Letter to the editor: Battle for the Capitol
I read "Ballard Big Picture: Battle for the Capitol with interest since I was there.
With so many people at the capitol building it was nothing short of, "reindeer luck" that allowed reporter Greg McMorkle to find anyone from Ballard. I thought the article was well written, and considering
the chaos, he did a good job of getting a story related to this area.
Unfortunately, with all that was going on, he only got one side of the controversy surrounding the
closures of the RHCs (Resident's Rehabitation Centers). Our state has people of many abilities, and varied talents. We have a spectrum from Bill Gates Jr., to a newborn child. Within that spectrum, we have people of varied abilities and talents within the Developmentally Delayed population. Kyle Matheson is obviously well
suited to speaking to his end of the issue. His arguments make sense for people like him, who fit into the community were well.
There are others who can live in the community with a little help, and at the far other end, people with the abilities of a small child, who has not yet learned language, and cannot care of itself. We have adults in the same situation. They cannot speak, cannot learn to read or write, or work, or often lift their head. It is just as heartless to send these people out into the community as it would be to send out the babies.
Our state constitution states, in part, "ARTICLE XIII, State Institutions SECTION 1 Educational, Reformatory, and Penal Institutions Educational, Reformatory, and Penal Institutions; those for the benefit of youth who are blind or deaf or otherwise disabled; for persons who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled; and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law."
I say, let those who can live safely in the community do so, and those who need the protection of the RHC's live there.