FRAMINGHAM – In behalf of the staff of the MetroWest Center for Independent Living in Framingham, I am writing to repudiate the recent remarks of Democratic Committee chair Michael Hugo, equating the very existence of a child born with physical and cognitive disabilities with an unwelcome burden to the local school system and taxpayers.
When our center moved recently, the first thing our late Executive Director Paul Spooner did was to have pictures illustrating the Civil Rights struggles and history of the independent living movement hung in a prominent spot. He was concerned that following generations might not connect with the efforts of the movement’s “dinosaurs”, as he called them, and would not respond forcefully enough if those hard-won achievements were ever threatened.
If such comments as Mr. Hugo’s were allowed to stand unopposed, such a day would have arrived. It was gratifying to read the timely and heartfelt responses from Rep. Souza, Mr. Dunne & Ms. Tully Stoll, when unexpectedly confronted with this shocking statement.
As part of his apology, Mr. Hugo stated that his comments “did not accurately reflect the meaning of what I was trying to say”.
I believe the disability community in Framingham would very much like to know exactly what he was trying to say – or do they know already!
MetroWest Center for Independent Living