Champion the issues that harm our most vulnerable!
The Borough President must be a steward for quality of life issues, especially when it comes to disabled New Yorkers, seniors, those living in temporary housing and shelters, and others, who have been most harmed by years of poor leadership.
Accessibility and Other Solutions for Disabled New Yorkers
Nearly one million New Yorkers live with a disability, representing about 11% of the population. More than 230,000 of this group are students in the public school system, representing 20% of the student population. Having a disability of any type makes a person more likely to experience economic hardships, isolation, and mental illness.
- Accessibility — the vast majority of our schools and subways are not accessible to wheelchairs. Some school buildings have partly complied with ADA mandates (installing a ramp to enter the building but nothing else), but only 20% are fully compliant. Elevators at subway stations are slightly more prevalent at 25% but getting to a train platform in a wheelchair is hardly the realization of an accessible transit system.
- Workplace Discrimination — laws prohibit the discrimination of people with disabilities in the workplace; however, subtle ways to exclude people still exist. Developing a culture of inclusion starts with the conditioning of private and non-profit sector leaders, the development of workplace practices that filter activities and tasks through the lens of diversity. As a person who lives with a disability of my own, I would be honored to champion this cause.
- Quality of Life and Culture — enjoyment in life, whether its through literature, music, nature, visual arts, and/or film, can be a limiting factor in the lives of people with disabilities. Adults with disabilities are more likely to live isolated lives. It seems to me that New York would benefit a great deal from a wide array of initiatives to help people with disabilities enjoy the city.
It is incumbent upon the government officials to do their best to ensure compliance with ADA regulations and offer ways to help disabled New Yorkers thrive. Here are a few practical solutions for which I’ll fight!
Food Security, EBT and SNAP Programs
Disabled New Yorkers are also disproportionately harmed by policies that drain tax payer resources for vital help in our communities. Food insecurity is a major concern, and Kim will fight for stronger policies:
- to work with State and Federal elected officials to fight for increased EBT/ SNAP card allocations, as many families run out of money/ food in the third week of each month, and essentially starve until the next EBT/ SNAP deposit, which is unacceptable in 2021.
- advocate for food markets and vendors to offer a EBT/SNAP card discount.
- call for for the EBT/ SNAP card to be used to purchase hot food/ take out food, as many of the low income do not have a stove/ oven to cook, and in the harsh winter months, this is harmful to the low income community.
- advocate that many businesses will offer the EBT/ SNAP card recipients the ability to purchase other items such as diapers, clothes/ shoes/ school supplies for their children. significant discount for purchases. Kim will also ask that these businesses offer discounts.
Civic Inclusion and Engagement
Service Days, local government participation, and educational enrichment are just three ways that I plan to improve the quality of citizenship in Manhattan. Our future-focused agenda will help students, immigrants, working professionals, and seniors take part in practical programs that improve New York City for everyone who lives, works, and visits here.
New York City has one of the lowest voter-participation rates in the United States. Civics education is not a priority for most K-12 educational institutions, and the civics that are taught are often focused on federal office and government. Kim wants to marshall the impact of student voice groups, such as Teens Take Charge, Integrate NYC, District 3’s Model CEC, and the Youth Council of ASID to elevate the importance of civics education for young New Yorkers.
I also want to work in partnership with other elected officials on automatic voter registration, election training, and scholarship programs and other incentives for citizens who serve the city’s voter and election processes.