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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IMPRUVE Paratransit People's Movement Assembly Raising Funds for Late Spring Rally in Washington DC

IMPRUVE is working with Disability Activists, Transit Advocates, Paratransit Riders, Green Think Tank for the Disability Community and Business Community to Take Declaration for Transit Freedom and Justice and National Issues of Paratransit Riders to Washington in 2011

Green Think Tank for the Disability Community invites you to support this initiative of IMPRUVE by donating, purchasing their snacks, engaging in their grab bags, bidding on Silent Auction items, attending their fundraisers, or joining them when travel to D.C. Another way to help is to invest in the Soular Car Project, attend Meetups and teleconferences. The Soular Car Project will benefit persons who are disabled, seniors, Baby Boomers, small nonprofits, persons of low or moderate income who need affordable, green alternative transportation or sustainable green jobs or businesses.

Although 20% of the U.S. population is disabled, 644,000 in Chicago and 42,000 in Illinois ride paratransit, a population of which just over 30% are employed, of which most have low income and have health issues from eating unhealthy or ingesting chemicals from the environment in public facilities and vehicles that still use diesel and other carbon fuels, we strive to introduce them to healthier alternatives and greener choices (organic, vegan, or products that have less impact on the environment) to potato chips, sugar-loaded cereal bars, conventional candy, donuts, processed foods, chemical cleaners and cosmetics, and foods laden with pesticides or that promote acidic or disease state in the body.

Moreover, IMPRUVE and BNICEH are members of The Green Think Tank for the Disability Community, which works to get solar-powered vehicles at affordable low cost to persons who are disabled, and help persons who are disabled create dealerships to sell or lease such vehicles to gain sustainable income and reduce tehir reliance on inadequate though appreciated disability benefits.
Persons who are disabled are an underutilized resource in this country. We shop, eat, attend events just as other Americans, maybe not as often due to our disposable income being lower and some events not being accessibel or transportation not always available or accessible, but nationally, we represent a good target market for those who have healthier options to conventional product lines.

Yet, most targeted marketing to us seems to be for prescription drugs, candy bars (which by the way are at the checkout counter at wheelchair level though no healthy snacks are), durable medical equipment, and incontinence supplies. We need an alternate transit that is affordable, reliable, green, safe and reduces our carbon footprint. We contribute much to carbon emissions due to our great use of electrical appliances to power our equipment, carbon-based home products, and use of products creted from non-renewable or non-recyclable materials. We need to reduce this. IMPRUVE plans to run or help run a green paratransit. It would help the environment, provide a needed service and put people whom noone else is hiring too often, to work in sustainable jobs.

IMPRUVE (Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality) has never stopped working since 2000 on behalf of paratransit riders. IMPRUVE is diverse in terms of disabilities, cultural or ethnic groups and age. Our motto: "Like an oak we yield, but do not break."

We sponsor health seminars and participate in green events semi-annually. BNICEH is parent company of IMPRUVE and is health-oriented, sponsors events where organic food and healthy snacks are served, and promotes businesses that offer alternate health-oriented products and services. IMPRUVE is the Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality.

BNICEH is Black Network in Children's Emotional Health, which is a state-chartered nonprofit, though not 501(c)(3). We feel the $1000 that we don't have for 501(c)(3) is a little steep for us just not to pay taxes or just to qualify for certain grants. We meet with and talk to our public officials and rally for their support as often as we need to on behalf of youth, people who are disabled, paratransit riders and green initiatives. Although most of them have all but abandoned us at the state level, we are looking at the candidacy of certain green and Independent candidates and candidates from other parties for the bipartisan mayor's race and aldermanic races in Chicago. With the exception of a few, most have not been kind or receptive to paratransit riders, choosing to push our needs and requests to the bottomless pit of "committee procrastination" or as in the case of state legislators--meet with us after many requests, promise to help, only to abandon us soon after.

We do not charge for our advocacy services even though we receive no major funding and receive no nest eggs from those we have helped. We raise 90% or more of our funds from among persons who are disabled and have low income. We are a self-help group mainly. Though we rely on membership dues for part of our daily expense, most do not pay dues or are delinquent in dues. We need to raise funds to get to DC to rally on behalf of paratransit riders for an affordable paratransit and a rider-owned Green Paratransit, which would allow those who have asthma, environmental illness and chemical sensitivity to ride and be able to afford the ride without sacrificing food, medical or utility costs.

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