Statement on Passing of Marca Bristo

Chicago, IL – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), released the following statement after the passing of Marca Bristo, the founder of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago and co-founder of the National Council on Independent Living.

“Marca Bristo died today. My husband Bob Creamer and I are heartbroken to lose a precious friend of over four decades. Our country has lost an unparalleled fighter for the rights of people with disabilities. Our love goes out to our dear friend, Marca’s husband Bob Kettlewell, their children and new granddaughter.

“Marca will go down in history as one of the most influential leaders of the disability rights and independent living movements. Because of Marca, countless people have been freed from confining living arrangements and liberated to live independently in communities. She was the founder and long-time President of the premier advocacy organization for people with disabilities, Chicago-based Access Living.  Marca played a central role in the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, and was an important advisor to President Barack Obama. She served in many major leadership positions in government and beyond, including broad coalitions of progressive organizations like Illinois Citizen Action. She relentlessly took on and often beat down obstacles that prevented people with disabilities from living full and productive lives. To her last breath, she was reaching out to elected officials and leaders, promoting a justice agenda. In fact, a week before she died, both my husband and I had serious strategic discussions with Marca where she gave us clear instructions about what needed to be done. 

“We can never thank Marca enough for opening our eyes to barriers that were, and in too many cases, still are holding back people with disabilities. We will always hear her voice in our ears, pushing us to do more, and we will always heed her call to the best of our abilities.”



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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills