Remove Senator Richard Pan from CA Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs

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**Update**

This petition to replace Senator Richard Pan as the CA State Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs was created on March 25th. Magically, on March 28th, Senator Pan received an 'award' from EasterSeals for his 'advocacy' on behalf of people with special needs. He also started using the hashtag 'special needs.'  We assume this was offered up as some sort of proof of his commitment and care for children with special needs. We aren't buying what you're selling, Senator Pan.

Yesterday, March 30th, Senator Pan's office released a flyer giving notice of a public hearing of the Select Committee on Children with Special Needs with it's mission being Family Engagement. We find this curious that just 5 days before, his intern reported that no meeting was on the calendar at least through September of this year. Although a meeting is exactly what we want, this new development is little consolation for parents of children with special needs, as it is set for THIS Monday, April 3rd. If Senator Pan was truly in touch with California parents of children with special needs, he might understand just how difficult it is for these parents to attend such a meeting with no appreciable notice.  It begs the question: does he really want parents in attendance or is this another fake prop, much like the EasterSeals 'award,' to build the illusion that he is committed to caring for children with special needs?

California's children with special needs and their families deserve better. They deserve better than a public servant who operates from a reactionary perspective when pressed to the fire. 36 YEARS! That is the average life expectancy of a child diagnosed with autism. Almost 2 years have passed with no real action from Senator Pan as the chair of this Select Committee. Stop the charade and appoint a Chair who will act responsibly on this issue! Time is running out - California's children with special needs are depending on responsible, proactive leadership NOW!

(Visit this link for screenshots of Senator Pan's EasterSeals 'award,' the email from his intern, and the Select Committee meeting announcement: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212641322406666&id=1193404768 )

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In the Fall of 2015, Senator Kevin De Leon appointed Senator Richard Pan as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs.  Since that time, the Select Committee has had TWO informational meetings (12/1/15 and 4/5/16).

Senator Richard Pan has proven time and time again that he is no advocate for children with special needs in California.  He repeatedly refuses to meet with his own constituents, let alone California residents outside of his constituency, to discuss issues related to children with special needs.  He holds private town hall meetings where only those who hold the 'golden ticket' are permitted to attend. His staffers are defensive and discourteous to California voters who call his office hoping to get answers.

The last straw!  On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, a study was released in the American Journal of Public Health that says children with autism are 40 times more likely to die from injury!  It goes on to say that people diagnosed with autism die at an average age of just 36! (Life expectancy for the average person is 72)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/health/autism-injury-deaths-study/index.html

http://ajph.aphapublications. org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2017. 3036

The situation in California has reached critical mass and word from Senator Pan's office is that the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs has no plans to meet, at least through September of this year!  That is 17 months of inactivity from this Select Committee!  Our children deserve better!  Senator Kevin De Leon should act swiftly to appoint a new chair to this committee.  One who will conduct himself with integrity and concern for our children.  One who responsively engages with his constituents ,and beyond, to find REAL solutions for California's children.

Our requests are simple:

1)Replace Senator Richard Pan as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs.

2)Schedule a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs ASAP - one in which concerned parents can participate.



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