Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa

Senator Tom Harkin
Harkin Institute For Public Policy & Citizen Engagement
c/o Drake University
2429 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50311
Dear Senator Harkin,

My name is Matt Winick from Ann Arbor, Michigan and my favorite subjects history. These subjects are interesting to me because I want to learn more about how society works, learn from repeating the same mistakes, advance on Civil Rights to protect people who different like minorities, gender, people with disabilities, and people with different sexual orientation from discrimination, need to protect the environment with clean alternative energy to reduce pollution, and many others.  The main reason I’m writing you a letter is to explain on how your sponsor with supporting the ADA helped benefit me, how I like your commitment on finding ways to improve Civil Rights to reduce discrimination, and dedicating my story about my disability to you for your hard work.

Senator Harkin, when you served in the U.S. Senate, I really liked on how you sponsored the ADA to help protect people with disabilities from being discriminated in transportation, education, jobs, and public places. I appreciated on how you worked with Republican Senator Bob Dole, Republican Senator Richard Lugar, Republican Alan K. Simpson, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, Democratic Harry Reid, and Democratic Senator George Mitchell on supporting the bill with making sure that it passed the Senate and the House and even get President George H.W. Bush to support it with singing the bill into law. I read an article about the reason why you created the ADA and worked hard to get it into law and I enjoyed reading it because I liked on how you worked hard to help your brother who had a disability get assistance and to make sure that people with disabilities get protection from being discriminated.  Besides the ADA, I really liked on how you worked to help improve Civil Rights by supporting repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to help protect military troops from being discriminated on their sexual orientation, support expanding on hate crime legislation to help protect people who are different (women, minorities, people with disabilities, and people with different sexual orientation) from being targeted by a hate crime, and supporting equal pay for women to help protect them from being discriminated in pay based on gender. I really liked on how you worked with moderate Republicans on expanding on Civil Rights. Also I liked on how you worked with President George H.W. Bush and President Barack Obama on finding ways to advance on Civil Rights and to reduce discrimination.

Senator Harkin, I have Autism with a learning disability since when I was born and currently.  Having Autism with a learning disability is hard for me because I have trouble comprehending on learning different topics, have trouble with speech when communicating with other people, and sometimes I get teased about it by other people.  The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 helped benefit me to get an education and expand on Civil Rights to help protect me from being discriminated.  The ADA created accommodations like extra time on exams, have T.A. or tutors work with me completing assignments to help improve on my comprehension, have educational software including using a recorder to help me read with understanding the topic or to help improve on note-taking, and have special education including learning support services assist me on setting up accommodations or advising me on which classes I need to take. This legislation helped me get an education in elementary school through high school and it even helped me graduate from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts.   My main focus in my degree is history, government, criminal justice, some business, and some science. I plan on using what I learn with my degree is to teach history to emphasize the need to improve society including the need to have Civil Rights to reduce discrimination. Another thing is the ADA helped expand on Civil Rights protect me from being discriminated.

                  The ADA made a great difference in my life by helping me get an education by providing accommodations to help me and to be protected under Civil Rights from being discriminated.  Senator Harkin, you have really inspired me to work hard on my disability and to continue on learning different subjects.  Thanks for sponsoring the ADA and working hard to pass this bill with bipartisanship support. Another thing is I’m proud of your commitment to make Civil Rights stronger to reduce discrimination.  Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, making a great difference for people with disabilities including me, and supporting Civil Rights. I wish you well for the future and please continue being an advocate for people with disabilities.

Matt Winick

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