New York City, Nov. 8 – Longtime former City Council member and Democratic New York State Senate Candidate Robert Jackson wins the District 31 senate seat beating incumbent Marisol Alcantara (Independence Party) and Melinda Crump (Republican).
Jackson responded to disability issues questionnaire for New York City candidates for Senate and Assembly put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advanceopportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire to which Jackson responded gauges how candidates plan to tackle disability issues. This way, voters with concerns about disability policy know which candidates have the positions that they agree with the most. Jackson’s opponents, Alcantara and Crump, did not respond to the questionnaire despite repeated requests to their campaigns from RespectAbility.
Jackson fully responded to the five questions in the questionnaire, indicating what disability policy would mean for his administration. For instance, Jackson highlighted how he would tackle issues such as high unemployment rates amongst the disabled in New York.
“My plan is to work with [RespectAbility] and other advocates to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate among working-age persons with disabilities in New York,” said Jackson. “This plan should include early training and subsidized intern programs to help disabled people become part of the workforce when they are young and can build experience and credentials.”
Disability workforce programs can be vital in helping people with disabilities find stable employment, especially when people in the disability community face chronic joblessness. Currently, only 32.7 percent, or one third, of residents of New York City with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 64 are employed. In comparison, 58.4 percent of working-age residents of New York City without disabilities are employed.
To help address such issues, Jackson also plans on initiating other programs to help the disability community obtain a higher rate of employment. These programs include giving workers with disabilities tax credits to help offset expenses associated with their disabilities as well as providing transportation options so that people with disabilities can get to work in the first place.
Read Jackson’s full response below.