CRA’s Mike Mayer and Derrick DuFresne, as well as Mark Doyle of the Governor’s Staff, took
the stand before closing arguments. These three advocates did a great job in their testimony
despite questioning by a very savvy and aggressive attorney for the plaintiffs. In particular,
Mike Mayer was outstanding in painting a picture of how individuals with profound disabilities
can benefit from integrated community supports. Well done Mike, Derrick & Mark!
I was able to catch the afternoon session of the trial and the closing arguments. It was painful
to listen to the closing argument of the plaintiffs’ attorney and to hear the characterization of
the individuals at Murray as pitiful and helpless individuals with little or no hope for a full life in
the community. It pained me to hear of people being confined to a life of institutionalization for
25, 30, 35 years and more. It pained me to hear the attack on the ACCT process of person-
centered planning and small individualized living arrangements of one to four people! You
should see how people live at Murray: the characterization of Murray as a home is grossly
unjust to those individuals. I have been at Murray. It is one of the most institutional environments
I have ever seen in my career. We can do better. The Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative offers
a full life for the people at Murray, yet the opposition to this great Initiative is impossible for me
The Murray lawsuit, in my opinion, is upside down! The plaintiffs are arguing that the
Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act! This perspective flies in the face of Olmstead, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and federal policy to
move away from the institutionalization of people with disabilities.
I believe the Judge will rule that the Governor has the authority to close Murray. The CRA
ACCT process is an outstanding process in the best interest of the people at Murray. I think it is
a model for the nation.
It is time to close Murray and move on to building inclusive community supports throughout
Illinois. Free our people!