Dear Governor Elect Barnes,

Congratulations on you appointment to such an honorable office. I am writing to you today to remind you of your promise to support the alternative to institutions campaign that the advocates of person's with disabilities in Ga support to unlock the waiting lists of individuals waitibng for community based support.

Now is a very strange time in our nation and state as far as Long Term Care is concerned for both the elderly and Disabled communities. With Newt's introduction of MiCASA HR2020, long term care in our nation has come the forefront of litigation. You have the power of the current DMA budget which has a write-in supporting the effort to switch bias of institutions over community based services. We ask that you support this write-in so that the Waiver programs increase in scope and help many others like myself living with disability everyday.

With the budget up for introspection, the big question remains- Will we continue to support nursing home death in this state and country? or are we willing to look for alternatives that might rectify the current budget problems as well as empower those, whom the services were created for in the first place; to freedom, oppurtunity, and choice?

In Ga the one alternative that exists beyond institutional care for persons with high level disabiltiy between the age of 21 and 65, is the Independent Care Waiver Program. Though, still as yet unbugged of a few curiousities, hence the age limitation, it is still a pioneering effort into consumer directed tailored options support. And though still not fully embellished with the Independent Living Philosophy, the waiver program finances and allows individuals like myself with very high level injury to have the right to decide every aspect and control every decision about everything in their lives.

This is a truly grand concept and one much needed. Persons with disabilities neither choose nor wish disability upon themselves. It simply happens and when it happens those who are forced to succumb to its terms should be empowered to live life in the fullest capacity that they can, not condemned to instituitions, nursing homes, or personal care facilities. Those people who live it and feel it everyday, do not wish to be prisoners of fate and deathrow inmates in nursing institutions. They like me want freedom of choice and option to lead a passionate and inspired life.

I serve on the Long Term Care Advisory Board for the State and would be glad to meet wiith you on any of these issues. We meet once so often to decide on the intricacies of the Independent Care Waiver Program, the Independent Living philosophies and realities, and the providers role in it all.

As a person with a disabiliy and direct sonsumer of the ICWP, I am example of what choice can do a person's life. We must make sure that any alternative to institutionalization that comes into being, be woven from the fabric of the Independent Livig Philosophy or otherwise it will not serve the concerns of the population for which it was created to serve. Please support MiCASA HR2020 and HB512 the time is now...

Thank You

Zen Garcia