Patrick Keenan-Devlin, Democratic candidate for the 18th District House seat in Illinois, was endorsed by a number of parents of children with disabilities at a rally attended by about 30 people at Grey Park on Nov.21.
Mr. Keenan-Devlin was endorsed by Cari Levin, founder and director of Citizens for Appropriate Special Education, which advocates on behalf of children with mental and physical disabilities in Evanston.
“We are here because we care about children and adults who have special needs,” said Ms. Levin. “We want them to have more services, more programs, and, in short, more opportunities. I believe Patrick Keenan-Devlin will go to the state legislature and help our sons and daughters, our relatives and our friends who have disabilities. Patrick truly cares.”
Ms. Keenan-Devlin said he would make programs for persons with a disability a priority if he is elected to the 18th District seat.
“I am embarrassed that we are 48th, 49th, and 50th on so many issues dealing with the mentally and physically disabled,” he said at the rally.
Mr. Keenan-Devlin said programs should be provided across the spectrum and throughout the lifetime of anyone with a disability. “These programs would benefit all citizens in our state. Some estimates suggest every dollar you invest in providing for the mentally disabled saves $5 in overall costs to the state,” he said.
“Fighting for more services for the mentally ill in our state is a real priority for me,” he added.
Another speaker at the rally, Evanston attorney Rachael Gross, also endorsed Keenan-Devlin. Ms. Gross said Mr. Keenan-Devlin “has a genuine understanding of the challenges facing this population. We need a representative in Springfield who will fight for the rights of the disabled in Illinois.”