Do sit-ins even work?
That's a question Next posed to one of the 10 protestors arrested inside Sen. Cory Gardner's, R-Colorado, office on Thursday night.
Carrie Ann Lucas said she was cited and released because the Denver jail could not accommodate her ventilator that she has needed for 11 years because of muscular dystrophy. The other nine protestors were still in jail, waiting to be released as of 6:00 p.m. on Friday night.
Katie Wilcox, a producer for 9Wants To Know, interviewed Lucas Friday, as she waited outside of the jail for the other protestors to be released.
KW: Did you know yesterday that you might go to jail for this?
CL: We knew that from the time we went in. We knew that that's always a possibility when you're protesting and we're holding a sit-in like that, but this is too important and too critical. People's lives will be lost. People will die unnecessarily.
KW: Do you think going to jail worked?
CL: We've seen it work many times. Last night, I was arrested and I was put on an RTD bus that had a lift. I've been to jail over issues with access with RTD busses before. We know it works. It causes change. It creates change .. We're coming up, next week, on the 39th anniversary on a protest that shut down the intersection of Colfax and Broadway, for two days, to fight to get lifts on busses, on RTD busses.
That protest on July 4, 1978, is credited with helping start the American with Disabilities Act, and getting ramps on RTD busses.
ADAPT, the disability rights activists, held protests in Senate offices across the country, leading to dozens of arrests. ADAPT claims protests in the following cities:
- Washington, D.C.
- Philadelphia, PA
- Rochester, NY
- Milwaukee, WI
- Orlando, FL
- Indianapolis, IN
- Portland, ME
- El Paso, TX
- Fairbanks, AK
- Reno, NV
- Little Rock, AR
- Jackson, MS
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Baton Rouge, LA
On Friday, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, sent ADAPT a letter responding to their concerns.
"We have deep concerns about the Senate bill and have asked Senators Gardner and Bennet to vote against this bill. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing estimates that, when fully implemented, this bill would cut $1.5 billion annually from our Medicaid budget. Cuts of this size would force the state to make impossible decisions about the types of benefits we can offer or who will be eligible for them."
There was no explanation in the letter as to why, but Democrats in Colorado have long defended Medicaid funding for Coloradans. Republicans in the state have often wanted to roll back funding during budget negotiations.