If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible?
How have you incorporated people with disabilities into your campaign?
I do have people with disabilities who are activy helping in my campaign.
If you are an incumbent,
Is your office accessible to persons with disabilities?
What oversight have you performed regarding implementation of programs/legislation passed previously?
I haven't. The Assembly has a Disabilities Task Force.
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities in your personal life and in the workplace?
Like almost anybody else I know people, both personally and professionally, with disabilities.
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?
I provide reasonable accommodation for all of my staff members to fit their needs. That would include someone with a disability.
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?
I support and co-sponsor many bills in the assembly for the benefit of those with disabilities.
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?
Any event of which I am the prime sponsor is accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. I don't know that I can commit to providing assistive listening systems or sign language interpreters, as much as I would like to, unless the assembly provides funding for me to do so.
Do you pledge to use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections to persons with disabilities?
I have and will continue to strongly support and fight for the rights of those with disabilities.
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?
I frequently meet with individuals and groups that advocate on behalf of those with disabilities.
What would you do to have direct contact with our community?
The same thing I'm already doing. I do have direct contact with people with disabilities, whether they are individual constituents or advocates.
How will you work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation? What will be your strategy?
The assembly regularly passes a long list of bill supported by the disability community and I support and/or co-sponsor these bills.
How would you change the laws of New York State to protect the rights of its citizens with disabilities?
By supporting the bills we pass in the assembly.
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.
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?
I would and do oppose such negative proposals. I do support eliminating such biases.
Would you seek to promote comprehensive long term care reform that will not reduce coverage or access to services?
Would you increase rental/housing subsidies to participants in the new Nursing Facility Transition and Diversion Medicaid waiver program?
I would like to, but of course that would depend on fiscal conditions.
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?
Again, I do support such expansion, but it would be very costly and therefore would only be possible if fiscal conditions allow it.
Will you support moving funds from nursing homes to moving patients out of nursing homes and back into the community?
As Chair of the Aging Committee in the assembly, I strongly support making it possible for anyone, be they elderly or someone with a disability, to live at home.
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?
I would want to examine specific details of such a proposal.
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 Department of Housing and Community Renewal can be empowered to enforce these provisions?
I would consider supporting that, depending upon the percentage.
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?
At present: SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) Household income cap is $29,000. DRIE (Disabled Rent Increase Exemption) is $19,284/single and $27,780/2 or more. What is your position on increasing DRIE income eligibility to match SCRIE?
I do support raising the DRIE level to the SCRIE level, understanding the enormous cost (because the average DRIE recipient would benefit from the program for many, many more years than the average SCRIE recipient.).
While localities have acquired 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 New York State Election Law allowing waiver of polling place accessibility standards?
NO. Every polling place should be accessible. Everyone in my district is - and we've gone to great lengths to insure that they are. Having recently been through the experience where we almost couldn't find a new voting site for and area where the old site was eliminated I recognize that sometimes it's literally impossible to do this. However, I think that would be extremely rare. Even for a non-accessible building, the Board of Elections could provide a temporary ramp.
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?
I would think that, on their own, every SUNY and CUNY college assists students with disabilities. I'm not sure that a new, fully funded office would make sense when SUNY and CUNY budgets are being slashed.
How do you propose dealing with school districts that deny civil rights to disabled students even after the Sate Division of Civil Rights affirms the student's rights such as to use a service animal?
I would hope that the New York State Attorney General would bring a legal action in such situations. I would think such authority to do so already exists.
Do you support legislation requiring car services, and shuttle services to purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles or otherwise ensure that they have the capacity to serve persons with disabilities?
I would support mandating that wheelchair accessible vehicles be available for those who need them.
Will you or do you support Assembly Member Kellner's proposed bill requiring New York City to transition to a 100% accessible taxi fleet?
I do support it.
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 New York State residents and 23.1% of those 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 and 2010 conventions. Would you support a campaign to set a goal that 10% of the total New York State Delegation to the 2012 Democratic National Convention be comprised of persons with disabilities.
NO. I don't support quotas for any of the other groups either. People should be elected on their own merit and not based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability or lack thereof, or any other factor. They should be elected solely on their qualifications.
For other candidates running for State Senator and State Assembly positions, go to the Questionnaires section