John Cronin Thanks Congressman Andrew Garbarino for Supporting People - Johns Crazy Socks

John Cronin Thanks Congressman Andrew Garbarino for Supporting People with Down Syndrome

John Cronin is a fierce advocate for people with Down syndrome and all people with differing abilities. John’s business, John’s Crazy Socks, is located in the congressional district represented by Congressman Andrew Garbarino. The Congressman joined the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus after receiving a letter from John. On Friday afternoon, John presented Congressman Garbarino with a Certificate of Appreciation from John’s Crazy Socks. The certificate thanks the Congressman for his advocacy work on behalf of people with Down syndrome. 

John with Congressman Andrew Garbarino

 

In accepting the plaque from John, Congressman Garbarino said, “I am proud to work with John to promote education and policies that better the lives of people with Down syndrome. No one is a fiercer advocate for the differently abled than John.” 

John, an entrepreneur with Down syndrome, first met Congressman Garbarino in 2020 when they not only began working together on issues concerning people with Down syndrome and all people with differing abilities, but they became friends too. Congressman Garbarino has visited John’s Crazy Socks to learn more about the small business and the hiring of people with different abilities. The pair frequently discuss issues affecting people with intellectual developmental disabilities. 

“He really cares about people,” said John 

John and Mark  with Congressman Andrew Garbarino

John’s co-founder and father, Mark X. Cronin, said, “Our business, John’s Crazy Socks, has given us a platform where people will listen to us. That creates an obligation for us to speak for people who may not have a voice. John takes this responsibility very seriously. We have testified twice before Congress and spoken at the United Nations. We meet with elected officials and speak at conferences and business events. In every instance, we stand up for the rights of people with different abilities, and we want to show that hiring people with different abilities is not altruism, it is good business. We have given a TEDx talk on this theme. 

John and Mark meet with Congressman Andrew Garbarino

Congressman Garbarino has also signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill to eliminate the sub-minimum wage, a vital issue to John and Mark. Section 14(c) the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) allows employers to pay employees with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that in 2019, close to 1,600 employers paid subminimum wages to about 120,000 employees with disabilities. Some are paid as little as twenty-five cents per hour. 

“That is terrible,” said John. “It is not right.” 

The bi-partisan Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (H.R. 1263/S.533) would phase out Section 14(c) and provide grants to those organizations that need to transition employees to full and fair wages. After learning about the issue from John, Congressman Garbarino investigated the issue and is now signing on as a co-sponsor. 

Unity Socks and Congressman Garbarino 

In 2021, John’s Crazy Socks introduced their Unity Flag Socks designed to celebrate the bonds we share in the United States. John gave the Unity Socks to members of Congress, encouraging them to talk and focus on what they have in common. Congressman Garbarino loved the idea of the Unity Socks and came to the offices of Johns’ Crazy Socks on the day they were introduced and met with John in Washington to support the effort to promote national unity.

John with Congressman Andrew Garbarino and the Unity Socks

John and John’s Crazy Socks Advocacy Work for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) 

Advocating for people with IDD is important to John’s Crazy Socks. John and Mark are members of the CEO Commission for Disability Employment and the Neurodiversity at Work Business Roundtable. They were recently added to the Suffolk County Workforce Development Board by County Executive Steve Bellone. 

John is on the board of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and both John and Mark serve as ambassadors for NDSS. They spend a week each spring in Washington DC with NDSS for an advocacy conference and join NDSS for a day on Capitol Hill. meeting with senators and representatives. They are keynote speakers who speak at conferences, corporate events and colleges and universities on the topic of workforce inclusion for all. 

“In our advocacy work, we do not ask if you are a Democrat or a Republican,” said Mark, X. Cronin, “We only ask if you support the rights of people with differing abilities.”  

About John’s Crazy Socks 

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $600,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™. 

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at service@johnscrazysocks.com.

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