Stepping up
Good reads
The 29 States Where You Can Still Be Fired For Being Gay
The Huffington Post

The recent decision of Apple CEO Tim Cook to come out refocuses attention on the 29 states of the Union that still tolerate hiring and firing on the basis of sexual orientation.
Bad Credit? Big Problem
The New York Times  
I've filed a bill to prevent employers from running credit checks on job applicants.  U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading the charge for similar legislation at the federal level.  The New York Times is urging action.
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Dear Friend,

Judging from the tone of conversation around the State House, I can tell you Democratic State Senators are optimistic about finding common ground with the incoming Republican Governor.  No one wants -- or expects -- Washington-style gridlock.  

I look to the new Executive team to set out, and soon, several broad themes that mark a departure from the Patrick Administration.  I don't pretend to know exactly what these themes will be.  We'll start hearing specific proposals, too, some of which will reinforce a pleasing note of bipartisanship, and others of which will be all about philosophical differences and new plans.  All of this is going be interesting; much of it, worthwhile.









Sen. Mike Barrett

Big win for disabilities rights at Fenway
In late October, Gov. Patrick signed three major disabilities bills into law at Fenway Park.  In addition to Real Lives, which kept me busy, the Governor put his signature on a bill to expand Dept. of Developmental Services eligibility for people with autism and on one to strengthen background checks on people who work with individuals with disabilities.
Prospect Hill Community Center opens
Dropped by the grand opening of the Prospect Hill Community Center in Waltham.  Kids who live at Prospect Hill will be able to go there for homework help from Bentley and Brandeis students.  The center will also offer classes ranging from English lessons for adults to computer skills. 
Partners for Youth with Disabilities brunch
Recently, Partners for Youth with Disabilities put on a career workshop for some terrific young people.  Career bingo and brunch included.