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ADAPT of Southwestern Pennsylvania Encounters Al Gore on the Campaign Trail in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA, September 4, 2000

ADAPT of SWPA went out to Point State Park in Pittsburgh PA to remind Al Gore of his committment to ADAPT on the campaign trail. About 10 ADAPTer's got to the front row to the side of the stage. We had photographer Tom Olin with us for these great photos to show off.

Kathleen Kleinmann makes ADAPT's signs Kyle Glozier and 
Kathleen make ADAPT signs

Jim, Laura, and Kyle, Jason, and Nigel Glozier ADAPT waits for Al Gore

We got Al Gore's attention when he first got up on stage. We were shouting Free Our People and held up signs "Reform Long Term Care NOW!" He gave us a long stare, gave us a two thumbs up sign, nodded "yes", then flashed "I Love You" in sign language to us (not photographed).

ADAPT waits for AL Gore AL Gore reads ADAPT Posters

Al Gore give nods and thumbs up to ADAPT 
Al Gore points to ADAPT and Posters

He gave the regular speech about his standard platform stuff. And finally, he pointed to ADAPT. Gore then very loudly and with a bit of drama, read the signs that we were holding "Reform Long Term Care -- Free Our People NOW" for the crowd. Gore then launched into a description of "the working families of America" who provide care to elderly family members with disabilities 24 hours 7 days per week without help. He described how people with disabilities and the elderly seek to stay out of institutions and need the help. He said we must reform long term care as the signs said (he continued to point to us) and that the time to do it was now when the Federal government has a surplus. He said that we should use that surplus to help working Americans rather than give a tax break to the rich. And, "Reforming long term care was the right thing to do."

Al Gore explains Reforming Long Term Care 
Jessie Jackson and Pittsburgh Mayor Murphy look to ADAPT

The others on the platform, including Jessie Jackson and every high ranking democrate in SWPA, looked startled and turned to see who Gore was directing the crowd to. It was obvious that Al Gore was departing from his prepared speech and giving an improptu insert.

 Al Gore listen
 to Kathleen Al Gore Listens
 to Kyle Glozier's Communication Device

Later, Al Gore made the rounds to shake hands with the folks in the front row. When he got to us, we grabbed his hand and didn't let go until we made him hear our message. I told him to continue to include the issue of reforming long term care in his speeches as he campaigns across the country and he said "I did today and I will".

 Al Gore listen to Kyle Gozier Kyle 
Glozier's holds tightly to Al Gore's arm

Kyle Glozier held tight to Gore and played a portion of his speech from the Democratic National Convention. Gore placed his head right up against the communication device to listen (twice):

"I challenge the Democratic Party to work with people with disabilities, and future leaders like myself to reform the long term care system, pass MiCASSA, and FREE OUR PEOPLE."

Kyle Glozier talks
 to Mayor Murphy  Trolly
Ride Home

I think that we got our message through to Al Gore today. It was clear that when we are there to remind him at least, the issue of reforming long term was something he was prepared to speak about. I guess that means we have to continue our practice of being there to remind him to "Free Our People!"

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Modified: Monday, September 4, 2000

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