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Immediate Call to Action: Tell Conference Committee Members to Support Budget Amendment #548 and a Full Ban on Shocks!

posted Jun 5, 2012, 7:45 PM by OcuppyJudge Rotenberg   [ updated Jun 6, 2012, 8:00 AM ]
There are less than four weeks before the Conference Committee needs to have everything wrapped up, including all proposed Amendments.  That means that they'll only be spending a small fraction of that time on Amendment #548 (requiring a ban on all shocks and other aversives at the Judge Rotenberg Center) and may have made their decision on it in a MATTER OF DAYS! The Committee begins meeting on Thursday, June 7th.  Time is of the essence.  Please begin contacting members of the Committee NOW.  We need fast and clear contact in high numbers. 

Please note:  When contacting Senators and Representatives, some callers are being asked 'What line item does this pertain to.'  This Amendment is in an 'outside section' and does not pertain to any line item.  Be sure to mention that although it is a Senate Budget Amendment, it is now being considered by Conference Committee (and thus applies to both the Senate and the House).  This Amendment *IS* a budget amendment.  Although that may not make intuitive sense given the subject matter, it is where it falls. 
Ideas on what you can do (regardless of whether or not you live in Massachusetts):

  • Call each Committee Member's office (see contact information below)
  • E-mail each Committee Member (see contact information below)
  • If you are in Massachusetts, call your own Senator or Representative and ask them to support Amendment #548
  • If they have a Facebook page, Twitter or Website that allows you to post your urging for their support publicly, then do so!!!!!!  Making your voice and urgings public for all to see can be even more powerful than private calls or letters  (see contact information below)
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper to raise awareness of the issue and publicly state your support for the full ban of shocks and aversives at the Judge Rotenberg Center
  • Visit the websites of all media publications that have put something out about the JRC and comment about your support for the ban of shocks and aversives of JRC and your support for Amendment #548 (include links back to this and other information to help raise awareness and involvement)
  • Post about this issue on your Facebook page or Twitter account (include links back to this page or other information on the topic)
  • Go to the coverage of this issue in the Jamaica Plains Patch and vote 'yes' in favor of the ban of shocks and aversives at JRC (and let them know that you don't even think it should be up for a vote by commenting in the comments section!)

Things you might say:

  • You are in full support of voting for Senate Budget Amendment #548 that would require a full ban on shocks and other aversives at the Judge Rotenberg Center and is currently being considered by Conference Committee
  • You are aware that the United Nations has declared the aversives to be torture
  • Torture is a violation of human rights
  • You are aware that some parents of students are the Judge Rotenberg Center speak positively about the changes in their children due to shocks and other aversives.  However, while torture can change behavior, it still remains torture and leads to other serious problems including traumatic responses in the individual.
  • Civil and human rights issues should not be up for debate, and both sides should not be considered when torture and civil rights violations are at hand.
  • Compromise is not acceptable when it comes to torture and civil/human rights violations.  A full ban is the only acceptable option.
  • Share your own stories about the abuses you've experienced in the system (even if not at JRC) and how you've been impacted by restrictive and abusive practices done in the name of 'treatment'

Contact Information for the Committee:

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey


Chair, House Ways and Means Committee

Third Essex District,

Consisting of all Precincts of Wards 1, 3, and 6; Precinct 3 of Ward 2; Precincts 1 and 2 of Ward 4; and Precincts 1 and 3 of Ward 5; all in the City of Haverhill, in the county of Essex.

State House, Room 243

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2990

Fax: 617-722-2215


Find more information about Rep. Dempsey at:


Rep. Stephen Kulik


Vice Chair, House Ways and Means Committee

First Franklin District,

Consisting of the towns of Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, New Salem, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Wendell and Whately in Franklin County; and Precincts A & D in the town of Belchertown and all of Chesterfield, Goshen, Huntington, Pelham, Williamsburg and Worthington in Hampshire County.

State House, Room 238

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2380 or (413) 665-7200

Fax: 617-722-2847 or (413) 665-7101

Email: or


Find more information about Rep. Kulik at:


Rep. Viriato Manuel deMacedo


Ranking Minority Member, House Ways and Means Committee

First Plymouth District,

Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14, of the town of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth.

State House, Room 124

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2100 or 508-224-7572 (District)

Fax: 617-722-2390

Email: or



Find more information about Rep. deMacedo at:

Sen. Stephen M. Brewer


Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Senate District,

Consisting of the towns of Ashburnham, Athol, Barre, Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Hubbardston, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Rutland, Spencer, Sturbridge, Templeton, Warren, West Brookfield, and Winchendon, in Worcester County; Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer and Wales, in Hampden County; Ware, in Hampshire County; and Orange and Warwick in Franklin County.

State House, Room 212

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1540

Fax: 617-722-1078




Find more information about Senator Brewer at:


Sen. Jennifer L. Flanagan


Vice Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee

Worcester and Middlesex Senate District,

Consisting of Bolton, Precincts 1 and 2 of Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenberg, Sterling and Westminster, in Worcester County; and Ashby and Townsend, in Middlesex County. 

State House, Room 410

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1230 or 978-466-8605

Fax: 617-722-1130

Email: or




Find more information about Senator Flanagan at:


Sen. Michael R. Knapik


Ranking Minority Member, Senate Ways and Means Committee

Second Hampden & Hampshire Senate District,

Consisting of Blandford, Chester, Wards 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the City of Chicopee, Granville, Holyoke, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, Tolland and Westfield, in Hampden County; and Easthampton and Southampton, in Hampshire County.

State House, Room 419

Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1415 or 413-562-6454

Fax: 413-572-9720

Email: or


Find more information about Senator Knapik at: