2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Fernando Cabrera
Council District 14
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? I don’t have
a campaign office at this time, but will certainly have accessibility when
I open my campaign office. I have done in all other campaign races.
Political: Bronx Democratic Party, Congressman Adriano Espiyallat, Chairman Marcos Crespo, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Councilman Andy King, Council member Anabel Palma, Council member Andy Cohen, District Leader Timothy Tapia, District Leader Yudelka Tapia, Benjamin Franklin Democratic Club
Labor: 32 BJ, CW1180, Hotels Trade Union, Labor Local 1010, Mason Tenders, CSA, United Federation of Teachers, Correction Officer Benevolent Association, and Steamfitters Union (expecting more next week).
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? I have supported every bill in the NYC Council which advances disability rights .
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? Yes
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? My grandfather and grandmother lived many years with disabilities. My grandfather loss a leg to diabetes. It greatly affected him. I also have dealt and assisted people in my own church whom I serve as a senior pastor in helping them with their needs and protect their rights.
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 continue with my 100 percent legislative track record to ensure people with disabilities receive what is due to them. I will advocate to my partner in the council and advocates.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? First, my office is fully accessible to those with disabilities. Second, we will use our office as a “bully platform” to stand for civil rights protections for person with disabilities. Third, we will continue to work with our senior center to make sure the rights of the disabled are protected.
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
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? I fully support it.
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, I believe that a minimum the main floor of a home should have a zero-step main floor entry, doors wide enough to maneuver through in a wheelchair, and a half-bathroom .
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? In my district, I have been advocating for an elevator at the 4 subway stop at Burnside. Right now there is no elevator to serve those with disabilities between Fordham and 167 street. I have led the fight through the Jerome rezoning process to advocate for the creation of an elevator at the Burnside Avenue station.
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? We need to use technology, as used in the taxi industry, which will GPS every Access-A-Ride vehicle which will indicate whether the vehicle showed up and how long they waited for their customer. This way we have an accountability beyond just mere words.
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? We have appointed everyone with disability who applied to the board, namely four. One of the four, is legally blind and we facilitated for her to have access for special reading equipment.
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? The City needs to enforce the laws already put in place.
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? A citywide for an evacuation plan must be in place to assure the safety for PWDS. The city should encourage, through the CERT certification, an action plan which include PWDs .
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? We need a coordinated effort next year among council members and advocates next year to assure this is included in the 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? The City Council needs to continue conducting oversight hearings to make sure that the agency is properly and effectively run to serve the needs of PWDs .
Date: June 26, 2017