Power Grid Blog
Mark's Weekly Message: We Can't Wait
March 2, 2012 | AAPD Power Grid Blog Team
We can’t wait.
Every year the federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars- our tax dollars—on contracts for everything from helicopters to pens. All customers have the power to choose where they spend their money. The federal government sets explicit conditions under which it will do business. For decades, these have included requiring contractors to hire and maintain diverse workforces. The justification is simple: when the government leverages its market power to promote equal opportunity, communities benefit and so does our country. It’s a good policy and not a new one.
Until now, people with disabilities have never benefitted from rules that require federal contractors to take action to hire us. This is in spite of the fact that there has been a law on the books for almost forty years requiring the government to do so. For decades, our community has faced disproportionate unemployment and poverty while the federal government failed to keep its promise. But in December, we got closer. The President proposed a rule that would require businesses to utilize our talents if they want to get our tax dollars.
Already, the opposition is revving up. The Washington Times editorial page claimed that not only would this rule be bad for business, it would be bad for people with disabilities! You read that right: they actually wrote that requiring businesses to take steps to hire us would mean that fewer of us would have jobs. It would almost be funny if it weren’t the battle cry of an army determined to make sure this rule is never adopted.
Although the Washington Times editorial board is wrong, they are not alone. Many naysayers will weigh in against the rule. We have to push back, and in greater numbers. It can’t wait. We can’t wait.
Contact the Washington Times and tell them to set the record straight.