2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: John C. Doyle
City Council District : 13
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? Yes 3594 E Tremont, Bronx, NY
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 would say I have fought for more accessible public transportation in City Island and Country Club that serve the handicapped community. Additionally I worked on dozens of access a ride cases fighting for the disabled and the services they are entitled to. I also fought for the disabled to get social security benefits they need.
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 would support any and all efforts to make public events in our city accessible.
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? As a member of the City Council, I would work to get Local Law 28 amended to include the offices of public officials as well as meeting spaces for community boards. If elected but unable to get such an amendment passed, I would comply voluntarily .
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? My mother suffered a debilitating stroke, has extremely restricted mobility, and is often in a wheelchair. Traveling with her now, I am often struck by everyday scenarios that have been made much more difficult for her by her disability, and it has made me more cognizant of the unique challenges faced by people in similar circumstances.
What would be your strategy to work closely with the disability community to assure passage of vitally needed legislation through the City Council? As a Council Member, I would make sure to have a staffer designated in my office to serve as an outreach coordinator to local disability advocates and groups.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? I will work to draft legislation that will improve protections, accessibility, and services that will allow all New Yorkers to have equal rights and protections as they go about their lives
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. I plan to be a the council member for all of my constituents.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? Strongly supportive. Everyone should equal access when it comes to housing, and we must make sure that there are affordable options available for New Yorkers who may need assistance.
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? I support the principle of visitability for all new developments in the City, and commend efforts to improve access in extant structures. Basic levels of visitability are not difficult to achieve, such as a zero step entrance or a bathroom on the main floor of a building that is wheelchair accessible, but by incorporating this into the building code we can ensure these simple measures become standard.
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? I do support expanding access to public transit for all citizens of New York City. A vast majority of New Yorkers get around using public transit, and those with disabilities who don’t have proper access can be left without any options when it comes to basic transportation needs like commuting. Expanding affordable wheelchair access guarantees that all citizens have equal access to public transit.
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? While the AAR was created with good intentions, I believe more oversight and proper management is needed of the program. The City currently employs GPS technology to track sanitation trucks, and I believe we should begin using this same technology to gather data about these trips to improve efficiency, as well as to provide a measure of oversight to make sure drivers are performing their jobs. I also want to make sure that before any major changes are made that an independent audit of the system is done, either through the city or possibly through a private logistics specialist.
V. 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, again citizens should have equal access to public works, including our civic structure.
b How many people with disabilities have/will you appoint to your local Community Board? I only know one candidate currently who I can think of, but would make a conscious effort to include people with disabilities, as I believe they provide unique insight and consideration to projects within the community.
VI. Discretionary Funds:
Will you use your discretionary funds to support organizations serving PWDS or service organizations seeking to make their programs accessible to PWDS? I would be open to this, and look for organizations that are working to include people with disabilities.
a. What steps do you think NYC should take to encourage business owners to make their establishments more accessible? Similar to how some states incentivize homeowners to update their buildings to make their homes “go green,” I would like to set up a cit fund that will help businesses to update their facilities and locations. In addition, as a member of City Council I would work to outlaw workplace discrimination based on physical and developmental 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, with its high share of high rise buildings, poses a unique challenge for people with disabilities when it comes to the matter of evacuation during an emergency situation. I support mandating that procedures are created ahead of time and practiced regularly that involve setting up a buddy system or similar assistance program to ensure no one is left behind.
VII. 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? I would begin to address this issue by fighting for an increase in budget so that the MOPD could hire an agency liaison to coordinate efforts and follow up with other city agencies. The Director of MOPD currently holds this responsibility but with the increasing burden there must be additional staff. Furthermore, I would also work to have a staffer designated a contact in each public agency and department that this liaison can maintain regular contact with and gather reports from.
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? In regards to the above, I believe the City Council can establish the funding for the liaison position, as well as draft legislation that allows for the creation of these agency contacts.