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photo of Tom DiNapoliQuestionnaire response from:
Tom DiNapoli, candidate for New York State Comptroller

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Candidate Name: Tom DiNapoli

Contact Person: Brian Kaszuba

Campaign Address: 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 912, New York, N.Y. 10017

Phone: 646-861-0066

Fax: 646-861-0207




Endorsements: Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson; Ansonia Independent Dems; Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club; Broadway Democratic Club; Democratic Association for the 21st Century; Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club; Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn; Park River Ind Dems; Powhatan Democratic Club; Ridgewood Democratic Club; Saul Weprin Democratic Club; South Queens Democratic Club; Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC; Hudson Valley Democratic Chairs Caucus, Manhattan Young Democrats; Democratic County Chairs: Albany; Allegany l; Bronx; Broome; Cattaraugus, Cayuga; Chautauqua; Chemung; Chenango; Clinton; Columbia; Cortland; Delaware; Dutchess; Erie; Essex; Franklin; Fulton; Genesee; Greene; Hamilton; Herkimer; Jefferson; Kings; Lewis ; Livingston; Madison; Monroe; Montgomery; Nassau; New York; Niagara ; Oneida; Onondaga; Ontario; Orange; Orleans; Oswego; Otsego; Putnam; Queens; Rensselaer; Richmond; Rockland; St. Lawrence; Saratoga; Schenectady; Schoharie; Seneca; Steuben; Suffolk; Sullivan; Tioga; Tompkins; Ulster; Warren, Washington; Wayne; Westchester; Wyoming; Yates; County Democratic Communities: Albany; Bronx; Columbia; Erie; Greene; Hamilton; Kings; New York; Niagara; Ontario; Oswego; Queens; Richmond; St. Lawrence; Schoharie; Steuben; Washington; Westchester; Construction and General Building Laborers Local 79; Court Officers Benevolent Association of Nassau County, Inc.; Fraternity Order of Court Officers, NYS; International Assoc of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 12; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 9 and DC 4; Mason Tenders' District Council of Greater NY & LI; Benevolent Officers Court County; Nassau County Sheriff Officers Assoc; NYC Building & Constructions Trades Council, AFL-CIO; NYC Uniformed Fire Officers Assoc, Local 854, I.A.F.F.; NYS Court Clerks Assoc; NYS Court Officers Assoc; NYS Supreme Court Officers Assoc; Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 773; Rochester Regional Joint Board of Workers United; Retail, Wholesale, & Department Store Union; Teamsters Union Local 237; United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500



  1. If there is a Campaign office(s) is it wheelchair accessible?

    Yes, my campaign office is 100% wheelchair accessible and open to all individuals with disabilities.


  2. How have you incorporated people with disabilities into your campaign?

    Currently, we do not have anyone with disabilities on our campaign staff. However, my staff is always looking for help and would never turn down a competent volunteer - disabled or otherwise.


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

    My experiences, both personal and professional, show my commitment to making a better New York for all New Yorkers. Several organizations have honored me for that commitment, for example, Community Mainstreaming Associates recently awarded me the John Walter Award, which honors "an individual that is deemed as a great leader, a positive role model, and an influence in the community."


  4. What type of jobs would you be willing to hire and to provide reasonable accommodation (e.g. flex or part time) for staff members with disabilities?

    Any and all jobs.


  5. While in public office and/or 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.

    When I first took office, I established the Division of Diversity Programs to provide guidance and to encourage and facilitate our policies, aimed at a fair and fully-inclusive work environment for all OSC employees.

    I signed both an Executive Policy and an Executive Order on discrimination and harassment which states that the policy of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is to "provide its employees with a workplace that is free of discrimination/harassment based on race, color, sex (including gender identity or expression), creed or religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military or veteran status, or any other classification pursuant to applicable State, federal or local law, rule or regulation or executive order."

    In this order discrimination is defined as the failure or refusal to hire, promote or train an individual or treat that individual equally with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of that individual's membership in any of the above classes.

    As Comptroller, one of my primary duties is performing the official audits of New York State agencies, departments, and bureaus. Many of these agencies address issues of critical concern to people with disabilities - The New York Development Disabilities Services Office (DDSO) and The Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), for example, are only two of the many offices which address the unique concerns of people with disabilities.

    My job is to safeguard the financial resources of these agencies and ensure they use tax dollars in the most efficient way possible. In 2007, our audit of OMRDD recovered $150,000 from a bus company that billed for services it never provided. The company was under contract with the OMRDD to transport developmentally disabled children, yet our audit showed they never performed background checks for these drivers. As a result of the audit, the OMRDD implemented controls to protect children and no longer uses a third-party vendor to transport its children. We have also audited the DDSO, uncovering a lack of competitive bidding for repair contracts and recommending more stringent invoicing requirements. This process is critical to the cost-effective operation of all levels of New York government, including agencies advancing the rights of the disabled.

    One of the initiatives of my office, a financial education website called Your Money New York, was recently enhanced to include links to information and resources which can help people address the many financial issues involved in living with a disability. The new section includes information about the legal rights of disabled populations and links to programs that can help people achieve financial security, participate actively in the community, and realize their individual potential. The Office of the State Comptroller website is ADA compliant.

    My record as Comptroller demonstrates that I am fully committed to disability rights. In my next term, I will continue to fight tirelessly to safeguard financial resources and help those that face disability-related challenges navigate the maze of available resources.


  6. 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 accessible to people who use mobility aids, like wheelchairs and walkers?

    All events sponsored by my office take into account accessibility.


  7. Do you pledge to use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections to persons with disabilities?

    My record indicates that I have always been committed to helping New Yorkers with disabilities gain access to the resources they are entitled to. Additionally, I have audited State agencies to ensure they are providing services to people with disabilities in the most efficient way possible. I pledge to continue this work and help those with disability-related challenges exercise their civil rights.


  8. 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?

    See question #5: I have brought my commitment with me to this office and will continue to do so - all my life I have believed that people should be treated equally and have the same opportunities and I continue to believe it.


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

    While my current position does not include sponsoring legislation, my commitment to the community is no different than when I was an Assemblyman and supported legislation and program grants for initiatives that were helpful to the disability community.


  10. If you are an incumbent,

    1. Is your office accessible to persons with disabilities? If not, what have you done to rectify the inaccessibility? When do you intend to find an accessible office?


      My office is accessible/open to all individuals and provides for reasonable accommodation whenever needed. All locations statewide of the Office of the Sate Comptroller are accessible to people with disabilities.


    2. What oversight have you performed regarding implementation of programs/legislation passed previously?


      As the State Comptroller, it is my job to study the operation of New York State government agencies to make certain they are using our tax dollars in the most efficient way possible. I perform periodic audits of these agencies, including departments that provide services to those with disabilities. This work has helped recover thousands of dollars of mismanaged money and provided suggestions to help these agencies operate more smoothly. Continued audits are critical to helping the disabled community receive all the resources they deserve. I pledge to continue this work and to keep disability rights a priority in my work as Comptroller.


  11. 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?

    Of course.


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