Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who Can I Blame?

ed phoning home ouch
~fl)L~Yl8, 2003
After being rejected from a job that pays $18,000 / year at the women’s prison, a job that pays $21,000 teaching Head Start, getting fired from Red Lobster (because apparently, I am just not quite Red Lobster “material .”
I went down to the Tennessee Career Center to take advantage of their high-speed internet, free printer ink, paper, and maybe, just maybe a little perspective on the sad state of affairs in the American job market today.
My loyal readers know that my job expectations salary requirements have steadily declined along with my feelings of self-worth and esteem. I am almost willing to take back what I said try to get a job at Burger King if they would have me.
My career aspirations have dropped with each passing year. I make no excuses. Why bother.
I got hooked up with a career counselor two master’s -- one in Educational & Career Counseling; a second in Counseling Psychology. This is the guidance counselor I have been asking for since... well... since... I was old enough to realize that my mind worked just a little bit differently...
I was never in any one school long enough to have a guidance counselor.
Other than Professor Mark back in college, Bob Crain, my saving grace through the toughest times in my life, no one told me I was wasting my time and money…
Most of all I was wasting my window of opportunity… a moment in time when I almost had a world of opportunity. Without any real place to go after college, I felt I had no other choice than to become a professional student of sorts—you know, the ones who stay in school forever to take advantage of cheap housing, health insurance, and student loans.
Well, that was my first mistake.
Unfortunately, I wandered aimlessly through the system acquiring useless knowledge and letters after my name that do not mean jack in the real world.
I was never there long enough to either test my “aptitude” or implement any course of study. See—it is not my fault, you ignorant fuktards!

Ha! How do you like that?
     … Blame it on my parents
         … Blame it on me
             … Blame it on the rain…
…Blame it on the “acting-advisor”
        …The “acting-director of financial aid
                       ...The “acting Dean”
None-the-less, the fact remains that I am apparently completely unemployable, and I simply refuse to take any more of those tests. Even the local mall does a background check and administers some type of personality test that I clearly cannot pass!
Listen up, you dumb fucks, I would not have bad credit if I were a thief.
I would not need a job if I had enough money to pay my bills. And when it comes to that “personality assessment” I am sorry to say that I do in fact think there is a big difference between someone who steals food to feed his family and Winona Rider.
Who gives a shit anymore? If you told me a fat bearded lady at the circus could decide my fate and tell me what direction I should choose next-- I would take it! I would even throw in a fat tip just for being smart enough to know that any answer--  no matter how grim is far better than just wandering aimlessly through life looking back on what might have been?
I wish I could say that after all this time I developed other ego strengths and finally felt okay with whom I am, you know.... “Just being me.” but I am sad to report that my “condition” (diagnosis) was amazingly accurate and predictable. Just like all the doctors said! I wonder if they derive joy out of being right— if they crack open a bottle of aged liquor in my father’s office and say, “see, we told you so. We told you there was nothing you could do. And so nothing they did. By doing nothing and I do mean nothing-- the illness take will its course, and I am now, in fact, nothing.
Nothing costs nothing (at least to him) and daddy made another fine investment, on the other hand, nothing has drained every hope, fear, security—chance-- every last breath from my body. I might have believed in me. And I know I’m alive because a tear just rolled down the side of my cheek. I am home.
I am the exact same 5 year old who needed to win the spelling bee. In college, I was the one to set the curve, not just make it, break the rules, and, break [them] I did. There is no glory in being second best. Second smartest, second brightest, or second anything.
But I still have not learned, for some reason with all of my failures, I am reminded of in so many ways. Me, myself watch them play out every time I shut my eyes or open them. Yes- blink, sometimes I ask myself, how did I get here? How did this happen? What happened to all of the plans I made for myself~ where did they go? Where did I go?
Constantly replayed over and over and over again in my mind. I must be FUCKING CRAZY! But at this moment, here, even as I say the words, I am not truly insane. 1 am merely in pain, what a tragedy that those two words rhyme-- they ruin what could have been a very profound misnomer of the human condition and the labels we hold so dear.
And so my search for mediocrity continues, and I wait for it each and every day; hoping it will find me beaten and worn from the storm… from all of the storms.
But dammit, it is still there.
I still have questions.
Those damn “elyssa” questions that made my professors so proud.
Damn ideas, damn thoughts, damn hope.
My mother still calls me everyday to see if I went down to get food stamps to feed myself. Fuck her and her fucking things. Fuck diamonds, couture, and fuck that life.
I was here mom, the whole time. Just not pretty enough with out any surgery.
Not pretty at all with all those scars.
I am the exact same 5 year old who needed to ace the Spelling Bee.
Set the curve, not just make it.
Break the rules; and break them I did.
There is no glory in being second best,
Second smartest,
Second brightest, or second anything.
Being second sucks. It sucks every goddamned second of the day.
Goodnight my dear friends, lets all try to have sweet dreams. Pepe awaits, as does Alanis and a pack of smokes that I can already taste. I hope you all still love me. I do actually believe that I deserve love and kindness despite the obvious fact that I am a royal pain in the ass. I refuse to work in Burger King.
What could have been, what should have been-- what might have been if you let me be…
When in Chinese, the word Crisis is composed of two characters: One represents danger and the other represents opportunity...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Housing Crisis in Nashville, Tennessee

