Oct. 23, 2001 --
Hundreds of ADAPT activists are in San Francisco this week for protests against the rebuilding of Laguna Honda, an aging, 1,000-bed public nursing home that San Francisco taxpayers want rebuilt; they approved a $299 million bond issue to do so. The local independent living center has sued the city and county, charging it with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act's "most integrated setting" mandate handed down by the 1999 Olmstead decision.
Now protesters are pushing the issue with their direct action "Tear Down the Walls!" campaign this week.
Coverage of the weeklong protest is available both in the disability press and from San Francisco media. A good overview of the Laguna Honda controversy, with links to articles, is provided by Inclusion Daily Express. The story, "Advocates tell San Francisco, 'Just say 'NO!' to Laguna Honda,'" is online at http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/drn/drn101601lagunahonda.htm Direct action reports are available from ADAPT daily at http://www.mcil.org/mcil/adapt/lh/
An advance story about the protest in Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle by Chronicle reporter Kathleen Sullivan got it right; Sullivan quoted ADAPT's Bob Kafka: "We don't think anybody, old or young, needs to be institutionalized. They need to be supported in the community." (Story online at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/20/MN89509.DTL)
San Francisco's KRON TV, covered Monday's street blockings -- you can get this coverage online via QuickTime video at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/kron/archive/2001/10/22/protest.DTL
The Los Angeles Times ran an Associated Press photo in its Metro section yesterday with the headline "Seeking Housing Alternatives." But their caption, "Disability rights activists form a blockade at City Hall in San Francisco on Monday to protest the rebuilding of a city nursing home, Laguna Honda Hospital, rather than considering other kinds of residences for seniors and people with disabilities" didn't seem to get the point that activists don't wants the city to build any other kinds of "residences for seniors and people with disabilities" but let them live in their own homes, and pay for the assistance needed to do so.
"Individuals with a wide range of disabilities are capable of living on their own if they have services to aid them," wrote Orlando Sentinel disability columnist Mona Hughes in her clear overview of the issue "Far too many, though, end up in nursing homes because states ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has created the doctrine of the 'most integrated setting.'" Hughes's column appeared Sunday, Oct. 21, and is online at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/osceola/orl-ocomona21102101oct21.story
To keep abreast of how San Francisco media continues to cover the issue, go to http://www.sfgate.com/ and type "Laguna Honda" into its search engine.
For more on the Olmstead decision, go to http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/ada/olmsteadoverview.htm