2017 City Council Screening Questionnaire
Candidate Name: Elvin Garcia
Council District : 18
Contact Person: Peter Brown
Phone: (718) 419-4590
If there is a Campaign office(s), is it wheelchair accessible? It is not.
1135 Olmstead Bronx, NY 10472
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 worked in City Hall to work with the Commission of the Mayor’s office for Persons with Disabilities with to launch the first ever Disability Pride Parade to raise overall awareness of disabled New Yorkers.
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, and yes.
II. General Questions:
What personal and professional experience have you had with people with disabilities? Through my college experience I learned a great deal about the ADA. In my personal life, I have family members that are a part of the Deaf community.
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 work with disability activists groups to develop the right legislation for persons with disabilities.
How will you use your office to affirm or strengthen, rather than weaken, civil rights protections for persons with disabilities? I will ensure that persons with disabilities are considered in legislation, and I will work to expand their rights.
Will all events planned by your office be accessible with all material including the appropriate accessibility symbols (such as the wheelchair, ASL CART, etc)? I will work to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to attend events planned by my office.
What is your position on the development of supported apartments/homes for people with disabled in your borough? I am a supporter of greater investment in affordable housing for all, and it is important that we make the necessary efforts to help persons with disabilities in the process.
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? Visitability can be a major deterrent to persons with disabilities, and it should be a part of the Building Code. I have a bachelor’s in Architechture, and during my education I learned a lot about
What will you do to expand affordable wheelchair accessible transportation in NYC, express buses, and shuttles, more accessible subway stations, etc.? I am a major supporter of efforts to invest in transportation for everyone in New York City. On the City Council I will work with my colleagues to invest more in transportation, and use that office to ensure that we increase accessibility for persons with disabilities. In the parkchester train station we need special wheelchair accessible escalators, so that those people
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? By implementing greater oversight over AAR vehicles and ensuring that drivers are working with users to make their rides better, we can make sure that these challenges do not continue to plague the AAR transport system.
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? Although I have not appointed any people to my local Community Board, I will make a concerted effort to appoint qualified persons with disabilities in the future.
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? I will use my discretionary funds to assist any organization that will welcome persons with disabilities to help make a difference in their communities.
What steps do you think NYC should take to encourage business owners to make their establishments more accessible?
NYC should consider incentive options for businesses that make their establishments more assessable.
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 work with my colleagues on the City Council to sponsor and pass legislation that ensures these safety measures are put in place.
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 would use my position on the Council to ensure that other departments work with the MOPD.
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 should use its offices to ensure that the MOPD is working as efficiently and successfully for persons with disabilities as possible. The City Council can also leverage its position to ensure its efforts are implemented in the timely manner.