Open Memo to NYS Legislature (fwd)

rosaphil (
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 12:11:40 -0400 (EDT)

maybe cuz the billionaire mta-board are bigots who tacitly approve of
stigmatizing the mentally-ill cuz they are more interested in denying that
they have no outreach to the mentally-ill untreated who live in the
subways and want to lump in those of us who use the subways to go to work
and to our day programs with in order to preserve their(mta-board) own
perks (country club memberships, fancy dinners and honorariums, etc)
rather than doing the responsible thing that will ensure a safe and
cleaner and better ride
for all new yorkers?

it's easier to be duplicitous and demonize the weak than have to fess up
to the job the mta-board is not doing...the unions next to be demonized in
this fashion?
 +********** Snail me yer rosehips if you liked this post! ************
*Better Living Thru Better Living!* *


Subject: Open Memo to NYS Legislature

Attached is an open memo to the Legislature that will be released today to 
correct the MTA's campaign of mis-information and attempts to delay 
implementation of the Half Fare.  Please share it and email your support to 
Senator Padavan, Assembly member Brennan, and Senator Skelos (a key undecided 
member).  Email addresses follow the Open Letter. 

Please note the reference to June 22 when thousands of New Yorkers will join 
hands at the Public Library and March to Governor Pataki's office for more 
effective services.

Best regards,
Fred A. Levine
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
June 16, 1999

Open Memo to:	Hon. Senator Frank Padavan
						Hon. Assembly Member James 
						All Legislative Co-Sponsors & 

Re:					MTA Half Fare Fairness Bills
						Senate 2505 & Assembly 1807

Thank you for your support and for your leadership on the MTA Half Fare 
Fairness Bills.

With fewer than 48 hours left in the Session, this is a time for clarity and 
consensus.  That is why we are so dismayed by what appears to be the only 
objection raised to the Bills by the MTA.

We understand that the MTA has publicly stated that it does not oppose the 

We understand that the MTA has publicly stated that it has numerous other 
priority projects.

We understand that that the MTA has publicly stated that it needs time to 
implement the Half Fare in an orderly fashion.

We understand that the MTA has publicly stated that it does not wish to incur 
jeopardize its 1999 Balance Sheet.

What a disgrace.

We are neither accountants, nor actuaries.  We are just 200,000 mental health 
consumers, family members, health care providers, friends, employers, 
teachers, union members, and neighbors of people with mental illness from 
across the nation.

We are small self-help groups - - We are the National Alliance for the 
Mentally Ill.

We are from Buffalo - - We are from New York City.

We are Senior Citizens - - We are their Children and Grandchildren.  We know 

We have prepared and delivered to the Legislature the attached MTA Half Fare 
Fairness Calendar to show the truth about the cost to implement the Half Fare 
in 1999.

Even if the Bills were passed today and signed by the Governor immediately, 
and even if all implementation steps were taken in perfect order by the MTA, 
there would be no impact to the MTA's 1999 Balance Sheet because it would 
take at least six months to effect the change.

We have worked with the MTA closely.  We have met with its Board members.  We 
have spoken with its staff.  We do not view them as our adversaries.  
Privately, they tell us what we are doing is a good idea.

We just don't understand why, publicly, they would try to mislead you, and 
the Legislature, about the financial impact of the Bills in 1999.  There will 
be no impact in 1999 and merely a non-material impact as we move into the 
next century - - a century in which we hope people disabilities don't have to 
struggle as we have for fairness.

We know that, if given a chance to vote, the Legislature would pass these 
Bills in a heartbeat.

We know that, if given a chance, 20,000 S.S.I./Medicaid recipients with 
serious mental illness could use the Half Fare to move toward rehabilitation 
and recovery.

Respectfully yours and G-d Bless You.
The MTA Half Fare Fairness Coalition

cc:	Hon. Virgil Conway (Chair, MTA)
		MTA Board Members
		Mr. Douglas Sussman (Government Affairs, MTA)


For those who ask whether it is good policy to have psychiatric patients 
riding the subways we answer this way.

Psychiatric patients ride the subways every day.

We ride to part time jobs.  We ride to community programs.  We ride to the 
Public Library, and that is where you will find us on June 22nd. . .We have 
been riding silentlly for too long.

SSI recipients should no longer pay Double, when other people with 
disabilities ride at Half Fare.

Email Senator Padavan:

Email Assembly Member Brennan:

Email Senator