Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton commended Orlando’s strength after the Pulse shooting and addressed her plan to better serve people with disabilities at a campaign rally on Wednesday.
Clinton took the stage at the Frontline Outreach and Youth Center in Orlando before a crowd of about 300 people.
“It’s great to be back in this wonderful city,” Clinton said. “Orlando has been through a lot this year. You showed the world what Orlando is made of: strength, love and kindness. This is something we could all use more of right now.”
With the “Stronger Together” slogan directly behind her and the words “Inclusive Economy” to her left, Clinton elaborated on a plan to “give more Americans with disabilities the chance to work alongside those without disabilities with the same pay.”
Clinton pointed out that much of what she hears from advocates for Americans with disabilities in the workplace is that the pay gap must disappear.
“We don’t want pity. We want paychecks and a chance,” said Clinton, quoting an advocate.
She stressed that even if people think they do not know someone with a disability, they are wrong. More than 56 million Americans have disabilities, according to Respect Ability.
“First, we are going to focus on jobs and incomes,” said Clinton regarding her plan. “People with disabilities shouldn’t be isolated. They should be given the chance to work. Second, we are going to work with our colleges and universities to make them more accessible to people with disabilities. If we want to fix our economy, we need a truly inclusive education system. For too long, accessibility has been an afterthought. Let’s make it a priority.”
Clinton also spoke about the ongoing issues regarding police, including racial profiling and unjustified killings by police officers.
“Every day, police officers across our country are serving with extraordinary courage, honor and skill,” Clinton said. “We saw that again this weekend. I’ve spoken to many police chiefs and law enforcement leaders who are as deeply concerned as I am – and deeply committed as I am – to reform. Why? Because they know it is essential for the safety of our communities and our officers. We are safer when communities respect the police and police respect the communities. Too many people have lost their lives who shouldn’t have.”
Clinton said that unification does not result from separation or “tearing each other apart.”
“We know we are stronger together,” Clinton said. “We believe in equality and dignity for all and when we fall short, we strive to do better. Not to blame a scapegoat, but to improve ourselves to become that more perfect union that our founders hoped for. This election is a chance for us to move still closer to that goal, to make sure everyone can contribute to a growing and prospering America. To say loudly and clearly in this country, ‘no one’s worthless, no one’s less than.’ We‘re all of value.”
Tiffany Namey, president of the Orange County Democratic Disability Caucus, said she originally voted for Bernie Sanders, but now does not question her support for Clinton.
“I believe she will lead us with a plan; she will lead us with direction,” Namey said. “I believe she is breaking yet another glass ceiling, and I think she will set up a country where everyone can continue to move forward and succeed. I am in a much better place than when Bush was the president…. We are in a much better place than when we were in the end of President Obama’s first term as president, and I believe at the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term as president, we will be in a much better place.”
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer echoed Clinton’s words about Orlando’s resolve after the Pulse tragedy.
“Orlando, like America, is not the type of place to give up or to give in to those who seek to do harm to us,” Dyer said.