Wednesday, February 10, 2010

End the "R-Word" Now

The Arc is just one of thousands of organizations joining the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign. Tim Shriver and the Special Olympics have collaborated with The Arc to meet with the White House staff in seeking a public apology from Rahm Emanuel's use of the words "f----- retarded" in a closed door rant against some liberal activists' idea to run ads against conservative Democrats.
Then we have Rush Limbaugh almost 'rushing' to Emanuel's defense, and objecting to Sarah Palin's condemnation of the use of the "r-word" by saying on the air, "Our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult's taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards." (See story.)
Last year, The Arc sponsored a Rally for Respect in reaction to the use of the r-word in the movie Tropical Thunder. I marched outside the Lowe's Theatre with Ray, one of our clients. He told a news reporter and me how hurtful it was to be called "Retard Ray" in grammar and high school. There are thousands like Ray, and enough is enough. Can we finally put an end to the use of such demeaning, damaging terms, equal to using the n-word?
Please do your part. So far, 55,000 people have pledged to "change the conversation" by logging on to, the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. We're hoping to obtain at 100,000 plus signatures. Help us get there and make your pledge today!

Tim Hornbecker, CEO

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Create a Job, Get a Tax Break

While Mayor Newsom's State of the City address cited San Francisco's 10% unemployment rate, the city's most vulnerable citizens have taken the toughest hits from our faltering economy.
The unemployment rate for people with developmental disabilities is over 70%--a dire statistic with huge consequences for the clients we serve already living at poverty levels.
For most of our job-seeking clients, even getting an interview has been next to impossible. Business have tightened their belts and fear hiring new employees in such an uncertain economy.

Payroll tax waiver can make a difference
That's why the Mayor's proposal to waive payroll taxes on all new hires for two years makes sense. This waiver would incentivize employers to hire new staff, provide significant savings, and inspire businesses to invest in the human resources needed to expand now. The exemption is also a huge incentive for businesses to relocate to San Francisco.
The Mayor has proposed three different tax proposals to address the budget shortfall: the payroll tax waiver, a $2,000 tax credit for small businesses mandated to provide health coverage, and tax incentives for biotech companies moving to our City.
I think our Supervisors should give serious consideration to all three proposals--especially the tax waiver for new hires.
The true force behind a healthy economy is its workers. People with developmental disabilities who work are more self-sufficient, they're less of a drain on social services, and they funnel more money into the economy through their spending and by paying taxes.
Let your Supervisor know that you want the San Francisco Board to give serious consideration to Mayor Newsom's tax proposals.
Tim Hornbecker, CEO