developmental Center (Pomona, CA) and Fairview Developmental Center (Costa Mesa, CA). Two days ago an announcement was made regarding a telephonic "town hall" meeting that will occur on Wednesday, March 17 at 1pm PST.
The California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN) broke the news regarding this telemeeting on March 16, 2010, just one day before the meeting. As I have written elsewhere, the astonishing speed with which this closure proposal is being pushed through may raise legal public participation challenges, but for now it is critically important that we have as many stakeholders as possible call in to protest the closure.
Details on the Telemeeting:
The general format of all CDCAN townhall telemeetings opens with introduction of speakers, followed by updates from the speaker. The townhall telemeeting is then opened up to questions from the hundreds of people who call in across the State.
Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Time: 1:00 to 2:45 PM
CALL: Toll-free number: 877-551-8082 (there is no passcode)
Wait for operator - who will ask for your name and the city you are from.
Note: to protect people's privacy, only the first name and the city location will be announced.
Format: Anyone can ask a question (or make brief comment) - wait for instructions that will be announced during the townhall telemeeting.
Terri Delgadillo, director of the Department of Developmental Services will be on hand to provide an update on the proposed closure, including the process, and to answer questions from the public. A number of other advocates will also be in on the call, including:
- Terry DeBell, president, CASHPCR (parents and family association representing the families who have family members in one of the developmental centers)
- Robert Hazard, president of the Parents Coordinating Council (PCC) of Lanterman Developmental Center
- Carlene Holden, of Easter Seals
- Christal Hopkins, disability rights advocate
- Sunny Maden, Olmstead Advisory Committee (Family Advocate) and parent of son who is Lanterman Developmental Center resident
- Keith Penman
Folks with family or friends currently living at one of California's four developmental facilities are strongly encouraged to voice their opinion on the closure. I will be writing shortly to outline several additional reasons why California needs to table the closure proposal until the next fiscal year, but for now, it is vitally important that the developmental community mobilize, on the exceedingly short notice available.
Please spread the news and be prepared to voice your opinions. I will be calling in to the meeting and hope to hear from you tomorrow.