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photo of Joan L. Millman2008 Questionnaire response from:
Joan L. Millman, candidate for State Assembly (52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn)

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Candidate Name: Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman

Candidate for Assembly District: 52


Campaign Name: Friends of Joan L. Millman

Campaign Address: 489 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Do you have a campaign office? Yes

If so, is it wheelchair accessible? Yes

If you are an incumbent, is your district office wheelchair accessible? Yes

Campaign Manager: Paul Nelson

Phone: 917 - 669 - 5391

Fax: Call before faxing

Email: paulnelson @

Previous elected offices held: Democratic State Committeewoman, 52nd Assembly District

Previous appointed offices held: Chair, Kings County Democratic County Committee


Key endorsements to date: Working Families Party

Political leaders: I have just begun the process of seeking endorsements

Labor: UFCW Local 1500, United Federation of Teachers





    1. 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?

      I have been a longtime advocate for people with disabilities. Prior to becoming the Assemblywoman in 1997, as the Democratic District Leader, I organized a campaign to institute a special bus route, the B51, for people in downtown Brooklyn traveling over the Manhattan Bridge to downtown Manhattan. Because our bus system is really the only disability friendly mode of mass transportation, it was very important that people had access to downtown Manhattan, where many residents work. As the Assemblywoman, I have continued this tradition of activism, advocating always for accessibility for persons with disabilities and continually aiding constituents to receive the specific help and care they need and deserve. This year, I authored Assembly Bill A.10248 which would establish a statewide minimum sound standard for hybrids and other inaudible motor vehicles to protect people who are dependent on multi-sensory information, such as people who are visually-impaired. They are most at-risk crossing an intersection and the absence of an engine sound increases that risk. A minor modification to the existing design of the engine would enable these vehicles to produce an audible indication of their presence and possibly save lives.


    2. Will you commit to only attend and/or sponsor events that are accessible to people with disabilities including providing written materials in alternate formats, providing assistive listening systems, and sign language interpreters as well as ensuring that locations are physically accessible?





    1. What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities in your personal life and in the workplace?

      I have advocated for the community board to appoint people with disabilities and have persuaded the Democratic Party to appoint people with disabilities to be delegates to the national convention. I have also fought to have polling places moved to locations that are accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities. In addition, I introduced Billy's Law and fought for its passage into law and have continued to fight to ensure special need students are given the proper care they need at in-state institutions so their care can be better monitored.


    2. Are you willing to hire and to provide reasonable accommodation (e.g. flex or part time) for staff members with disabilities?



    3. How will you work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation through the State Legislature? What will be your strategy?

      I will continue my work with advocates from the disability community to draft and introduce legislation and will encourage my legislative colleagues to support such bills.




    1. What will you do at the State level to reverse the negative impact of recent decisions in Federal Courts which are undercutting the powers of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities in New York State?

      I will work to ensure that the State Legislature passes laws that protect the civil rights of people with disabilities.


    2. How would you change the laws of New York State to protect the rights of its citizens with disabilities?

      My legislative record of over eleven years in Albany has shown I have strongly and consistently worked to protect the rights of all of its citizens, especially its most vulnerable ones.




    While the State is focused on reducing the costs of Medicaid and other programs, persons with disabilities need to continue to have access to the services and supports they need and choose.

    1. Would you oppose proposals which would negatively affect eligibility, benefits, coverage, and/or access to services for Medicaid beneficiaries and eliminate the systemic bias that leads to unwanted placement in nursing homes and other institutions?



    2. Would you seek to promote comprehensive long term care reform that will not reduce coverage or access to services?



    3. Would you increase rental/housing subsidies to participants in the new Nursing Facility Transition and Diversion Medicaid waiver program?





    1. Timothy's Law was designed to end health insurance discrimination by enacting parity in coverage for people with biologically-based psychiatric disabilities. However, returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are not covered. Do you favor amending Timothy's Law to provide coverage for PTSD?



    2. Under Kendra's Law, a state-funded Medicaid grants program was established to provide medications for eligible individuals with psychiatric disabilities upon release or discharge from institutions to eliminate some of the problems associated with the Medicaid coverage gap. Do you support Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility legislation which would eliminate the standard 45 days coverage gap that blocks access to treatment?



    3. Would you expand Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program (EPIC) to provide the same level of eligibility and coverage to persons with disabilities under age 65?





    1. We are in the midst of a housing crisis. Accessible, affordable housing is in short supply. People with disabilities are being priced out of the market. Do you support the creation of a housing trust fund for persons with disabilities?



    2. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires housing developers to set aside a certain percentage of accessible units for persons with disabilities when federal funds are used for construction. Do you favor incorporating these provisions into State law so that the Dept. of Housing and Community Renewal can be empowered to enforce these provisions?



    3. Visitability sets guidelines to ensure newly constructed multi-family dwellings have basic accessible/adaptable features to permit people with disabilities can visit, and for residents to "age in place," without having to move out when age and/or disability set in. Do you support incorporating the concept of "visitability" in the New York State Building Code?

      Yes. I am the author of this bill in the Assembly, A.6837B.


    4. What is your position on expanding DRIE (Disabled Rent Increase Exemption) to have the same income eligibility limits as SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption)? Currently SCRIE's income cap is $27,000, while DRIE's is $18,600.




    With the recent decision to acquire voting machines that attempt to meet the accessibility standards of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), many poling places in New York State remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Do you favor the elimination of provisions in Section 4-104 (1-a) of the NYS Election Law allowing waiver of polling place accessibility standards?

    Yes. In the 1980's, when I was district leader, I was instrumental in moving polling places to accessible locations.




    1. Despite Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, students with disabilities face problems when pursuing higher education. These statutes do not specify how students should request accommodations or assistance in asserting their rights under the law. Will you support a fully funded office of disability services on each SUNY and CUNY campus to assist students with disabilities in securing accommodations?



    2. How do you propose dealing with a school district that deny civil rights to disabled students even after the State Division of Civil Rights affirms the student's rights such as to use an assist animal?

      I suggest cutting state funding to those districts.




    1. Do you favor an expansion of accessible transportation options for people with disabilities in NYS?

      Yes. One of my concerns regarding congestion pricing is that so few subway stations are accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities.


    2. Will you support Assembly Member Kellner's proposed bill requiring NYC to transition to a 100% accessible taxi fleet?



    3. Do you support legislation requiring car services, and all shuttle services to purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles or otherwise ensure that they have the capacity to serve persons with disabilities?



Date: July 10, 2008


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For other candidates running for State Senator and State Assembly positions, go to the Questionnaires section



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