2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Mawuli K. Hormeku
Council District: 42
695 Mother Gaston Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11212
Action Shows Commitment!
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? Through my nonprofit, Nehemiah Economic Development, Inc, I have sponsored events to connect people with disabilities and their parents to beneficial local resources in the community and citywide.
Will you only attend / sponsor events that are accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs including providing written materials in alternate formats, providing assistive listening systems, and sign language interpreters as well as ensuring that locations are physically accessible? I will require that events I attend are accessible to the greatest number of my constituents. I will require that accommodations are made to cater to people with disabilities .
Local Law 28 requires City department and agency “advertising and other materials pertaining to public events to include information regarding accessibility for people with disabilities” but it does not include elected officials or Community Boards. Do you believe the law should be amended to include electeds and Community Boards? In the absence of an amendment to Local Law 28, would you voluntarily comply? I do believe the las should be amended to include Community Boards and the offices of elected officials. My office would comply with this statute voluntarily, serving as an example to others.
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? In college, I suffered from viral meningitis which left me with permanent paralysis to half of my face, Bell's Palsy. This paralysis has left me unable to smile. Most politicians are known for their inviting smile but I have decided to run for City Council despite this disability .
What would be your strategy to work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation through the City Council? I would work with leaders and advocates for the community to find out what is needed most by establishing periodic workshops, forums and think tanks to keep people informed and engaged .
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? I believe all civil rights legislation can benefit from periodic review to ensure that it properly serves its internees audience.
D. Will all events planned by your office be accessible with all material including the appropriate accessibility symbols (such as the wheelchair, ASL CART, etc)? Yes.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? I support the development of housing that is accessible to people with disabilities.
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 Building Code? Yes
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? As a member of Community Board 16, I have fought and will continue fight to speed up the construction of elevators at the Junius Street 3 train stations in order to better serve senior and disabled patrons.
Access-A-Ride (AAR) users experience unnecessarily long trips, causing users to be late for work and appointments. Users have been stranded and penalized as a "no-show" when the vehicle never arrived. Riders who complain report they have been subject to retaliation. What would you do to improve the quality of service? I would conduct a review of the services' practices to ensure that the are serving the Community best they can and then take the necessary procedures to ensure that the culture of inadequate service is replaced.
VI. Community Boards:
a. Do you support requiring all Community Board meetings and functions to be accessible, including requiring sign language interpreters and large print format material? Yes
b. How many people with disabilities have/will you appoint to your local Community Board? As much as I possibly can if they are qualified.
VII. Discretionary Funds:
Will you use your discretionary funds to support organizations serving PWDS or service organizations seeking to make their programs accessible to PWDS? Yes
a. What steps do you think NYC should take to encourage business owners to make their establishments more accessible? Business owners should all be a part of a Business improvement district and work together to make their local area attractive to customers
b. How would you ensure that emergency evacuation for PWDS provisions are put in place to improve survival rates of PWDs in the event of fire, attack, blackout, or other emergency situation? I believe the periodic review of evacuation protocols by the FDNY and other emergency services is essential to ensure the highest survival rates possible.
X. Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
a. Mayor Bloomberg elevated the Director of the (MOPD) to a Commissioner without any increase in budget. How would you ensure that city departments/agencies coordinate through MOPD? Coordination can only be insured by creating legislation that requires MOPD approval.
b. How do you believe the City Council should enforce and do oversight regarding the work of the office and be certain of the implementation and its efforts? The City Council should do an annual review of the office and have the ability to provide recommendations that will encourage progressive growth of that office.