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CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL PASSES RESOLUTION URGING U.S. TO SIGN ON TO TREATY ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

On September 5, 2007 the Chicago City Council passed a resolution introduced by Mayor Richard M. Daley calling for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  

Chicago, IL. 11/15/2007

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City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilties
Richard M. Daley, Mayor Karen Tamley, Commissioner


NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2007

Contact: Melissa Stratton
(312) 744-4496



On September 5, 2007 the Chicago City Council passed a resolution introduced by Mayor Richard M. Daley calling for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The landmark treaty was originally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. Its purpose is "to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity," Among the issues the treaty addresses are employment, housing, transportation, education, emergency preparedness, communication, recreation and access to public services for people with disabilities.

The resolution notes the City of Chicago's longtime support of national legislation and policies including the Community Choice Act, Money Follows the Person and Visitability, promoting the independence, inclusion and integration of people with disabilities.

"The United Nations Convention is critical to bringing global attention to the rights of people with disabilities," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "While we as a city and a nation have made notable progress in advancing accessibility and the inclusion of people with disabilities, there remains much more work to be done to ensure the full participation and equality of people with disabilities in society."

"We must fight stereotypes, work to remove physical and attitudinal barriers, and ensure civil rights protections of people with disabilities throughout the world if disabled people are to achieve equality," Mayor Daley added.

Mayor Daley created the first cabinet-level Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities in the nation in 1990. In July, the City was recognized as one of two top disability-friendly cities in the country by the National Organization on Disability.

Chicago is home to more than 600,000 residents with disabilities, approximately 23 percent of the city's population, according to the 2000 Census.

Copies of the resolution were provided to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as a sign of Chicago's commitment to the importance of the issues raised in the treaty and to urge ratification of the Convention by the United States.


R E S O L U T I O N

Whereas, Historically, discrimination against persons with disabilities has resulted in barriers to employment, housing, transportation, education, communication, recreation and access to public services; and

Whereas, Discrimination and prejudiced attitudes have caused persons with disabilities to often live segregated and isolated lives, deprived of equal opportunities; and

Whereas, On December 13, 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a landmark treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and

Whereas, The purpose of the Convention is "to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity;" and

Whereas, The Convention was the most rapidly negotiated human rights treaty in the history of international law; and is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century; and

Whereas, The Convention requires governments to fight stereotypes of people with disabilities; and also recognize that attitudes need to change if disabled people are to achieve equality; and

Whereas, The principles of the Convention include the full and effective participation and inclusion in society by persons with disabilities; and

Whereas, The United States has been a leader in the civil rights protections of people with disabilities; and

Whereas, In the 2000 Census, over 600,000 Chicago residents, approximately 23 percent of the City's total population, reported having a disability; and

Whereas, The City of Chicago has long supported national legislation and policies, such as the Community Choice Act, Money Follows the Person and Visitability, that promote the independence, inclusion and integration of people with disabilities; and

Whereas, In March of 2007, the National Organization on Disability selected the City of Chicago as one of its "Accessible America 2007" award winners, recognizing Chicago as a national model for its focus on disability issues;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and Members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, assembled this fifth day of September, 2007, do hereby support this Convention, endorse equal opportunity and fairness, and will continue to be responsive to and inclusive of people with disabilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be provided to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and the Deputy Permanent United States Representative to the United Nations, Alejandro D. Wolff, as a sign of our commitment to this important issue and to urge ratification of the Convention by the United States.

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