Monday, July 27, 2009
Community Apathy in Nashville, Tennessee

UPDATE: July 27, 2009

This has yet to bet settled. I received no response to my last inquiry received no response. I have lost my apartment and my section 8 coverage will end on the first of the month yet I cannot find an apartment due to the negative reference from the last landlord.

After spending 4 days in court, judges insisted that I hire (and pay for) a court reporter since they would not accept an affidavit from my an attorney in Pennsylvania.

The landlord did a "garnishment execution" without my knowledge for several hundreds of dollars which included attorneys fees, however the attorney refused to speak with me directly throughout the entire process, and told me if I wanted any information about my account, I would have too have an attorney contact him. 

I have received no response from anyone in Metro despite multiple communications with virtually every office ranging from the Metro City Council, the Mayors Office of Neighborhoods, Metro Social Services, my Congressman, my state representative. I am truly disgusted by the apathy and lack of human decency and courtesy that I have received from a city I have thought of as home for the last fourteen years. In fact, the only time I received any calls or emails from people I once respected and supported, were in reference to campaign contributions asking me to support them at upcoming events and elections.

That makes me sick. I have volunteered my time and money even when I didn't have it. I have decided to leave this place, however I don't even have enough money to do that. I do not have an address so I cannot even update my drivers license or voter registration.

I spend my nights sitting outside CyberSquatting since the temporary housing facility I have been staying at removed the modem to prevent me from filing complaints. The other residents have destroyed my property, disposed of my food and became violent with me. One came within inches of hitting me with a waffle iron simply because I asked where I could place my food since it keeps getting thrown out or moved. I have been told by instructed not to call mobile crisis since they do not want to neighbors to know that this place is really just a nut house in disguise.

My personal items including paperwork that is necessary to appeal my Social Security disability scheduled to be terminated on the 1st as well as other benefits I receive such as food stamps to help me scrape by on $606.00 per month.

I had to pay substantial fees to obtain certified documents from Court in order to verify that the account had in fact been settled, yet I still cannot find a single person to assist me in resolving this horrific situation yet even homeless prevention services is unable to assist me.

Welcome to my city: Nashville, Tennessee. You #fail

Updated July 27, 2009 8:45am

Elyssa Durant
Anytown, USA

FOR A CURRENT UPDATE: PLEASE REFER TO THIS LINK: August 30, 2009 No Hope for the Homeless in Nashville, TN

That type of desensitization is what allows people to look the other way and blame the victim. This creates a culture of silence, fear, and indifference.

Community apathy is what leaves me wondering why I am completely invisible to everyone within a 60 mile radius of my home. Not a single person seems to hear a word I am saying.

I know they hear me. I way too loud for anyone to pretend for second that they don't know who I am or why I am so sad and angry to be trapped in this big little city.

No one should be invisible, and it concerns to live in a community that has demonstrated a total lack of empathy and compassion. So yes, once again, my neighbors may hate me, blame me, or just plain pretend I don't exist. Unless, of course they need something... the simple that I don't have anything to give.

Perhaps you made a profit of the publication of this article, just as the news story I sold for $1.00 a year ago made the publishes 47 times that amount.

But I need a job. I am invisible to everyone around me until they are confronted with their own crisis.

