Democrat mascot donkey behind a wheelchair icon - The First Democratic Club in the Country Focusing on Disability Rights
photo of Alice Cancel
2016 State Senate and Assembly Candidate Screening Questionnaire

Candidate Name: Alice Cancel

Candidate for Assembly District: 65 (Manhattan)

Campaign Name: Alice Cancel Progressive for Assembly

Campaign Address: 333 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10038


Do you have a campaign office? No.

Campaign Manager: John Quinn - Temporary_Manager

Phone: 917-854-4249


Previous elected offices held: Democratic District Leader 65 Assembly District part B


Key endorsements:

Community organizations: Founded 5 pct youth council. Former CB3 member P.A. PS 1 and PS 126. Leader and founding member of LESDEM Club

Political leaders: Nydia Velazquez, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Rosie Mendez, Daniel Squardron, Margaret Chin

Local community leaders: Lower East Side has too many to fit on a sheet of paper. Community Service is in their blood.

Labor: Local 74 USWU



  1. While in public office/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 have been a housing advocate for many years. As a District Representative for Senator Connor, Allen Gerson, John Liu, and Scott Stringer, I have save Senior apartments, and assisted People with disabilities find NYCHA housing. In SBT I we formed the SBT Parent and Youth Association to procure funding for a ADA-compatible Swing for a child with Cerebral Palsy.


  2. 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 physically accessible?




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


    In the Comptrolller's office I work with many persons with disabilities. I have many friends in our community who have disabilities inclulding my husband who is a Life Member of the 504 Dems.


  4. Are you willing to hire and to provide reasonable accommodation (e.g. flex or part time) for staff members with disabilities?




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


    I am at present working with the BOE to make all election sites truly assessable and compliant with 504 law. Having wheelchair bound people travel up to 5 blocks over broken streets is not a solution. We must have a state law to make all government buildings ESPECIALLY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADA COMPLIANT.


  6. What will you do at the State level to reverse the negative impact of recent decisions in Federal Courts which are undercutting the powers of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities in New York State?


    New York State must enact laws to hold employers, developers and landlords, financially and possibly criminally responsible for violation of our own ADA law. I would propose and sponsor this legislation with your help. AGAIN, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR GOVERNMENT NOT TO BE TOTALLY COMPLIANT.


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


    I have long experience working with all our elected officials. We must bring all our resources to bear to enact legislation. Children and Seniors often fall through the. The poor and Disabled in shelters must be protected. People with Alzheimer's must be protected. Government facilities must be held to a higher standard. I helped a constituent get her mother out of Goldwater hospital. Staff is over loaded and I observed residents in a catatonic state left alone and staring into space. We must greatly increase Medicare and Medicaid funding. NOT EASY. I Need Community Support To Achieve This Kind of Change. 3 MEN IN A ROOM WON'T DO THIS.


  8. 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? Would you seek to promote comprehensive long term care reform that will not reduce coverage or access to services?


    I stopped NYCHA from evicting a senior and placing her in a nursing home. I think I answered the in the previous question.


  9. 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?




  10. 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?


    Yes. Especially in NYCHA and all developments with government tax breaks.


  11. 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?




  12. 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?




  13. Despite acquiring voting machines that attempt to meet the accessibility standards of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), many polling 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?


    All Polling Sites Must Be Made Accessible. There is no excuse for government buildings NOT TO BE COMPLIANT!


  14. How do you propose dealing with school districts that deny civil rights to disabled students even after the State Division of Civil Rights affirms the student's rights such as to use an assist animal?


    Enforcement and Penalties must be applied in law. State funding can be with held.


  15. Do you support legislation requiring car services, and all shuttle services to purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles or otherwise ensure that they have the capacity to serve persons with disabilities?


    Yes, including yellow cabs, black cars and Uber style vehicles.