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    A Community Farewell and Future Directions

    Dear Friend of ILRCSF,
    After many years of working in the disability community of San Francisco, I have decided to move on and will be leaving ILRCSF in July. My priorities are shifting towards focusing on writing and being able to spend more time with my daughter and the rest of my family.
    Over the course of my time with ILRCSF there have been many exciting developments in the struggle for disability rights. From participating in the Occupy movement, to contesting the design of the new BART cars to improve their accessibility, to working with Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, to the current battles with Uber and Lyft around accessibility, my journey with ILRCSF has been filled with proud achievements. ILRCSF also became a community hub when we moved into our fully accessible, ground level community center made possible in partnership with Schindler Elevator   Corporation.   I would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to ILRCSF’s staff and board for their support and dedication to the community  I would like to thank our community partners including Department of Aging and Adult Services, ,the  Mayor’s Office on Disability, Department of Rehabilitation , California State Independent Living Council, and the  Administration for Community Living. Working with community partners like the Community Living Fund, Senior and Disability Action, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and our friends at OPIEU Local 29 has been a profound honor and has taught me so much about what we are capable of together. Relationships like these have allowed me to meet people every day who embody the very best of what’s possible for humanity, and I am grateful for it.
    It’s clear, however, that we are in dark times as a nation. Hearing the cries of babies along the border only strengthened my resolve to prioritize my life as a mother right now. Our children are only young once and, I feel that my most important job is as a mom. 
    The reason I have always been so passionate about Independent Living is because I truly believe that we should all have the right to ride the tides of our own lives and to heed our callings as we see fit. Too often, people with disabilities are told that our lives are less valuable, that there are things that we aren’t capable of doing. I was never “supposed” to have become the independent single mother and Executive Director that I am. But I did it anyway by refusing to allow stigma to limit me. And now I leave this era of my professional life with that same determination to ride my own tide. I know that, through the power of community and fellowship, we are all going to find the tides of our own lives. I trust ILRCSF will continue to make that dream increasingly available to people with disabilities. 
    Please come out and celebrate with me at a community gathering at our office next week:
    Date: Thursday June 28
    Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    Refreshments will be served!
    At this event, you will also have the opportunity to take a survey put out by the State Independent Living Council. The purpose of the survey is to assess the needs of the disability community. The results will help shape the direction of independent living centers statewide in the coming years. Your voice is important to the process!
    To RSVP for this event or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact Fiona Hinze at fiona@ilrcsf.org or 415-543-6222, ext. 1106  RSVP appreciated.
    I have loved working with and being a part of this community. If you want to keep in touch you can follow me at twitter.com/uppityblindmom.
    Please share this event with your network and I hope to see you next week.
    Jessie Lorenz
    Executive Director, ILRCSF


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