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March 23, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-03-23

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Page 4-Friday, March 23, 1979-The Michigon Daily
G~be31digan ma i
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 137 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

America's disabled fighting
the impact of inflation

Bullard.'s bi*
INCE PRESIDENT Nixon stacked
the Supreme Court in the early
1970s with conservative appointees, the
nation's highest judicial body has
steered to the right. This trend under
-he Burger reign has been especially
harmful to the press; take for instance
last summer's ruling that newspapers
are not exempt from police searches
,authorized by a warrant.
But now State Rep. Perry Bullard
(D-Ann Arbor) has moved to reverse
that trend, at least in this particular
,.ease, by introducing a bill in the state
legislature to outlaw "third party
searches.' The bill is a progressive
step by the Ann Arbor lawmaker to
remove the effects in Michigan of one
f tha m e t srciv rilinm ea

[11 necessary
enabling them to search that third par-
ty without any warning. Under the
previous law, the police needed a sub-
poena before they could search a third
party, giving the newspaper time to
contest the order to give up the infor-
mation.
Unannounced visits by police into
newspaper offices endangers the jour-
nalist's ability to acquire and keep
sources. If sources know a police sear-
ch could turn up their confidential in-
formation at any time, they may think
twice before talking to a reporter.
Furthermore, this ruling does not
apply only to newspaper offices. Any
third party, whether it be a lawyer's
office, a doctor's office or a private
citizen's anartment_ can be searched

America's disabled-the most
recent minority to organize
politically-could now become
front-line casualties in President
Carter's war on inflation.
In spring, 1977, after a 28-day
sit-in at a government building,
activists in the new movement
persuaded the President to sign a
sweeping regulation that
prohibits discrimination against
them. But those regulations, as
well as the entire movement, now
face a barrage of opposition as
the country fights to restore a
faltering economy.
"The biggest thing going on
right now is the fight for money,
says wheel-chair bound Kitty
Cone, who took part in the 1977
San Francisco sit-in, the longest
ever at a federal building.
"WE'RE GIRDING ourselves
for the fight in Congress because
we know there's going to be one,"
Cone said from her office at the
Disability Law Resource Center
in Berkeley.

By Mary Claire Blakeman

crummy. It's going to be hard to
work with."
"We're arguing for a social
services program, and social
services programs are usually
the sacrificial lambs," says Phil
Draper, director of Berkeley's
Center for Independent Living
(CIL). "It's guns instead of ser-
vices."
Draper has already had to deal
with a loss of government funds
when California's Proposition 13
cut $43,000 from CIL's budget.
"Overall, it lessened our capacity
to meet the needs of the
disabled," he says. "And it
comes at a time when we already
had more demand for services
than we could meet., The people
who suffer are our clients."
BERKELEY'S CIL, one of the
first of its kind in the nation, is
founded on the need for services
such as transportation, attendant

I.

oI LIM s rISLegr essveru n~lgs eVer pIU L aaa t,u it, .llF% %CLX
made by the court. by a policeman with just a warrant.
The court's action has made it very What about a client who keep
easy for police to acquire a warrant to significant information with his lawye
search newspaper offices and other or a patient who trusts his doctor t'
third parties. All the police have to do hold onto relevant facts about hi
is show that "there is reasonable cause health condition? The court's rulin
to believe that the specific things to be jeopardizes the secrecy of those facts
searched for or seized are located on Bullard's bill must still travel a lon
the property to which entry is sought. route before it can become law. Th(
Thus, whenever the police are in- House Judiciary Committee shoul
vestigating a crime, they would be quickly report the bill out to the ful
allowed to find some connection bet- House, who should then pass it as sooi
ween a suspect and any third party, as possible.
AFSCME workers need
cost-of-living n contract

)s
r
to
g
s.
.g
ie
d
Il
n

"As the tax cutting fever
spreads while the inflation rate
and oil prices climb, the disabled
may find that they've gotten to
the table just when the last slice
of pie has already been taken.

