People with Disabilities and other Activists to Senator Flake: You Voted to Protect Fish, Now Protect People With Disabilities

Arizona Activists Deliver Goldfish Crackers to Senator Flake’s Office to Call on Him to Support the Disability Treaty

Phoenix, Arizona – A few weeks ago, the Senate passed four treaties to protect fisheries and prevent overfishing. The treaties passed through the Senate with bipartisan voice votes without any opposition. Meanwhile, the Senate has still failed to bring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), commonly known as the Disability Treaty, to another vote since it failed by a narrow margin in 2012. The Disability Treaty would export American leadership by helping other countries develop laws and policies based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to support accessibility and limit discrimination against people with disabilities worldwide. The treaty is widely supported by business and disability groups, veterans’ service organizations, and faith groups, along with a coalition of both Democratic and Republican Senators.  However, so far, it has been held up by a few politicians on the far right concerned unnecessarily about US sovereignty.

This morning, a group of local activists delivered Goldfish crackers to Senator Jeff Flake’s office to ask him why he supported treaties protecting fish but has failed to support this crucial treaty protecting the rights of one billion people worldwide with disabilities, including 57.8 million Americans, 775,000 of whom live here in Arizona.  

Advocates across the country made similar visits to their own Senators’ in-state offices to call on them to stop playing political games and support the Disability Treaty.

Phil Pangrazio, a person living with quadriplegia, who attended the event at Senator Flake’s office, said, “It’s encouraging to see that the Senate is able to pass some treaties without fighting over politics, but I can’t understand why they still haven’t ratified the Disability Treaty. I want to know why Senator Flake can protect fish but not people like me.”

For more information about the Disability Treaty, visit

[May 15: Read Phil Pangrazio’s AzCentral Op-Ed piece here]