We’re Back, with Trophies!

After a brief hiatus, Peer Action Alliance is back online at www.peeractionalliance.com.

Here are a few recent accomplishments:

  • The former Executive Director of Disability Network Blue Water Center for Independent Living (BWCIL) in Port Huron who tried to extort $75,000 from consumers has left or been removed from his position.
  • A convicted embezzler who was serving as the accountant for BWCIL and the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) was apprehended and is currently facing new charges of embezzlement.
  • Three SILC Council members were removed from their posts for exceeding their term limits.
  • The federal government informed the SILC that it cannot use its shell corporation to avoid its responsibilities under FOIA and the Open Meetings Act.
  • The former Executive Director of Disability Network West Michigan, which threatened us repeatedly, has left or been removed from her position. Unfortunately, the new Executive Director has chosen the same path and we continue to be excluded from the design and delivery of Independent Living services in Muskegon.
  • The former Executive Director of the SILC has fled to a civil service position within state government. Unfortunately, he will still be able to wreak significant havoc from his new position overseeing Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living at the state level.

We still have significant work to do. We must reform Michigan’s 15 Centers for Independent Living by:

  • Restoring consumer control and making sure every Michigan CIL is closely connected to and driven by the advocacy priorities identified by local disability communities, which are incredibly diverse.
  • Bringing Michigan CILs into full compliance with state and federal law, as well as all taxpayer-funded contract requirements and internal policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that every Michigan Center for Independent Living is providing Independent Living Plans and the core services required by law, specifically Individual and Systems Advocacy, Peer Support, and Independent Living Skills Training.
  • Educating Michigan CIL staff and board members on Independent Living history and philosophy, as well as state and federal law relating to America’s Independent Living Program.
  • Implementing affirmative action policies as required by federal law.
  • Ensuring that all Michigan CIL board meetings are open to the public.
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