CLINTON/GORE '96 APPOINTS DISABILITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR
"Three and a half years ago, when I took the oath of office, I had a very clear vision of what I hoped our country could be like as we move into the 21st century. In 1992, I issued a challenge to our nation. I said we must not rest until America has a national disability policy based on three simple creeds: inclusion, not exclusion; independence, not dependence; and empowerment, not paternalism. I remain committed to that vision." President William J. Clinton, May 23, 1996.
Keeping with the President's vision and commitment, Becky Ogle has been named Disability Desk Director of the Office of Public Liaison, Clinton/Gore'96 Campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Ogle, a well-known disability rights activist and leader, is Chair of Justice For All, a national grassroots organization that defends and advances disability rights. As Director of Disability Outreach for Clinton/Gore'96, Ms. Ogle will ensure that people with disabilities and the disability rights agenda are integrated into every aspect of the Clinton/Gore'96 re-election effort.
Overall, people with disabilities are the largest minority in America--49 million persons, of whom more than 35 million are of voting age. According to a recent nationwide Harris Poll, President Clinton enjoys a 31 percentage point lead over Senator Bob Dole among adults with disabilities. "The disability vote can have a significant impact on the nation's leadership," said Alan Reich, President of the National Organization on Disability upon releasing the findings.
In the 1992 Presidential election, Bill Clinton won the disability vote overwhelmingly against President Bush by 50 percent to 26 percent with 18 per cent voting for Perot.
"The disability community is important to President Clinton's re-election effort," stated, Alan Wheat, Deputy Campaign Manager for Public Liaison. Wheat continued, "President Clinton has demonstrated his allegiance to disability rights since he assumed his presidency. Throughout the Clinton administration individuals with disabilities have been appointed to positions of authority and power contributing a significant portion to policy issues across the board. President Clinton has fought to make sure that people with disabilities have health care and the living wages they need to live independently."
President Clinton stated recently to a conference in Detroit, Michigan, "We must preserve the guarantee of Medicaid coverage for people with disabilities. Last year Congress sent me legislation to repeal that guarantee -- legislation that would have taken away health care coverage from millions of Americans who need it most. I vetoed that legislation, and if they send it to me again and they want to repeal the guarantee, I will veto it again."
"While the Harris poll numbers look good, we do not assume that we can take the disability vote for granted," said Wheat, and he concluded, "The disability community will be visible throughout our re-election effort and we take their vote very seriously."
Prior to Ms. Ogle's role as Chair of Justice For All, she served as Director of Project Access Ability for the National Association of Medical Equipment Services in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Ogle is a person with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.