Episode: Politics

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

video transcript

What We Learned

Politics begins with an Interview of Rep. Patrick Rose. He tells Gene and Dave his exciting plans for health care, his view on Obama, and Gene asks about his “Big Ass Plan.” Hear what he had to say about all this before the Texas legislative session began. Enjoy the Actual Lives Austin clip called “Politics As Usual”, which inspired the topic for the inaugural Gene and Dave Show. Then Gene and Dave crash the offices of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and talk to Dennis Borel about the past accomplishments and future dreams of his organization. Dennis taught us the difference between politics and public policy. Knowing the difference can help further your cause. Finally Gene and Dave corner Bob Kafka at the capitol and he explains the craziness behind what makes ADAPT so successful. Bob was a fountain of knowledge. Be sure to see his interview.

Politics Guests

Representative Patrick Rose

Headshot of Representative Patrick Rose

State Representative Patrick Rose is serving his fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives representing District 45, which includes the Central Texas counties of Blanco, Caldwell and Hays. A leader known for his fierce independence, Rep. Rose has built a record of delivering results to the Texans he serves.

As Chair of the House Human Services Committee, Rep. Rose has led efforts to increase enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and increase oversight and accountability for services provided to Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rep. Rose is also a member of the House Higher Education Committee.

In 2007, Rep. Patrick Rose passed legislation to create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a historic, $3 billion investment towards easing the burden that cancer places on our health care system. By building a coalition that included the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society and KillCancer.org, Rep. Rose led the effort to pass this landmark legislation.

His efforts on behalf of his constituents have been lauded by Texas Monthly Magazine where he was featured as the “Rookie of the Year” among the Best & Worst Legislators and was twice named the Texas Medical Association’s “Texas Medicine’s Best”. The Independent Cattlemen’s Association and the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas have also recognized Rep. Rose’s work.

Rep. Patrick Rose is an attorney in private practice in San Marcos and a real estate broker affiliated with his family’s small business, Rose Real Estate. He lives in his hometown of Dripping Springs and is a lifelong member of Dripping Springs United Methodist Church.


P.O. Box 1053
Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Dennis Borel

Headshot of Dennis Borel

As Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD), Dennis is frequently called on for research, policy analysis and recommendations to the Texas Legislature and state agencies on issues surrounding disabilities. He serves on multiple advisory groups to state health and human services agencies and was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the State Independent Living Council and by HHSC Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins to the Promoting Independence Advisory Council. He has successfully advocated for positive change in government policy and practice in employment, transportation, housing, health care and architectural barriers to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.  He was Project Director for CTD’s history-making Team Everest expedition, an internationally-recognized expedition by a team of people with diverse disabilities to the world’s tallest mountain.

Dennis has twenty-eight years’ experience as a senior manager of nonprofit organizations, during which time his programs have received numerous state recognitions and national awards from HUD, the Points of Light Foundation, the New York Interactive Film Festival, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and the Barbara Jordan Media Awards. In 2006, the University of Michigan honored him with the national James Neubacher Award for creating opportunities for people with disabilities and in 2009, he received the National Advocacy Award from the National Council on Independent Living.  He is a former high school teacher and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.


Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
316 W. 12th St., #405
Austin, TX  78701
(512) 478-3366
FAX (512) 478-3370

Bob Kafka

Headshot of Bob Kafka

Through his advocacy efforts, Bob Kafka has made Austin, Texas, one of the most accessible cities in the country. Bob has galvanized activist projects for nearly 20 years. His perspective on direct action, non-violent civil disobedience and informed confrontation with institutional power is uniquely applicable to local issues.

Bob is a grassroots organizer who established ADAPT of Texas, a disability rights advocacy organization, 22 years ago. Since then, he has taught thousands how to self-advocate as well as how to advocate for a more accessible city, and better disability rights in general.

He follows legislative activities and organizes groups to speak at legislative sessions. He is also very active at the national level and was instrumental in getting many bills developed and passed, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bob is the National Organizer of ADAPT and Co-Director of the Institute for Disability Access. Born in the Bronx, New York, February 24, 1946, Bob served with the Army’s 188th Maintenance Battalion from 1966-67. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA in Economics in 1974, and then went on to earn his M.Ed. in special education in 1977. From 1974 to 1980 he was also the Director of Handicapped Student Services at University of Houston. He served as Executive Director of the Texas Paralyzed Veterans Association, TPVA, in 1978, and as TPVA President from 1987 to 1991.

Bob was also involved with Houston’s Coalition for Barrier Free Living, CBFL, serving as Chair of the Architectural Barriers Committee and then as president in 1979. During his presidency of CBFL the group received the grant to start one of the first independent living centers in the country, Houston Center for Independent Living.

From 1981 to 1983 Bob worked as a volunteer with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, CTD. From 1984 to 1987 he served as on the Board of the Coalition, creating and chairing its Personal Assistance Services Task Force for five years.

In the mid 1980s, Bob also was elected to the board of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, ACCD. In 1981 Bob co-founded the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association, and acted as its President until 1991.

From 1984-87 he started a summer independent living camp for kids with disabilities: EZJ Ranch. In 1984 Bob co-founded ADAPT of TX and has served in the capacities of local, state and national organizer ever since.

Bob currently serves on the Home and Community Resource Network funded through the Department of Health and Human Services. Through his work with ADAPT he helped shepherd in ADAPT’s WE WILL RIDE victory for lifts on buses and later worked to support community services for people with disabilities instead of catering to the nursing home industry.

His goal now is to FREE OUR PEOPLE!


ADAPT of Texas
1640-A E. 2nd ST. STE 100
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 442-0252