2020 Annual Report - Year in Review
2020 Annual Report - Year in Review
Message from drc Executive Director and Board President
Dear Friends and Supporters,
2020 was a year unlike any other as we entered into a global pandemic that impacted millions of people who faced uncertainty, disruption, despair, and lives lost. In March, as the scope of the pandemic became clear, we responded quickly to ensure we could still safely serve the community by working remotely and finding new and creative ways to advance our mission.
The government response and the economic devastation that followed the pandemic exposed deep flaws in our systems that disproportionately harm Californians with disabilities. We successfully advocated with the California Department of Public Health for crisis standards of care guidelines that did not discriminate on the basis of disability or age in the context of surges in demand for resources like ventilators. We worked with the State to clarify the right of people with disabilities to bring trusted support people with them to the hospital in the context of new restriction on visitors. At the end of the year, we engaged with California’s Community Vaccine Advisory Committee to push for vaccine prioritization for high risk individuals with disabilities across the age spectrum.
Throughout the year, we also saw how large populations across California called for an end to police brutality and racial injustice caused by a long history of systematic racism and structural inequities. As an organization, we took time to reflect and evaluate our advocacy, what we stood for, how we could better serve the community and be effective advocates for all people with disabilities. Based on that reflection, we created a new advocacy platform with new goals and objectives to hold ourselves accountable to respond to the needs of people with disabilities of color, immigrants, and others who are underserved or unserved in our State. To be effective advocates for all people with disabilities, we must address and fight systematic racial and economic injustice. drc is committed to addressing discrimination in all its forms, including the unique challenges faced by people who experience the intersection of multiple systems of discrimination.
We committed to expanding our impact by “addressing longstanding discrimination and systemic racism in the criminal legal system” and “amplifying the work of civil rights activists who fight for dignity and equality for Black, Latino, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ communities, and for people with disabilities who are members of these communities.”
It has been an honor to lead drc during this critical time and season. As we recover from the devastation of 2020, drc looks forward to engaging with policymakers to build a more inclusive, more equitable society and economy in 2021 and beyond. drc will do its part by taking diligent, measurable steps forward to advance human rights, economic dignity, and racial equity.
We also want to thank and acknowledge the people we serve, their families and caregivers, and our amazing employees for their resilience, adaptability, creativity, and drive to advance our mission in a challenging time. This past year was a difficult time for everyone- but the unwavering dedication of everyone at drc to ensure people with disabilities are protected and supported has given us enormous amounts of hope and gratitude.
Please enjoy our annual report that lifts up some inspiring stories and insights from a truly challenging year and demonstrates the resilience and dedication of our staff!
Working together, we can build a brighter future for people with disabilities in California and their families.
drc Executive Director
drc Board President
2020 Board of Directors
- Jeffrey Thom, President
- Sandra Smith, Chair
- James “Jim” Janz, CFO
- Deanna McClain, Secretary
- Ralph Black
- Alison Brunner
- Lorraine Casto
- Chuck Ehrlich
- Sheri Farinha
- Elizabeth Gomez
- Imari S. Nuyen-Kariotis
- Richard Olgierd Krzyzanowski
- Marty Omoto
- Katherine Perez
- Héctor Ramírez
- Anthony “Tony” Sauer
- Yolanda Vargas
Advocacy During the PandemicResponding to the pandemic, drc wanted to reassure the community that we were continuing to advocate for the millions of adults and children with disabilities across the state of California to make sure everyone’s rights were protected. In this video, we share some of the issues and our work in healthcare, housing, jails/criminal justice, and employment in response to COVID-19.
Message of Hope to the CommunityDuring the uncertainty of the pandemic, drc staff joined together to create a message of hope video to remind individuals, families, and loved ones that: You are not Alone.
We are in this Together.
We are One.
We will meet this Moment! Enjoy this message of Hope Video!