by Mike Hyland, President & CEO
By now, we have likely all seen the horrific images of this week’s brazen attack on the U.S. Capitol building by an angry and violent mob of rioters. Their intent was to damage sacred institutions and harm those who dare to disagree with their ideology. The country watched in shock as extremism was on full display in one of the world’s great bastions of freedom and then recoiled at the brutal attempt by insurgents to intimidate anyone who stood in their way. Five people died and over 50 police officers were injured. It was truly one of the darkest days in the nation’s history but, in the end, those who sought to angrily impose their will failed. Entirely.
As we did in the summer, Venture Community Services condemns all acts of violence no matter what convenient justifications may accompany them. We stand firmly and permanently with the rights of all people to be heard, to matter, to feel safe, and to express themselves peacefully and respectfully without fear of reprisal. We are a community that values inclusion, diversity, equity, and acceptance. These are not merely ideas; this is who we are. The people who comprise the community at Venture represent the best of our country. We see people with disabilities living meaningful lives in nice homes, participating in society as they like and holding down jobs. Professionals from all over the world dedicating themselves to helping others. And selfless individuals who continually brave a global pandemic so they can keep others safe. These images are more powerful than the chaos that was brought to our nation’s capital and, ultimately, more meaningful. These are the images that have always made Venture and other agencies safe places for everyone regardless of what happens around us.
At Venture, we will continue to advocate in Washington for increased wages and better healthcare for our employees as well as greater recognition and respect for the people we support. The incoming presidential administration has indicated a willingness to work more closely with the industry in order to help Medicaid providers and ensure that people who need help can get it. This is promising and we will work closely with our partners and trade associations to see to it that the people we support and the professionals we employ are not forgotten. The heinous actions of a group that tried desperately, but unsuccessfully, to change our democracy do not distract us from what is most important at Venture. We will always be dedicated to continuously growing a community where people are safe and our differences are respected and appreciated. This is how we have always put our best foot forward in service to others. Nothing that happened this week can do anything to weaken our resolve.