Today we went to a town hall with Elizabeth Warren. She is my favorite candidate at the moment, so I was excited when I heard she was coming to Rock Hill! The rally was at Clinton College, so we assumed it would be in the auditorium there.
When we arrived, we were directed to the “ADA table” to learn where we could park and sit. We ended up having to park against a sidewalk as it was the only place that had enough room for the ramp to come down. When we checked in, we were shocked to learn that on this 90+ degree day, the event would be outside!
Brad and Hestia are both very heat sensitive, so if we had known it was outside, we would have brought cooling vests, applied sunscreen, and brought plenty of water. Apparently it was a last minute decision to move it outside due to the overwhelming number of RSVPs.
They did have an “ADA section” for people with disabilities, but there were no chairs on the ends available and I wanted to sit next to Brad. So we grabbed a chair and found a spot right next to the ADA section that had a tiny sliver of shade and set up camp. We were soon joined by other people with disabilities either bringing chairs over, or who had brought their own foldable chairs.
Eventually they let the rest of the crowd in, and it was a standing crowd. You would think that the people standing would see a bunch of people in wheelchairs, with walkers, etc sitting down and wouldn’t stand in front of them. Nope! Several times I had to get up and ask people to move because they were standing directly in front of Brad! (Brad says this is normal, which is why he’s not sure he wants to go back to Charlotte’s Pride parade.)
While waiting, we were recognized by a fellow Facebooker! That was pretty cool! We enjoyed talking with her– her daughter has a service dog and she had contacted us around a year ago.
One woman stopped by and saw Hestia panting and offered her some of her own water! It was super nice, and Hestia was glad to have a drink. I put the rest of the water I had cupped in my hands on Hestia’s head to keep her cool.
After about 2 hours of waiting, the event started! When it started, yet more people came and stood in front of the ADA section! I got a little annoyed having to ask people to please not stand in front of all the people in wheelchairs and walkers and so on– seriously do people not have eyes?!
It was overall a really good event. Warren told us her life story, and her main goals and plans if she were to become president. She was very relatable, and she made a lot of sense. I liked that she had thought through all these issues and had detailed ideas about how to make things work.
One thing that I hadn’t heard before is that with the 2 cent tax on people who earn more than $50 million a year, she plans to raise disability payments by $200 a month! That would be so awesome! She plans to do a whole lot of other things with that money, too, but I just hadn’t heard the disability thing before– most candidates kind of forget about people with disabilities.
After Warren said her bit, it was question time! Brad had a question prepared and was really excited to ask it! But then they brought out a box with raffle tickets in it and said they’d draw questions from the box! Turns out that the people at the regular entrance got raffle tickets if they had a question they wanted to ask. The ADA entrance didn’t have the raffle tickets available, so there was no way that someone with a disability was going to get to ask a question. Not cool!
As an aside, I did tell the Warren campaign about this accessibility fail and also about needing to be told the event was outside! It’s often a lot of new volunteers who do most of the event stuff, so they need to be told if they’re going to learn.
We decided not to stay for a selfie, as we were both overheated and overtired. But we did need to stop by Walmart on the way home to get some chicken for Ollie.
I gave Hestia a chance to potty before going into the store, but she refused. Once we were in the store, I could tell she suddenly needed to use the bathroom! So I left Brad with the cart and took Hestia outside where she pooped. Luckily I got back inside just as Brad had reached the cashier, so I was able to unload the cart onto the belt and everything.
We are happy to be home, and only a little bit sunburnt! Brad and I got some pictures, of course! I have long brown curly hair and am wearing my red sugar skulls dress. Hestia is a small black and white dog with a smushed nose wearing a red vest. Brad is in a power chair and is wearing white linen pants, a light bluish-green shirt, a blue wave tie, a white blazer with a silver seahorse brooch, and a blue plaid hat.