AST WEEK the bargaining teams
of the American Federation of
State, County, and Municipal Em-
ployees (AFSCME) Local 1583 and the
University exchanged initial economic
proposals for AFSCME's new contract.
The union's contract wiith the Univer-
sity expired last Tuesday, but the
membership responsibly voted to ex-
tend the terms of the present contract
'for fifteen days.
By doing this, union workers helped
insure that the two sides will continue
bargaining in good faith. The
negotiations between AFSCME and the
University have so far proceeded
without any serious complications.
Since negotiations often involve a lot
of give-and-take, and initial proposals
undergo continuous modifications, it is
too early to discuss most of the specific
proposals. However, it is clear the
University should accept one of the
unions demands: a cost-of-living in-
crease.
The union has asked for an im-
mediate 50 cent-per-hour increase,
with a one cent-per-hour increase
every time the cost-of-living index
rises. While a raise in the hourly wage
rate can be negotiated, the University
should also provide the workers with

an adequate cost-of-living increase to
safeguard against the rising rate of in-
flation.
The University's economic problems
are understandable, as it finds itself
scraping each year for funds from the
state legislature and other revenue
sources. However, it can obtain in-
come from several other areas; for
example, the tuition hike passed at last
week's Regents' meeting. As for the
workers, they have only one major
source of income: their paychecks.
Furthermore, AFSCME workers
have not had a cost-of-living adjust-
ment in their pay since their last con-
tract was negotiated two years ago.
They have watched their buying power
diminish as inflation takes its toll on
their finances.
Both sides should continue to
bargain responsibly in an effort to
prevent a breakdown in the
negotiations. Two years ago the talks
did stalemate, and the union staged a
26-day walkout. The workers per-
sonally lost in that strike, and made
minimal gains in the contract that was
eventually signed. A quick and
equitable settlement of this contract
would be beneficial to both the Univer-
sity and its employees.

This particular fight centers on
the question of how much
Congress will appropriate for
amendments to the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 during
the current session.
The amendments, passed in the
waning days -of the last
Congressional session and signed
by the President shortly before
the expiration deadline, include a
variety of programs such as in-
terpreters for the deaf, readers
for the blind, and a national in-
formation clearinghouse for the
disabled.
ONE OF THE most far-
reaching national proposals,
however, is the establishment of
"independent living" centers
around the country, for which
Congress has authorized $80
million.
If funded, the centers would
represent a shift in government's
perception of the disabled: in-
dependent'living, with certain
support services, could replace
institutionalization or welfare.
"This has been our dream from
the beginning," Ms. Cone says.
REALITY MAY impinge on
that dream in the form of an
austere federal budget proposed
by President Carter. Plans to cut
$15 billion from'domestic spen-
ding focus on reducing funds for
the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare-which
includes the Rehabilitation Ser-
vices Administration. As one
woman who works with han-
dicapped children in Washington,
D.C., put it, "Everything we hear
about the budget is that it will be

care, and wheelchair repair for
the disabled. Since the non-
residential center opened in 1972,
it has successfully lobbied for
ramped curb cuts on local streets
and graduated several classes of
computer programmers from its
job program.
Linda Gill of the Disability Law
Resource Center (DLRC) sees
the availability of necessary ser-!
vices as a cornerstone to in-
dependent living. "Providing
services like attendant care and
transportation are the basis for
the center-it's the basis for the
whole movement," she says.
"Without services, you're going
to have disabled people' going~
back into institutions."
"They're putting us as a bot-
tom priority on the county level,"
she adds. "They're cutting core
services, survival services for
people in the community."
PHIL DRAPER foresees even
further losses as the cushion of
California's state surplus wears
thin. "We're preparing for the
reach crunch of Prop. 13, which is
just around the corner," he says.
"If the real crunch hits us 100 per
cent, we could lose close to
$200,000 on top of what we've
already lost."
To Judy Heumann, deputy
director of CIL, the proposed
budget cuts on the federal and,
state levels go beyond the
question of money. "Not only is
funding being cut," she says,
"but also regulations, which we
fought for, very hard as human
rights issues, are being attacked.
This means a decrease in ser-

