Candidate Name: Mark Green
Campaign Manager: Anne Strahle
Phone: (212) 661-3663
Campaign Name: Mark Green for Attorney General
Campaign Address: 420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 3030, New York, N.Y. 10170
Contact Person: Anne Strahle
Phone: (212) 661-3663
Please describe any experience with disability you have had in your life or career.
Neither I nor any members of my family have personal experience with disability.
Is your campaign headquarters accessible to persons with disabilities? If you are an incumbent, is your district office accessible to persons with disabilities?
How will you incorporate people with disabilities into your campaign? Are you willing to hire and use flex-time and job-sharing if necessary?
Presently, none of my full-time staff are persons with disabilities. But I am more than willing to use flex-time, job-sharing, and any other necessary accommodations to incorporate persons with disabilities into the campaign - which may not happen since I have a full-time staff of six and there are five weeks until the primary.
While in public office/prior to this campaign, what have you accomplished in regard to advancing disability rights? This can include work towards accessible housing, transportation, employment, health care, education, and including people with disabilities in the political process?
As New York City Public Advocate, I fought for the right of disabled persons to access public transportation. In 1994, I published a report demonstrating that poor city bus accessibility violated the ADA. In 1998, I held the MTA accountable when it failed to provide comparable service for persons with disabilities through its para-transit program, Access-a-Ride. I filed a civil rights complaint with the Federal Transit Administration, which consequently told the MTA to end the practice of refusing rides to many people who requested them. As a result of my complaint, the MTA also added Access-a-Ride vehicles to provide better service.
Recognizing that disability should not prevent citizens from earning an income, I was also a prime co-sponsor of a property tax exemption for people whose incomes are limited by their disabilities; the tax exemption became law.
What oversight have you performed regarding implementation of programs/legislation you have passed (in previous offices)?
New York's next Attorney General needs a
'watchdog' mentality in order to continue Eliot Spitzer's legacy - protecting the vulnerable from corporate abuse and holding the federal government accountable when it neglects its obligations. I honed that mentality while serving successfully in two attorney general-like positions and authoring the best-selling book on congressional reform,
Who Runs Congress?
As I have mentioned, my record of aggressive oversight includes my series of reports holding the MTA accountable for violating ADA requirements by providing inadequate bus service for disabled persons. And even though I lacked a formal legislative voice as New York City Public Advocate, I continued my lifelong advocacy for clean campaigns by introducing and passing over Mayor Giuliani's veto the City's 4:1 campaign fund matching program.
What implementation strategy do you have for your future programs and legislation to help constituents with disabilities?
Eliot Spitzer showed how the Attorney General can lead the way in advocating for the rights of disabled persons, whether by issuing a report on the inaccessibility of polling places or by successfully suing lodging establishments that do not permit service animals.
Denying access on the basis of disability is a civil rights violation as insidious as denying service on the basis of race, and I will aggressively prosecute such violations.
My first priority as Attorney General is to combat health care fraud. HMOs have been increasing premiums, deductibles and co-pays while employing aggressive and illegal policies that hide critical information, restrict patient care, and unfairly saddle health care providers and taxpayers with bills. This is particularly relevant for disabled persons and patients with chronic medical conditions who frequently visit the doctor. HMOs use dirty
'tricks of the trade' to circumvent patient protections by, for instance, making arbitrary determinations that a patient no longer needs rehabilitation services.
As Attorney General, I will advocate for legislative remedies to protect patients, including statutory penalties and increased fines for violations for the Managed Care Bill of Rights and mandatory disclosure of more internal HMOs policies. But to the extent that Albany fails to adopt these and other remedies, I would adopt an aggressive prosecution strategy of applying general business fraud and deceptive marketing statues against HMOs that intentionally break the rules and jeopardize a patient's health or wallet.
Will you commit to only attend or sponsor events that are accessible to people with disabilities? This includes providing written materials in alternate formats for people with low vision, providing assistive listening systems for people who are hard-of-hearing, and sign language interpreters for people who are deaf, as well as ensuring that locations are accessible to people who use mobility aids, like wheelchairs and walkers?
As Public Advocate, I held over 70 town hall meetings with my constituents, and I insisted that every meeting was staffed with a sign language interpreter and held at an ADA accessible site. I will make the same effort during my campaign to the greatest possible extent.
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities?
As a City official, I personally appointed several people with disabilities to managerial and executive positions in the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Public Advocate's office.
How do you propose your active involvement/availability to the disability community? Will there be a specific person in your office responsible to this community? Will have regular office agenda meetings on these issues? What would you do to have direct contact with our community?
The Disability Rights Project within the Civil Rights Bureau of the Attorney General's office is primarily responsible for vigilant oversight to protect the civil rights of disabled people. The Coordinator of the Disability Rights Project will be in frequent contact with the disability community, and will regularly discuss her agenda with me.
Do you favor the incorporation of the housing provisions of Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act into NYS Human Rights Law (A.7294/S5074, A. 6328/S.3921)
Do you support a ban of the use of solitary confinement in Special Housing Units of people with psychiatric disabilities in state correctional facilities (A.3926/S.2207)?
Federal courts often rule on challenges to the ADA in a manner never intended by its authors. Do you pledge to use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections to persons with disabilities? Do you support a waiver of the state's sovereign immunity claims under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (A.2159)?
Yes. New York State, counties and local governments should be held accountable for discrimination against -- and for failing to provide for reasonable accommodations for - people with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities have historically been under-represented within the Democratic Party leadership. According to the 2000 census, persons with disabilities comprised 20.6% of all residents in New York State and 23.1% of population 18 years and older. Previously, we were told that only those groups included in the Voting Rights Act were included in the goals and timetables for delegate selection. Yet the lesbian and gay communities were included for the first time at the 2000 convention and again at the 2004 convention. Would you support a campaign to set a goal that 10% of the total New York State Delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention be comprised of persons with disabilities?