Rally participants gather on State Street.
Lena Garcia

Calling for a 10 percent increase to California’s developmental disability services, a large gathering of Santa Barbarans marched from Alameda Park down State Street on Thursday. They carried handmade signs reading, “PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MATTER” and “SERVICES MATTER” and chanted slogans imploring Governor Jerry Brown to honor the 1977 Lanterman Act, which guarantees quality of life services to people with developmental disabilities, and to delegate increased funding to those services in the state budget during the legislature’s September 11 special session.

The rally — planned by Jennifer Griffin, Resource Coordinator for the Family First Program at the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara — united the Tri-Counties Regional Center and the Alpha Resource Center.

Many families, including Cherise Dunham and her son, Hunter, joined in the rally because such programs are vital to Hunter’s quality of life. As Cherise said, “How would Hunter receiving limited services help him achieve independence in the community?”

Supervisor Salud Carbajal and representatives from Assemblymember Das Williams and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s offices voiced their continued support for the Lanterman Act at Alameda Park.


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