2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Deborah L. Rose
City Council District 49
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? Yes
Campaign Address: P.O. Box 30117, SI, NY 10303
Political: Democratic Party, Working Families Party
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? Last term I was chair of the Committee on Civil Rights and oversaw the Human Rights Commission. I was also the prime sponsor of Int. 797-A, which requires a sign at inaccessible building entrances, public toilets and elevators giving directions to the nearest available accessible entrance or facility. I was also the prime sponsor of The Caregivers Discrimination Bill, which bans discrimination in the workplace based on actual or perceived status as a caregiver. In addition, I have co-sponsored hundreds of bills related to improving the civil and human rights of all New Yorkers. And, when on the Community School Board of District 31, I chaired the Committee for Exceptional Children, working with parents of and students with disabilities.
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 ? This has been my commitment and practice since being elected to office in 2009 and I will continue this practice my next term .
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? Yes. In the absence of an amendment to Local Law 28, would you voluntarily comply? Yes, I will adopt this practice in my next term.
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? As stated in “a” above, before being to elected to office I chaired a school district committee which addressed the needs of parents of and students with disabilities. In my personal life, my mother had polio and her brother had cerebral palsy so I grew up very sensitive and understanding of the issues of persons with disabilities. Later in my life my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which presented special issues; she became ill and eventually incapacitated and I was her primary caregiver. Finally, personally I have experienced access and mobility issues due to knee and shoulder conditions.
What would be your strategy to work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation through the City Council? Through meetings with stakeholders and community groups, and outreach in connection with hearings and legislation.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? As I have for the last two terms, I would seek out legislation and policies to strengthen the rights of disadvantaged persons in our society. As a founder of the council’s Progressive Caucus, my agenda has been to level the playing field so that all New Yorkers have access to good jobs, affordable homes, and appropriate services.
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, I will adopt this practice in my next term.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? I have been supported of such development and will continue to be so in my next term.
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? I fully support this concept.
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? I will legislation to address this, and work with the MTA to increase escalator and elevator service at stations and also support more wheelchair accessible taxis.
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? Addressing AAR complaints is a focus of my constituent services staff. We are monitoring the situation and I ask pointed questions regarding it at relevant oversight and budget hearings. SI has a growing senior population to whom AAR is vital so that will remain one of my top priorities.
VI. Community Boards:
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? I do not set quotas but have and will continue to appoint qualified persons from as broad and diverse a pool of persons as possible.
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 and have supported groups such as Visions, Lifestyles for the Disabled, the NY Institute on Disability, and many more.
a. What steps do you think NYC should take to encourage business owners to make their establishments more accessible? Consider what additional tax breaks could be offered, better curb cuts in BIDS, and Braille in restaurants (I am a prime sponsor of this legislation in the council).
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? After Superstorm Sandy revealed how poorly organized our city agencies were on this issue, legislative packages were passed to improve the culture and practice of city agencies and require more coordination and planning for addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities. We must continue to monitor the performance levels with these pieces of legislation and determine where improvements are needed.
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? I would be most pleased to work with your organization in identifying this as a budget priority in FY19 and advocating for an increased budget .
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? As a start through oversight hearings and possibly through reporting legislation.
Date: June 9, 2017