yet been adequately studied. But
experts have established a cost-
benefit ratio of vocational
rehabilitation for the disabled.
"For every dollar spent, the
economy gains $10.00 in return
when a disabled person begins
working and paying taxes," says
Dr. H.B. Betts, director of' the
Rehabilitation Institute of
Chicago.
"It's important for people to
look atthe other side of the cost
argument," Judy Heumann adds.
"For instance, the provision on
removal of architectural barriers
contained in the federal
regulations-that could mean
putting construction workers
back to work.
Vocational rehabilitation of the
disabled does benefit the
economy, but a person need not
be eligible for a job to receive in-
dependent living services, accor-
ding to the Rehabilitation Act
amendments. "A lot of the
benefits have to do with the
quality of life ofthe disabled in-
dividual-and those do not quan-
tify in dollar terms," says Susan
Stoddard, project director of
Berkeley Planning Associates.
"So thenultimate argument
should not be made just on
economic grounds."
"ALSO, IT DEPENDS on what
you count as the cost," she adds.
"You can make an argument
either way."
While there is a push for fun-
ding the new amendments, Phil
Draper is concerned that the
budget-cutting ax may also fall
on older programs, such as the
Social Security Income (SSI)
which many disabled depend on
for survival. In California, Gov.
Jerry Brown's budget calls for
holding down welfare benefit in-
creases to less than the rate of in-
flation-6 per cent for the year
rather than the 15.7 per cent that
would automatically apply
because of cost-o(-living in-
creases built into the law.
"It's a general feeling,"
Draper says. "Given what's
going on in Washington and Car-
ter's anti-inflation stand-it's the
people on low or fixed incomes
that are the hardest hit.
"And the gap continues to
grow. Most disabled and aged
people are finding it more and
more difficult to live, and I don't
see the government doing
anything about it."
As the tax cutting fever
spreads while the inflation rate
and oil prices climb, the disabled
may find that they've gotten to
the table just when the last slice
of pie has already been taken.
Mary Claire Blakeman is a
reporter whose work has ap-
peared in regional news-
papers and magazines in
Louisiana, California and
North Carolina. She is cur-
rently on the editorial staff
of the Pacific News Service.

vices as well as a maintenance of
oppression against the
disabled-the government can
continue to control disabled
people.
"With the Office of
Management and Budget's Task
Force on Regulatory Review
there is a concern thatthey might
get involved in revamping the
regulations. It's possible that the
regulations could be weakened."
WEIGHING THE costs of an
independent living program as
opposed to institutionalization is
a complex process which has not

Letters

Tenantsfor Fairperson

To the Daily:
We at the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union would like to announce our
support of the Coalition for Better
Housing platform as presented
by mayoral "uncandidate"
Louise J. Fairperson. As an
organization dedicated to
educating the public on housing
rights and issues, we believe the
Fairperson proposals go further
than merely recognizing Ann Ar-
bor's housing problems, and they
represent a far more active at-
tempt to bring change to Ann Ar-
bor than do those which the ac-
tual candidates are proposing.
We decided to endorse the
Fairperson a'form shortly af-
ter hearing presentations from
representatives of the Fairperson
campaign and from Democratic
mayoral candidate Jamie Ken-
worthy during the Tenants Union
meeting of March 15,1979. Of 28
Tenants Union members, 20

local housing situation. Kenwor-
thy's proposal for a Housing Ad-
visory Council sounds
suspiciously like the lip service
which I recall other mayors and
city politicians have paid to the
housing problems in the past. The
Tenants Union wants this city to
attack important issues with for-
ceful legislation.
The Fairperson proposals, if
implemented, could have a
highly significant, impact on im-
proving the housing situation for
Ann Arbor tenants. Collective
bargaining, a key part of the
Fairperson platform, has been an
ideal of the Tenants Union since
its inception. It would give tenan-
ts, who pay high prices for
housing, a better opportunity to
voice their position and to work to
resolve problems in their housing.
situation. Negotiation and ar-
bitration outside the courtroom
should be encouraged, as much

My own personal experience
working at the Tenants Union has
demonstrated to me the need for
a just cause for eviction law. I
have handled many cases ° in
which tenants have been
harassed by their landlords who
often hand out eviction notices
when the tenant has done nothing
to deserve one.
UNDER PRESENT law, the
only reasons a landlord canndt
evict' a tenant are discrimination
on the basis of sex, race, religion,
or marital or student status,
among others, or in retaliation
against a tenant who has asserted
his or her rights. A just cause law
would spell% out only those
legitimate reasons for which a
tenant could be evicted. In other
words, at this point in time a lan-
dlord can force a*tenant out of
her/his home for any but the
above reasons. In fact she/he
may even evict a tenant without

Regarding landlord disclosure
of profits, we believe that disin-
,centives for landlords to exploit
tenants are important. Landlords
are businessmen who do not work
for the interests of their.tenants.
They work for a profit, and much
of that profit is hidden in the form
of tax shelters.
Landlords can decuct from
their taxable income an alleged
annual depreciation of their
property, even as their proper-
ty's value is increasing. When a
'landlord sells his or her property,
the profit is generally very large
because of consistently rising
property value here. So, most of a
landlord's profit does not come
from rent, as many people think.
Tenants and taxpayers should
know the whole story of landlord
profit and tax avoidance, and
should have the - right to in-
vestigate a landlord's claim that
he is making no profit, to see for

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