Mayoral Policy on Proclamation on 504 Sit-In

Proclamation of the City and County of San Francisco

WHEREAS: April 2007 marks the 30th Anniversary of the landmark historic 504 Sit-In for Disability Civil Rights in the former offices of Health Education and Welfare at the Federal Building, 50 U.N. Plaza; and

WHEREAS: over one hundred persons with disabilities and their supporters occupied the HEW offices in San Francisco for 26 days, and hundreds of persons with disabilities and their supporters demonstrated outside during this entire period; and

WHEREAS this demonstration successfully forced the passage of regulations implementing Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act; and

WHEREAS: Section 504 mandated that no program receiving any funds from the Federal government could deny access, services, or employment to someone solely on the basis of their disability, and

WHEREAS: Section 504 was the first piece of disability civil rights legislation ever enacted, and

WHEREAS: The sit-in attracted national attention and forged a new sense of solidarity and pride in the disability rights community; and

WHEREAS: demonstrators in ten other cities, including Washington DC, were denied food, water, life-sustaining medications, and all contact with the outside world, and were forced out within the first 28 hours; and

WHEREAS: The City of San Francisco takes pride in the fact that the demonstrators here received critical support from local, state and Federal officials and legislators, as well as from community groups as diverse as Safeway, the Black Panthers, Delancy Street, the Central Labor Council, Glide Memorial Church, the San Francisco Council of Churches, the National Organization for Women, and the NAACP, which supported and sustained the demonstrators during this time; and

WHEREAS: The City of San Francisco takes pride in the important role that the City and that Mayor George Moscone in particular, played in officially supporting the demonstrators and the cause for which they were demonstrating; and

WHEREAS: Mayor George Moscone acted as an important buffer between the demonstrators and the Federal Government, which was seeking ways to have the demonstrators removed; and

WHEREAS: On April 28 1977, HEW Secretary Joseph Califano signed the Regulations implementing Section 504; and

WHEREAS: This demonstration effectively signaled the birth of the modern movement for disability rights; and

WHEREAS: The regulations implementing Section 504 became the model for Regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as the model and inspiration for other disability rights laws implemented across the United States and eventually worldwide; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that, I, Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, in honor of the courage and determination of the disabled demonstrators and their supporters who ushered in the modern era of Disability Rights., do hereby proclaim April 20, 2007 as&

Section 504 Disability Rights Day

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City and County of San Francisco to be affixed.

Gavin Newsom