By implying the my "problems" getting the help that I was begging for, had anything to do with psychosis, or a mental health diagnosis, you have astly underestimated me and let the world know exactly how you deal with the people who put you where you are.  People like me. And you know who I who i am so form letters,just don't fucking cut it.

I am your neighbor, your fundraiser, your neighbors, constituents, and dare I say "friends" you have shown how muxh you value my "vote and my support."

Thanks, but no thanks. That just convinces me that you are no different from all the other mediawhores who use labels to exploit those who have already been marginalized by society.

It seems to me, that the perpetrator and the witness should have to answer for there actions rather than placing the blame on me,

Is there anything I could have done to invite such a violent and personal atack in my own home? Is there anything any woman, man, or child can do that justifies years of trauma, isolation an fear?

Perhaps you should have commented on what kind of illness allows a man to watch a man use such force to put a woman of 122 lbs against the wall, his hands on a women without even lifting a finger to call 911.

Ever heard of Kitty Genovese? She was murdered as 38 people watched, yet not a single person called the police or did anything to help as she was brutally murdered in the city of New York. This is due to "Bystander Apathy" We often look to others for cues as to how to respond in a crisis.

Having been a both a witness and a victim, I decided that I would never look the other way. It would serve our communities well to adopt the same philosophy. Not only to create a more cohesive community, but a safer one as well.

When was the last time you called the police or filed a police report? We have criminalized and marginalized too many members of society. So where does it end?

I made a decision a long time that it would end with me. But if you were to ask me today, I might have a different answer.

Blaming the victim not only further stigmatized vulnerable populations, prevents witnesses and victims from coming forward to prevent and report criminal activity. It contributes to bystander apathy and prevents people from reporting crimes.

We already have enough problems putting rape victims on trial. As the editor of a publication dedicated to improving the lives of persons diagnosed with mental illness, I can see why you just went out of business. Good Riddance.

Maybe I'll start my own.

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.

Contributing Author

New York City Voices

Friday, July 24, 2009

Is There Anybody Listening?


Social Security barely covers the gas I need to get downtown, let alone the prescriptions I need to maintain some degree of sanity through this never-ending nightmare I have been living since 1995.

I would very much like to continue working as an advocate for the un and underinsured since I know how devastating and difficult it has been to go through this experience. Since many of you had me in class as a student, I am hoping—no. I am begging any of you to help me get off welfare so that I can contribute to society rather than live of your taxes.

I humbly request any assistance you may be able to provide to help me pursue my dreams of becoming an advocate and voice for people like myself who re trapped in a cycle of poverty.

I will not pretend that this experience has made me a stronger or happier person being, but it has taught what it feels like to be completely marginalized and written off by society. No one deserves to feel that way: ever!

I would like to attach a writing sample with this letter so you have a better understanding of just how devastating and incapacity such a loss can be to a young person who once had dreams, hopes, and possibly even a financially secure future.

After filing endless amounts of paperwork and appeals to anyone who would listen, I was ultimately “awarded”

$560, 000 in federal fines for ERISA violations; however, I was so devastated by the experience, I never civil that award simply because I did not feel I could relive the experience on the witness stand. Unfortunately, I now realize that swearing on a bible would not make this experience any less painful given the recurring trauma. dreams, panic I experience each day living in this world of nothingness.

Therefore, I ask of you 2 things (1) kindly recommend a very experienced and aggressive ERISA litigator who would be willing to discuss the possibility of recovering some of the penalty fees as decided by the Penna. Insurance department, and (2) if anyone world be willing to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf or even accompany me to a meeting with “Someone” in charge at Vanderbilt to negotiate the fees associated with my reapplication, I would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to begin contributing to society rather Than sucking up all the welfare resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Please call me or e-mail me if any of you are willing to take that chance. Despite my chronic depression, anxiety, and lack of social skills, I do believe that I could be a tremendous asset to the community given the chance.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter and I truly hope that I will hear back from someone who may be willing to help me move in a forward director, my heart is in the right place. I only hope that I can get to a place professionally where I can help people like myself who are merely trying to better themselves and the lives of the people around them.

Please help me find someplace I can be me.


