2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Mary Silver City Council District 2
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? Yes
Campaign Address: 165 East 32nd Street, 10E, NY, NY 10016 Website: www.marysilvernyc.com
Political: New American Democratic Club; New Women’s Democratic Forum; New American Youth Forum
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? As a member of Community Education Council District 2, as well as PTA president at several schools, I advocated for fair student funding for students with disabilities; I also advocated for providing all necessary accommodations for students with special needs.
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 use my best efforts to only attend accessible events.
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? Yes on both counts.
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? Close members of my family have all benefitted from 504 plans throughout their educational experience, which required significant research and advocacy.
What would be your strategy to work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation through the City Council? I will work closely with the disability community, as a partner, to strategize and advocate for disability rights legislation.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? I will work closely with the disability community, as a partner, to strategize and advocate for disability rights legislation.
Will all events planned by your office be accessible with all material including the appropriate accessibility symbols (such as the wheelchair, ASL CART, etc)? I will use best efforts to ensure that all events planned by my office are accessible, and promoted as such.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? Developing accessible affordable housing must be a high priority in Manhattan and citywide.
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? Y es.
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? I will support legislation to expand affordable, accessible transportation .
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?
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 will aggressively recruit people with disabilities to serve on community boards overlapping with Council District 2.
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? I support Intro-537, which would require the Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities to designate a small business accessibility coordinator, responsible for liaising with agencies involved in accessibility projects and for educating business owners and operators about their obligations under local, state, and federal law to make their businesses accessible to people with disabilities.
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? New York City has historically neglected persons with disabilities in its emergency evacuation planning. The City Council must aggressively oversee the City’s compliance with the 2013 settlement agreement to ensure robust implementation of the City’s commitment to provide persons with disabilities with meaningful access to emergency preparedness programs and services.
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? Yes.
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 Council should hold an annual joint committee hearing overseeing the performance of MOPD, as well as the coordination of all city agencies with MOPD.
Date: June 9, 2017