Letter

DATE: March 26, 1973

TO: CIL Board of Directors

FROM: Jim Donald
SUBJECT: Legal Aid for the Handicapped

The following is a brief outline of my activities in pursuit of the establishment of a legal aid program for the handicapped.

PROPOSAL: I have written, possibly in final form, a proposal for the program. Although I have received no definite criticism as yet, changes are certain to be made as the efforts toward this program become more conclusive. Attached hereto is a copy of my proposal.

BUDGET: A (very) tentative annual budget has been drawn for the program, and also is attached hereto. I have tried to include all costs foreseeable, including a couple of "slush" funds disguised in various forms to cover the unexpected and forgotten. I have based my budget, in part, upon that of the Legal Aid Society of Sacramento, and on various other project budgets that I have seen. Although I have done research as to the costs of several items, most are rough estimates within which an effective program can operate.

FUNDING: This is an area in which I readily admit I am ignorant. I am depending greatly for guidance from your experience and organization in my efforts in this respect.

I have been in regular contact with Frank Laski, Dick Melia's buddy, in Washington. However, as you are well aware, his enthusiasm for success on his end has gone from optimistic certainty to grave doubt. "Better look elsewhere" was the word as of last month.

Also, I have a possible source of information, if not help, from a woman who works for NIH in Washington. She has our situation in mind and has promised to send whatever material or information she may find. Because of an "unpleasant dealing" with our group in the past, I prefer to deal with her exclusively.

SUBSTANCE: As I come across it, I am collecting and cataloging all legislation and other material relevant to the handicapped. It pops up in unlikely spots. A fairly thorough source, as it will come to be over time, will be of vital importance in any litigation or bill drafting that will be done by the organization.

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