Jodi James October 12, 2006 Statement to ICOIL

A call for the end of corruption and true empowerment of people with disabilities.

Watch October 12, 2006 Video and the October 2009 Public Hearing Video
To see that not much has changed in the past three years... or as Jodi attests here the last seven years.

"I have seen a changing of the guard, but, strangely, not a change in how they run things."

Jodi James

"What is the mechanism whereby this is happening and how do we get these gears to stop? The only way I know how is through the truth. I plan on continuing to work on the council to complete my agenda, that of fighting to keep the Indiana SILC the way I want it to be, one that will fight for and empower people with disabilities, not run them off because they are not biased and choose to be led by the truth."

Statement of the Chair

I, Jodi James, am still the chair of the Indiana Council on Independent Living. The reasons for this being the following: The meeting on September 13th that had been advertised as an official monthly meeting of ICOIL was cancelled. I notified all ICOIL council members of this cancellation on August 22nd, 2006 via email. I had the authority to make this decision per the by-laws which were passed by the council on June 14, 2006. These by-laws allow the chair to set regularly scheduled meetings (Article V, Section 2) and “In general, have all the powers and perform all the duties normally incident to the office of Chair or President.” (Article VI, Section 8, 11)

There is nothing in the by-laws which says that the Chair cannot make this type of decision.

The reason for this decision was based on the fact that 4 out of 5 Executive Committee members stated that they would not be able to attend the meeting on the 13th. Since the business of that day would include the nomination of council members for officers for election, I felt it was vital that the leadership of the council be present. There is no policy, nor nothing in the by-laws that states that if we have a quorum, we must hold a meeting.

I waited several days after notifying council members and Nancy Young, and, not seeing any action taken on the website, I emailed the FSSA webmaster and asked that they mark this meeting as cancelled. However, since there were objections raised by many council members to my decision, I called an Executive Committee meeting for September 1, 2006. At this meeting, it was moved and approved to reschedule the September monthly meeting of ICOIL to Friday, September 22, 2006. This was done after asking for input from members of the public who attended this meeting, including two other council members. Once again, notice was sent out to council members via email and notice was placed on the FSSA website.

The meeting on the 13th was futher invalid because there was no notice that it was occuring, therefore violating Open Door Law. There were no certified interpreters present at the meeting, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Since the gathering of ICOIL members on the 13th was not an official meeting for the reasons stated above, any motions made and/or approved at it are not and should not be considered valid.

We have had a council member make repeated requests for an audio loop and still it is not available. Apparently the DSU is not able to purchase it? Teresa, are you going to be able to participate in this meeting with what has been provided for you?

As to the motion to have the chair and secretary removed from office, I would like to address it even though it is not valid because I think it speaks to the problems that this council has had for years, and perhaps its lifetime. Those of you who are new to ICOIL, please listen to my words from experience. Unfortunately, in my 4 years with the council, this is how business has been done. The eerie part is that the people who once rallied against this behavior are now the ones participating in it. I have seen a changing of the guard, but, strangely, not a change in how they run things. I have seen that if certain people don’t like the way you do things, that being to run the SILC the way it should be run, they try to run you out by demeaning you and making your life hell.

Look at the example of Ramona Harvey who was elected to be your secretary. I notice that all the complaints about her minutes have to do with length, I have heard no mention of their accuracy. And when she asked repeatedly for assistance and comments from council members as to what to remove from the minutes, she received nothing but disparaging, disrespectful comments. Some of you would not have known that because they were sent to her via email.

I can think of four other people off the top of my head to whom this has happened just in my 4 years here. What is the mechanism whereby this is happening and how do we get these gears to stop? The only way I know how is through the truth. I plan on continuing to work on the council to complete my agenda, that of fighting to keep the Indiana SILC the way I want it to be, one that will fight for and empower people with disabilities, not run them off because they are not biased and choose to be led by the truth.

I ask those of you who are new to please think about why you chose to vote yes to this motion. Was it because you saw that I did something bad? Or was it because someone told you I did something bad? I demand to see evidence that shows what I did to deserve my name to be associated with the words “breach of ethics”, “misconduct”, and “dereliction of duty of office.”

Think about whether you voted yes to this motion because you saw evidence of this, or because you were told that evidence existed. I hope that, like me, you will demand to see that evidence so that you can make an informed decision.

After all, that is what the Independent Living movement is all about, having the choice and the information available to make the right decision. If, after having that evidence, you still wish to approve this motion, then I must accept that. However, I will not let this council run business as usual by bullying people into making a vote or a decision based on untruths, disrespect and demeaning people who want nothing more than to see this council run like it is supposed to. It must and it will stop here!

Therefore, having said all of that, I hereby declare that the gathering on the 13th is null and void and that I am still the chair of ICOIL. We will take nominations from the floor next month and have a proper and valid election in December. This will allow for a stable set of officers to be in place after the changing of the State Plan in October.

Now, I would like to allow Ramona Harvey time to read a statement she has prepared.


UPDATE 11-27-2009 - Neither Jodi James or Ramona Harvey have ever been provided with any evidence to justify the slanderous allegations against them. The council violated Jodi and Ramona's rights by denying them due process. Jodi James died not knowing what she did to warrant the slander of her good name, other then act as a responsible chair in accordance with the bylaws. Jodi James spoke the truth about the council until the day she died, but sadly corruption continues...

Jodi had planned to be at the October 2009 State Plan public hearing to address this corruption and the fact that the state plan was developed behind closed doors. She didn't make it, but others spoke out.

Watch the October 2009 Public Hearing Video

Indiana SILC (ICOIL) Resources and Directories