Part II: Duplication of Benefits: Medicaid to the Rescue

Part II: Duplication of Benefits: Medicaid to the Rescue

The Application and Appeal for Disability Benefits

I remember how difficult it was for me to obtain benefits when I first applied several years ago. I am deeply concerned about how the most recent decision to eradicate yet another class of TennCare / Medicaid recipients (the Daniels class made up of SSI recipients by way of a pending federal waiver) will affect the poor and disabled residents in Tennessee. Without my current level of benefits, I simply do not function.

Before my benefits were stabilized, learning to navigate the system consumed every waking moment of my life. I was unable to work or attend school on any substantial level and I am frightened to see at might happen if I were to stray from my established, stabilized, treatment plan. If I lose my benefits, will I still be able to work? To function? To be productive?

Any new public program requires careful planning if it is to be effective. Recent discussions have not focused on the true impact these changes will have on the “street-level.”

Has anyone asked recipients how they feel the new program (safety- net) should be designed, implemented, or evaluated? How will this impact the community and other social service or welfare agencies??? I want access, quality, and outcomes. I want... I want... I want!!!

The massive number of people being disenrolled or limited in their access to medical care and other social services will no doubt create significant anxiety, confusion, and chaos for everyone involved in the social service and health care industries.

I remember when Mr. Brian Lapps was somewhere very high up on the corporate TennCare ladder in 1999 when they adjusted the prescription formulary over Memorial Day in 1999. I see Mr. Lapps quite frequently since he now works at the local gas station down the street from where I live.

To this day, he insists that cell phones and TennCare are somehow contraindicated. Perhaps he knows nothing of the population he claims to know just all-too-well... housing conditions that may or may not have electricity, broken families-some riddled with community violence and domestic disturbances. In the hood, your cell phone is your very best friend. 9-1-1.

These people plagued by domestic violence and community instability makes a cell phone the only logical option. How can you find a job with out a phone? How can you find a home with out a job? Yet even 6 years later, Mr. Lapps uses cellular phones as an example how the TennCare program is being abused by lazy, cheap, and unscrupulous second hand citizens who are just shiftless lazy bums waiting around for their next free hand-out.

Anyone who has EVER applied for or relied upon any kind of government subsidy to have their basic needs met, e.g., food, shelter, medical care, dental treatment, etc... Let me personally assure you that there has never been a single time where I felt I was “pulling one over” on the government. I am not just one of the poor saps who believed what they told me they in school, I bought it hook, line, and sinker for the mere price of $152,718.130 and not a shred of financial security to show for it.

Even after consolidating my student loans, the interest alone is $10 less than my monthly income from social security.

Tennessee is in the process of applying for yet ANOTHER federal waiver to eliminate the “Daniels” class of Medicaid recipients—the poorest and sickest of all. Social Security Recipients. Can you live on $623.00 / month? Can anyone?

So what happens now that the state of Tennessee will begin to cut off social security recipients from TennCare? I honestly do not think I can survive yet another re-certification process—God knows the first one almost killed me. After three years of appeals, my condition had deteriorated so severely that I was forced to drop out of school, lost my home, lost my sanity, and lost hope. In short—I lost my dignity and my belief in the social welfare system.

By the time my benefits were approved, I had already checked myself in to NYU Psych Ward because simply could not cope with the reality of what my life I had become. I weighed 94 pounds and suffered in excruciating pain that has only gotten worse with time. My extremities were ice cold, and my hands were numb since I went without medical treatment for the spinal injury that was first discovered when I was 22.

I am now 36 years old. My spinal cord is now damaged from years of delayed, sub-standard medical treatment. I owe the federal government $152,000 in student loans and when I am able to work, I make $10.46 / hour as a substitute teacher in an urban school district. That job comes with no security and no benefits. It does however offer the flexibility I need to receive the bi-monthly epidural injections and other procedures necessary to manage my pain and alleviate the numbness I feel because of the damage to my nerves. And even though I cannot afford the gas money to get my appointments, pay for all of my medication, or even to get back and forth to work, it does allow me a few weeks of mobility so I can drive, use my mouse or hold a pen.

