2020 Legislative Awards: Honoring and Recognizing Legislators and their Staff for Advancing the Rights of Californians With Disabilities

Photo of a blue curtain with the two awards hanging in front of the curtain.

For over a decade, Disability Rights California has recognized and honored legislators and their staff who have advanced the rights, dignity, equal opportunities, and choices for all people with disabilities.

 

2020 Legislative Awards: Honoring and Recognizing Legislators and legislative Staff for Advancing the Rights of Californians With Disabilities

For over a decade, Disability Rights California has recognized and honored legislators and legislative staff who have advanced the rights, dignity, equal opportunities, and choices for all people with disabilities.

Each year, we hold an event to recognize selected legislators and their staff for their particular outstanding legislative work toward advancing disability rights.

Video of Award Ceremony

Our awards ceremony took place virtually on Friday, December 11, 2020. Thank you to everyone who participated!

This year we recognized:

Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins for their leadership to ensure the 2020-21 budget protected critical programs for persons with disabilities proposed by the Governor in the May Revision for elimination or reduction. These programs helped protect programs and benefits most critical to persons with disabilities and older Californians.

Senator Holly Mitchell for their leadership in ensuring the 2020-21 budget protected critical programs for persons with disabilities proposed by the Governor in the May Revision for elimination or reduction. These efforts helped protect programs and benefits most critical to persons with disabilities and older Californians, including the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program, the Multipurpose Senior Services (MSSP) program, the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, Medi-Cal benefits, Supplemental Security Income grants, and more.

Senator Bill Dodd for carrying two DRC sponsored bills and authoring others significant to the disability community to protect Californians during power shutoffs. Their efforts included expanding the California Community Transitions (CCT) Program to assist individuals in moving from nursing homes back to their homes and communities and expanding the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. We would also like to recognize their efforts and continued support to move forward the California Memorial Project's (CMP) goal of erecting monuments honoring individuals who lived and died unrecognized at State Institutions in Napa and Sonoma. Learn more about the California Memorial Project

Honorable Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the Assembly, for their leadership to ensure the 2020-21 budget protected critical programs for persons with disabilities proposed by the Governor in the May Revision for elimination or reduction. Their efforts helped protect programs and benefits most critical to persons with disabilities and older Californians, including The Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Independent Living Centers, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, and more.

Assemblymember Phil Ting, Chair, Budget Committee for their leadership to ensure the 2020-21 budget protected critical programs for persons with disabilities proposed by the Governor in the May Revision for elimination or reduction. The Committee's leadership helped protect programs and benefits most vital to persons with disabilities and older Californians.

Alison Merrilees, Chief Counsel, Assembly Judiciary Committee for their overall efforts staffing the Assembly Judiciary Committee. The Committee's expertise on disability access and the ADA is invaluable to Disability Rights California and protects persons with disabilities' rights.

Tanya Lieberman, Chief Consultant, Assembly Education Committee for their work as a lead consultant with the Assembly Education Committee,  improving learning outcomes and conditions for pupils with disabilities by shaping the special education provisions adopted in the 2020-21 Budget Bill. We applaud the Committee for their commitment to youth with disabilities and appreciate your availability and advice to improve all students' education.

Each honoree was presented a plaque featuring artwork from artists within the disability community.

This year, we are featuring artists from the non-profit Southside Unlimited.

More information about the studios: https://southsideunlimited.com/

Painting of a mountain and lake during winter.

Award honoring Alison Merrilees, Chief Counsel, Assembly Judiciary Committee featuring snowscape artwork by Claudia H.

Painting of a desert.

Award honoring Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, featuring desert landscape art by Ryan Hack.

Follow us on social media to see a full list of featured artists!