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Craig should not be removed

Blane N. Beckwith
Thursday August 23, 2001


I vehemently protest the removal of Ms. Karen Craig from the Commission on Disability. This action is both highly unfair and totally unwarranted, and smacks of political cronyism. I am appalled at the type of “machine politics” both Councilmember Linda Maio and Councilmember Dona Spring engaged in to plot Karen’s ouster. 

Karen Craig is one of the strongest, and most caring advocates for the disability community this city has ever seen. We disabled here in Berkeley have benefitted greatly from her strong voice and actions, and can ill afford to lose her. Ms. Maio's actions will weaken the strong and effective Commission on Disability and adversely affect the community it represents. 

It is no secret that Ms. Spring and Karen Craig have an adversarial relationship. Ms. Spring apparently feels, although mistakenly, her voice and opinions are the only ones that have credence. Karen Craig has rightfully countered Ms. Spring on these issues. Ms. Spring feels her self-appointed “authority” as “the voice” of the disability community on council is somehow threatened by Karen’s strength and advocacy. By dismissing Karen Craig from the COD, Ms. Maio is allowing herself to be used by Ms. Spring to do something she cannot do alone, eliminate a person she perceives as a threat. 

Councilmember Spring’s machinations against Karen is no surprise to me, or many others in the disability community. What is a surprise is Ms. Maio's willingness, perhaps even eagerness in allowing herself to be manipulated in such a way. I strongly suggest Ms. Maio reconsider her misguided and damaging actions, and reinstate Karen Craig to the Commission on Disability. 

Blane N. Beckwith