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

Candidate Name: Paul Newell

Candidate for State Assembly District: 65 (Manhattan)

Website: NewellNYC.org

Is your campaign accessible? We are currently in negotiations for an office space. The space is fully ADA accessible.

 

Endorsements: CWA Local 1101, CWA Local 1180, Lin Sing Association, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA),Former Borough President Ruth Messinger, Former Public Advocate Mark Green, Former City Council Member Ronnie Eldridge, Zephyr Teachout, Bill Samuels, WFP State Committee Member Jeff Gold, WFP State Committee Member Jill Greenberg, Jerry Hsiu (President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations)*, Democratic District Leader Kim Moscaritolo, Democratic District Leader Nick Rizzo, Democratic District Leader Adam Roberts, Democratic District Leader Nick Prigo, Democratic District Leader Tom Shcherbenko, Former LES State Committee member Marvin Wasserman, and many community leaders.

 

 

  1. If you are an incumbent, are your offices accessible to persons with disabilities? If not, what have you done to rectify the inaccessibility? If you are not an incumbent, If the present offices are inaccessible, do you intent to find an accessible office?

     

    I'm not an incumbent.  I do not have an office.

     

  2. What, if anything, have you accomplished in regard to advancing disability rights (e.g. accessible housing, transportation, employment, health care, education, and including people with disabilities in the political process?

     

    As District Leader, I worked hard to promote and advocate for the Taxis for All Campaign, in conjunction with many members of this club. I have consistently advocated for additional senior and accessible housing. I founded the Coalition for a New Village Hospital to advocate for more accessible healthcare services in Lower Manhattan. Prior to running for office, I helped build Ubuntu Education Fund, an HIV response organization that build the first fully accessible HIV and tuberculosis treatment and testing site in the region of South Africa where we work. Achieving this required fighting board members and others who opposed the additional expense. I have been a grant and promotional writer for the National Organization on Disability.

     

  3. Will you commit to only attend and/or sponsor events that are accessible including providing materials in alternate formats, assistive listening systems, ASL and ensure locations are accessible?

     

    I will commit to only sponsoring accessible events, and to discourage/express my concern about other events in non-accessible locations.

     

  4. What personal and/or professional experience have you had with people with disabilities?

     

    Some of this I addressed in question two above. In all my tenant and health care advocacy, many of the people I have worked closest with have disabilities. I have always stood to ensure that everyone has the accommodations needed in their homes, workplaces, and public facilities.

     

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

     

    Yes.

     

  6. How will you work with our community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation to protect our rights?

     

    Via community outreach and engagement. Specifically, I will set-up a disability advisory group with which I will meet on a regular basis so that I may at all times be aware of concerns as they change/arise. This will ideally include both hyper-local concerns (eg: the accessible entrance in a given housing complex is broken) and broader state/city-wide concerns. I will maintain an ongoing dialogue with the 504 Democrats and other advocates representing the disabled community.

     

  7. Would you increase rental/housing subsidies to participants in the Nursing Facility Transition and Diversion Medicaid waiver program to help people with disabilities can afford to live in the community?

     

    Yes.

     

  8. New York State's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program (EPIC) only provides coverage to seniors. Would you support EPIC expansion to include younger disabled New Yorkers?

     

    Yes.

     

  9. The Fair Housing Act requires developers set aside a certain percentage of accessible units for persons with disabilities. Do you favor incorporating these provisions into New York State law so that DHCR can be empowered to enforce these provisions?

     

    Yes.

     

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

     

    Yes. I advocated for the Taxis for All campaign. The huge successes there are in danger of being undercut with other For Hire Vehicles, notably so-called “e-hail” services. All FHVs should be brought, at a minimum, to parity with yellow taxis, with the goal of 100% fleet accessibility.