2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Randy Abreu
Council District 14
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? Yes, 10 W Kingsbridge Road Bronx, NY 10468
Political: Senator Gustavo Rivera; 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? While at the Federal Communications Commission, I worked on laws and regulations that would ensure closed captioning and added telecommunication services for persons 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? Absolutely. I am a big advocate for access to persons with disabilities, and will hold others accountable when they fail to do so.
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.
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? Personally, my hip was re-aligned at the age of 10, and I was considered disabled for almost a year. I learned first hand the difficulties involved. Professionally, I understand the problems people with disabilities go through, especially as it relates to accessing vital communications tools like the television and mobile phone. It is difficult for people with disabilities, and our laws should understand and reflect that .
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 establish a monthly NGO meeting of people with disabilities and advocates of their issues. We will identify pain points and solve them.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? I will be an example of a leader who goes above and beyond the call of duty to protect persons with disabilities. I will promote greater access for those with disabilities to train stations and venues.
Will all events planned by your office be accessible with all material including the appropriate accessibility symbols (such as the wheelchair, ASL CART, etc)? Absolutely.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? I believe all development in my community must be fully equipped for 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.? I will call for elevators at every train station in along the train stations in my district. It is a shame that a person in a wheelchair must wheel over two train stops to access a station with an elevator.
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 will ask for cameras to be placed in AAR vehicles and use the tape to determine what is going on here.
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, absolutely.
b How many people with disabilities have/will you appoint to your local Community Board? At least 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? Of course!
What steps do you think NYC should take to encourage business owners to make their establishments more accessible? NYC should provide incentives to businesses to make their establishments more accessible, and tax those establishments that fail to do so (even after being offered the incentive).
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 will utilize the power of technology to aggregate data on all persons with disabilities so that in the event of fire, attack, blackout, or other emergency situation, there will be a streamlined way to find the person and help them reach safety.
X. Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
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 will call for a local law that requires all city departments/agencies to coordinate through MOPD for certain engagements.
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? It is important to collect data on the work being done throughout all agencies. This data should highlight whether the office’s work is being implemented appropriately and those that work on these issues are doing so to their fullest potential.
Date: June 10, 2017