Dear Governor Brown,
I am beyond disappointed. I am angry and I am shocked at the way you have completely disregarded the needs of Californians with developmental disabilities.
It’s difficult to address you with the respect due the governor’s office when you clearly have no respect for me, my daughter or our community.
During this budget season I have heard many people in the Capitol say that you don’t care about our issues. I didn’t believe them; I couldn’t believe that the heart-centered man you once seemed to be no longer exists. I believe them now.
We have been asking for 10 percent to be restored to DDS – not a new 10 percent, but in fact a small portion of the monies that have been drained from this system over the years. Developmental Services were hit hard during the great recession and though the state has recovered, though funding has been restored to so many other areas, services for the most vulnerable of our population remain critically underfunded. In fact, you and all other elected California officials were just granted a 3 percent raise, weren’t you? How can you possibly justify this?
How can you justify not allocating even 1 percent to us, not even a mention, or a plan for moving forward? You know, I know you have been told, how the numbers are growing, how autism alone is expected to double in the next 5 years and triple in the next 10. How can you leave this mess for future governors?
I’ve heard people say that you only care about your legacy. Do you care that you’ll be remembered as the man who let the developmental service system fall apart? Who turned his back on the Lanterman Act, and left the directives coming from the Federal government’s Final Rule to be somebody else’s big problem? Don’t you think that will reflect badly on you? I no longer have hope that it makes any difference to you what happens to the 280,000 individuals in California with developmental disabilities. I hope at least that you’ll consider what future Californians will think of you when this system comes crashing down, and adjust the budget to support these vulnerable citizens who are counting on you. We will not forget your actions.