MADISON – Members of the Wisconsin State Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement regarding Representative Jimmy Anderson’s request for disability accommodations and equity in the state legislature:
“The voters in Assembly District 47 elected Representative Anderson to advocate for their community concerns, wheelchair and all. While working in the legislature, Representative Anderson has proven his outstanding leadership time and again for his district and those with disabilities.
“Speaker Robin Vos’ refusal to make even the simplest accommodations for Representative Anderson is inexcusable. The discriminatory response from Speaker Vos highlights the importance of the very issues Representative Anderson has dedicated his career to fighting for in Madison. Accommodating the needs of others acknowledges and celebrates that we are a diverse population with diverse needs. Beyond this, it seeks to recognize dignity and worth at an individual level. We cannot expect our state to prioritize values such as equity and inclusion while our State Assembly fails to display those very same values.
“Basic accommodations should be guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including phoning into committee hearings and limiting the use of overnight floor sessions for emergency situations. Actions such as these would ensure that every member of the legislature is able to have a voice for their communities. It is important that we provide people with disabilities with the necessary resources so they can equally participate in our political system.
“Representative Anderson represents the voices of individuals with disabilities and all of those who must continue to fight to have a seat at the table. The Wisconsin State Legislative Black Caucus proudly supports Representative Anderson and his request for equal participation in the legislative process.”