Throughout 2023, the Center for Public Representation has steadfastly advocated for adults and children with disabilities, elders, people of color, and people in congregate settings – enforcing their rights to be in the community and of the community.
With your support, CPR testified, submitted amici briefs, entered into negotiations, and pursued novel approaches to address longstanding social inequities. CPR’s highlights in 2023 included:
- Pressing forward in Marsters v. Healey – one of the nation’s first cross-disability class action lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act – to end the unnecessary institutionalization of thousands of people with disabilities in Massachusetts nursing facilities.
- Monitoring an implementation agreement to ensure North Carolina honors a 2021 court-ordered agreement to create more opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to obtain real jobs for real pay.
- Calling upon Massachusetts officials to salvage its children’s behavioral health system and preserve intensive home-based services created due to CPR’s landmark Rosie D. class action nearly two decades ago.
- Submitting recommendations promoting Supported Decision-Making to the US Senate Special Committee on Aging’s hearing on guardianship alternatives, and testifying at the Massachusetts Statehouse in favor of a bill to establish a legal framework for SDM.
- Testifying before the Massachusetts Legislature in favor of a bill to require use of community alternatives prior to sending someone to a psychiatric hospital or emergency room and against an involuntary outpatient commitment bill.
- Embarking on a racial equity initiative to re-imagine an emergency response system where clinicians and trained people with a lived experience of mental illness – not armed police officers – respond to individuals in crisis and help them access services.
With your help, we will continue to re-imagine new social structures, develop initiatives, pursue effective cases, and implement lasting and equitable remedies. Your contribution matters.
With deepest gratitude and good wishes for your health and safety,
Cathy E. Costanzo
Center for Public Representation