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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chaka Khan Lobbies for CARA

The Washington Post reports on Chaka Khan, lobbying for the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act:

Celebrities — not all of them have had it that easy. An occasional look at the stars bringing hard-earned knowledge to Washington. Tuesday’s guest:Chaka Khan

Venue: Longworth House Office Building.

Concern: The recent uptick in autism diagnoses among African American and Latino boys.

Bona Fides: 10-time Grammy winner, aunt of an autistic boy.

Backup: Her sister/manager Tammy McCrary, actress Tisha Campbell-Martin, D.L. Hughley’s wife LaDonna — all moms of autistic boys, who’ve made a documentary, “Colored My Mind,” about their struggle.

What she wants: For Congress to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act, set to expire this year.

How she looked: Simple black pantsuit, heavy gold bling. When asked for a photo, she struck a pose with a black-and-red fan.

Quote: “It’s a struggle for mankind. This transcends everything, all the little petty groups.”

The Washington Examiner adds some detail:

"I'll bet one of my paychecks that either someone in their family or someone very close to them knows somebody that has autism happening in their immediate realm," the R&B legend told Yeas & Nays on Monday afternoon. Khan's sister and manager, Tammy McCrary, has a son with autism.

"It's just horrific," said Khan. "It seems to be like a thief in the night that comes and takes our children's minds, mental awareness and physical awareness, too. I think something needs to be done and I think we need to get back on the pony again and ride it for all it's worth to get help and awareness out there for every community."