I have an advanced master’s degree from an Ivy League Institution. I am eight credits shy of completing PhD in public policy. And despite maintaining a 3.83 grade point average while completing an advanced masters in social and educational policy at an, “Ivy League” institution; a 3.2 GPA during the 3 years I spent working on my doctorate at a not-quite-so-prestigious Graduate School; The Powers That Beat in that damn Ivory Tower don’t will not grant me any leniency by extending the amount or time permitted to complete my degree—a rule that was changed while I was on a formal leave of absence tending to my health (and my Medicaid appeals!). Not only did they decide 8 years was the rule instead of the 10 it had been previously, I was also told that I could not even transfer the credits I had earned toward a different degree towards another program at the same institution. It has been just over ten years since I first enrolled. What a mistake that was!

The “Harvard of the South” no longer officers the degree to which I was admitted—and enrolled so they actually suggested that I pay for a 3rd application to the school (I was admitted into two degrees—the MPP as well as the PhD program in a separate college) requiring two independent applications, fees, official transcripts, graduate test scores, even way back when I was still considered a promising candidate. Now “they” think it is reasonable to ask that I do it all over again??? It goes without saying that I do not have the financial resources available to finish my last semester, take the GREs or GMATs one more time, or even the money to release my transcripts from the Graduate School into any other program at the same University, I guess I am just shit out of luck.

To be clear, WE ARE ALL PAYING for that student debt because I can assure you that their endowment is far greater than any income or earning potential I have given my current financial status and student loan debt! To be clear, YOU ARE ALL PAYING to keep me on Welfare. Yes, all of us are paying some price... I want to work. I want to be productive. I want to be a part of something greater than myself. I want to share what I have learned.

So throughout the years I struggled to stay in school, believing somehow that social justice would prevail, and my heart and dedication towards the greater good would show through to whomever, wherever, or whatever that could make my degree worth while—the Medicaid and disability applications managed to take front seat. So as I filed appeal after appeal after appeal, I managed to acquire well over ¼ million (yes—MILLION) dollars in debt due to uninsured medical expenses and student loans. Despite having three Major Medical insurance policies, I still went bankrupt applying for Medicaid. Morally Bankrupt.

My life will never be the same. My heart will never be the same. I want to pay my bills on time. I want to get off welfare, but no one ever taught me how to be poor.

So after all this—now I face losing my healthcare once again. Where is the safety net? Where is the American Dream that I so diligently chased after for so many years? What was the point spending so much on an education that will never be utilized? I understand the how; I just don’t understand why.

Maybe one of these days Vanderbilt University or and the Department of Education will realize it might just be cheaper to hire me that harass me, because unless I find a real paying job soon, their collections department will no longer be able to reach me on that extravagant lifeline my friend, Brian Lapps, refers to as a luxury.

If anyone on your staff would like to “trade places” with me for one month-I will gladly assume his/her responsibilities for that position if you can find a writer who is willing to endure and write about the reality of social services in our fine state. I do not want a paycheck from your organization; I just want the opportunity to put the myth of freeloading welfare mother s to rest. Live in my shoes for 30 days. Can you find the out? Can you balance my budget and make it work? Can you get the bill collectors of my back? Can you afford Internet service to file state job applications and apply for services online? Can you maintain pride and dignity without feeling the least bit sorry for yourself and the choices you have made?

When I go to the pharmacy, I am humiliated that I do not have the $3.00 necessary for the co-pay on my covered TennCare prescriptions. At least when it was $40 dollars, I was not so damn embarrassed by my lack of funds.

Remind me again why I went to school. Remind me once more, why I bother to speak out. Then remind me right now that that there is somebody listening. I cannot be the only one who actually gives a crap. My contact information is listed below.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Makes Me Feel Beautiful

I was in danger of falling in love with being in love.

This love is the shallow conditional "love" I grew up with as a child. The kind of love that I came to believe was for other children. Children less difficult or better behaved than I could ever be. The kind of love that used to scare me because it was so unfamiliar.

It existed only in titles and words; is dependent upon an ideal that can never be met.

The additional danger in that for me, is that even the ideal ideal is so incredibly foreign, that I can not seem to grasp.

I needed a self worth in and of its self so that I can go into a relationship knowing that I bring as much if not more than I can take. In my loneliness, the thing I "need" and feel tempted to take, is time.

This is the time where I can find myself lost in my words, or in their absence. I find myself needing something, anything, from anyone capable of diverting my attention from the realities I would rather not see.

In my work, I can forget about everything else. I can feel strong, and I can feel whole, I can feel beautiful, and I can feel love.

