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photo of Evette Zayas2010 Questionnaire response from:
Evette Zayas, candidate for State Assembly (68th Assembly District, Manhattan)

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Candidate Name: Evette Zayas

Candidate for Assembly District: 68 (Manhattan)

Contact Person: Evette Zayas


Campaign Address: 230 East 123rd Street, Suite 2204, New York, NY

Phone: 347-488-6433




Endorsements: In Arms Reach, Inc.



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


    I do not have a campaign office as of yet but when I do it will be wheelchair accessible.


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


    I have a friend who is deaf helping me on disabilities issues helping me on my campaign.


  3. If you not are an incumbent,

    1. Is your present office/work place accessible to people with disabilities? If not, what have you done to rectify the inaccessibility?


      Yes, my office is wheelchair accessible.


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


    There was a senior in a wheelchair that was living in a New York City Housing Authority apartment and his building was not wheelchair assessable so I help to move him to another apartment where the building is wheelchair accessible.


  5. 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?


    If I get elected, I would offer the possibility for a person with disability the opportunity to apply for a position and depending on the disability we would figure out from there. I did go to disability training where the public was informed on the different technology for persons with disability and how it can be integrated in the job place.


  6. 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?


    During my time as Chief of Staff to Assembly Adam Powell, I had a paraplegic living in New York City Housing and because she was a felon she could not live in NYCHA. I submitted her name in an application with a letter of support for assisted living. With much waited time the building responded and wrote a letter to me. The constituent change her number so I went to her apartment to give her good news that she was eligible for an apartment in this development even with her felony.


  7. 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?



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


    Yes, I pledge to strengthen the civil rights protections to person with disabilities.


  9. How do you propose your active involvement/availability to the disability community?

    1. Will there be a specific person in your office responsible to this community?


      All in my office will be responsible to the disability community and their needs.


    2. Will have regular office agenda meetings on these issues?


      Yes, I would have regular meeting to discuss disability issues.


    3. What would you do to have direct contact with our community?


      My office has partnered with the Harlem Independent living center and Life Spire to help those who have come to my office with disability concerns. I have recommended their services to people who had no idea they were there for them.


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


    I have made a good friend who works in an organization that deals with persons with disabilities and from the start of our friendship I told her that I wanted to help any way I could. She comes by and we discuss the various issues of apartments that are not accessible to broken elevators where wheelchair users end up prisoners of their own homes when the elevator are not working.


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


    Any law that would come before me would have to have some kind of provision for persons with disabilities if a provision is warrant. Persons with disabilities are affected by all laws that are passed and it would not be fair to enact a law that would hinder a person with disabilities.


  12. 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?


      Yes, I would oppose anything that would have a negative impact on persons with disabilities.


    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?




  13. 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?




  14. Will you support moving funds from nursing homes to moving patients out of nursing homes and back into the community?


    I would support the independent living of any individual.


  15. 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?




  16. 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?




  17. 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?




  18. 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?




  19. 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?




  20. 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 whole heartily support any assistance and accommodations for student with disabilities. My son is attending college and he has a disability and does use the disability office in his college for his needs. I am very involved in my son's education and realize that the playing field in college has to be leveled for all the disability offices in college needs to be supported and strengthen and I will be there to do such thing for my son and all others.


  21. 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?


    When I get elected, I will deal with problem like this. I would reach out to the school and find out what the situation is and do whatever in my power to make sure that the schools comply. By writing letters and exposing them for non-compliance or having press conference. Or to enact or introduce legislation with stiff penalties. I would make it my business to help any such persons who come to my office on such an issue.


  22. 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?




  23. Will you or do you support Assembly Member Kellner's proposed bill requiring New York City to transition to a 100% accessible taxi fleet?




  24. 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.


    Yes, I would.


    One piece of legislation that I have in mind in introducing when I get elected is to outfit apartments with carbon monoxide detectors for deaf people and it should not be more expensive than the regular detectors being installed for people who can hear.





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



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