Biden appoints two out advocates to assist present employment for folks with disabilities / LGBTQ Nation

Gabe Cazares (left) and Chai Feldman Photo: Composite – City of Houston / EEOC

President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Gabe Cazares, Chai R. Feldblum, and two others to the US AbilityOne Board. Both Cazares and Feldblum are outside.

Cazares is currently the director of the Houston Mayor’s Office for the Disabled (MOPD). Feldblum was Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 2009 to 2018.

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The two longtime lawyers for LGBTQ and disabled people will serve five years in prison at AbilityOne, “one of the largest sources of employment for blind or severely disabled people nationwide,” announced the White House.

Cazares currently ensures that over 215,000 Houstonians with disabilities have access to resources and services in the fourth largest city in the country.

Before serving under Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner (D), Cazares worked for the National Federation of the Blind from 2015 to 2019. There he headed “the Organization’s Portfolio for Education, Technology, Immigrant Rights, LGBTQ and the Portfolio of Small Business Policy for Blind Entrepreneurs”. “As highlighted by the White House.

Cazares described himself as a “gay disabled politician” who was originally from Houston and graduated from Texas State University. He is latinx and blind.

“Most people have no first-hand experience of people with disabilities, they are all afraid of the unknown. I think the biggest struggle for people with disabilities, blind or not, is getting people with recruiting powers to watch us to see what we can put on the table, ”he told the Houston Chronicle in the year 2019 and added: “I can easily say that ‘inclusion’ means not just letting people walk through the door, but benefiting from everything that is offered to people without disabilities.”

Cazares was recognized by the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with the Rising Star Award in 2018. He was named Mayor of the Hispanic Commission of Baltimore City from 2017 to 2019.

Feldblum is most recently known for becoming the EEOC’s first outgoing commissioner after being nominated by President Barack Obama (D) in 2009. Her nomination met opposition on both sides of the aisle in Congress, which resulted in Obama delivering a passionate speech in which he stated: his stance against LGBTQ discrimination in hiring in a later speech.

Rather than simply waiting for the Senate to decide on their nominations, President Obama used his powers when Congress was on hiatus in March 2010 to officially appoint them to the EEOC. The entire Senate voted for her confirmation in December 2010 and then for a second term in 2013.

Much to the concern of LGBTQ activists in the Trump administration, Feldblum did not seek another term as EEOC commissioner in 2019 instead of facing reassurance. Senate. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed Feldblum had “radical views on marriage” and used the filibuster to keep her nomination from going forward.

“For almost nine years, Chai Feldblum has worked tirelessly with the [EEOC] uphold our nation’s civil rights laws. A seasoned attorney and civil servant passionate about equality under the law, Feldblum more than deserves to be reappointed for another term, “said David Stacy, then director of government affairs for the 2019 human rights campaign.

As a “national disability and labor law expert,” Feldblum was one of the most influential acts in drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 while serving as legislative counsel and senior lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ADA has dramatically changed the state of accessibility for disabled people in society.

Feldblum joined Georgetown University as a law professor in 1991 and stayed there until 2010. The White House noted that, while teaching prospective attorneys, Feldblum “represented nonprofit organizations, including disability rights organizations, advocating laws and regulations in support of the Goals of social justice. “

Feldblum then served on President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

The White House also proudly mentioned details about their families and personal lives in its announcement.

“He and his partner Derin Dacey live in Houston with their four-year-old rescue dog Sam,” said the Cazares White House. They stated that Feldblum “is a lesbian and has a psychiatric disability from anxiety disorders”.

The AbilityOne Commission, which works with several non-profit organizations, works to secure or benefit from employment opportunities serving the federal government. Fifteen people are on the commission, eleven people representing eleven different executive bodies of the government and four others who have been appointed “private citizens” commissioners.

“Through the AbilityOne program, people with disabilities enjoy full participation in their community and can market the skills they have acquired through AbilityOne in other public and private bodies,” says its website for the Commission.

President Biden also mentioned two other commissioner appointments, Bryan Bashin and Christina Brandt.

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