You once asked me what makes me feel beautiful.

I don't know what the "right" answer was to that question, though I remember the clear
distinction of the physical, external beauty we see in magazines and soap operas, as opposed to the inner-beauty we hear of on Oprah. I told you that I feel most beautiful in the Theatre class I TA'd for last spring.

We discussed the association between beauty, knowledge, and power. And although I am unsure if I could express the sentiments at the time, I can now clearly see that sitting in front of that Theatre, I didn't need to rely on the external.

"This is what a grad student looks like" Our first acquaintance at lunch during the summer of 94. you commented how the boys would eat me up at law school. Isn't that the point.

I do not wish to compromise your peace in any way. Whether you realize this or not, 1 write these words mostly for myself, as they clearly reflect my self I have tried not to define myself through and by my relationships with others, since 1 believe that reality and identity is something that comes from within. Perhaps that is why I am so intrigued by the social context of evaluation, since it is in perpetual conflict with the belief in subjective reality.

So to learn of your incredible distaste for me, which from my understanding is quite strong, is the exact same reasons you were drawn to me in the fist place.
in the relationship we may have had at one point, and your subjective interpretation of events.

Though I need no clarification, I will not pretend as though there is no motive beneath this contact. So in the world of business where there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, you have something I need, I am willing to pay for your time, but not your love.

[note pgs 3-300 may show up someday... or maybe not]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Evolution or e-volution

Evolution or e-volution?

Shortly after the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster in New York City, I found myself reflecting on friendships and people I have lost along the way.

I turned inside myself and began journaling on a daily basis to help myself overcome the horror and isolation that comes with such an event— Friends I had gone to school with; productive members of the community... people who had accomplished so many things I had yet to do myself. So different from the I was living at the time.

The feelings were overwhelming and went far beyond fear, solitude, and I began to question my purpose in this life. Had I been just a few miles closer, heading west that day instead of east , I would have driven right into Ground Zero.

Friends circulated e-mails about form,er classmates that were presumed dead. They had families: pregnant wives, children, and all of the things that I believed I would have by the time I reached my 30’s.

I quickly realized how many of my peers had achieved at least some of the goals they set out to accomplish years earlier— and I felt pangs of guilt and sadness seeing how much they were loved, how fondly they were remembered, and how many of them were on their way to achieving great things.

By that time, I was nearing my thirtieth birthday and the list of goals I set for myself seemed hopelessly beyond my reach. Not just beyond my grasp— the future seemed ominous, scary, and it took everything I had to keep myself alive. In the months after the attack, I became increasingly aware of just how disconnected I was from my past.

Before FaceBook, there was…. One day I got one of those e-mails that makes you feel as though someone from my past was trying to contact me. I thought long and hard before I responded.

I had a mix of emotions.

I had done everything I possibly could to quietly erase any ties or connections I had to the past. Filling out the online registration for FaceBook; responding to my 20th reunion invitations; afraid to be exposed for being poor.... but then it came tome.... I am not poor, I am merely a rich person without any money.

Because I had never lived with one parent, one house, or one school any longer than a year or two at best, it was not that hard to fade away into a distant memory. I wanted to be forgotten.

The last few weeks of my life have been anything short of living moment to moment... confronted with all the crises I wanted so badly to leave behind.... yet those experiences; my fight or flight instinct carried me through.

Thank you to all who tweeted and chatted... I made it through the storm, and I am glad to know you were there with me.

I am glad to be alive today, and I look forward to attending at least one of the three possible reunions. I hope you are glad to have me.

Cheers to you all, can't wait to see y'all at the Freak Parade!


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Digital Divide Hinders Democracy

As we dive headfirst into information age, the Digital Divide is more divisive than ever before.

The addition of Whitehouse, Congressional and Regulatory websites shows us just how critical it is to be able to have your opinions heard OUTLOUD and ONLINE!

Perhaps these new additions will finally convince The Powers That Beat that there is now more than ever, the United States has an unprecedented need for equal access to internet access and social media.

We must convince local and federal authorities to provide access for the popultions in need of fair and equal access to the online information.

Contact your representatives and insist upon Open Government for all. Internet access is no longer a luxury, it is part of the democratic process.

Open Government and provide the resources for those remain silent due to the Digital Divide! Whitehouse Government Exchange - before and after Obama: