New York City, Nov. 8 – Democrat Richard Gottfried was re-elected to the New York State Assembly District 75 with no major party opposition in the midterm elections. While campaigning, Gottfried completed a disability issues questionnaire for New York City candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire asked candidates to answer five key questions that impact the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City.
While Gottfried did not answer each question, he submitted a statement in response. He highlighted his participation in the Assembly Health Committee, as well as his sponsorship of the NY Health Act, which aims to create universal, single-payer health coverage for the city of New York.
“I will be amending the bill in the 2019 legislative session to include long-term care (particularly home care),” Gottfried said in his statement.
Gottfried closed with a commitment to work with people with disabilities to meet their goals. “I believe strongly in working with groups. including people with disabilities, to learn from them what their priorities and needs are and what state policies and actions would be most effective, and then to work in whatever ways I can to help advance that agenda,” he said.
There are 455,186 working-age people with disabilities in New York City and only 150,074 have jobs. 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.
View Gottfried’s full statement below:
As chair of the Assembly Health Committee, the two areas in which my work most intersects with the disability community are home health care and the Early Intervention program.
For many people with disabilities, quality home health care is essential to enable them to live more productive and fulfilling lives in the community, including participation in the workforce, and to maintain their health. (The Traumatic Brain Injury program is an example of how these services can be most important.) Through hearings and fighting for legislation and funding, I work every year to improve and protect home care and other health-related programs for people with disabilities.
As the long-time lead sponsor of the NY Health Act, to create universal single-payer health coverage for NY, I will be amending the bill in the 2019 legislative session to include long-term care (particularly home care).
The Early Intervention program is critically important for many infants and young children with a variety of disabilities. I work every year to protect and improve the program, including opposing efforts by governors to restrict it. The NY Health Act would greatly improve funding for these services.
More broadly, I believe strongly in working with groups. including people with disabilities, to learn from them what their priorities and needs are and what state policies and actions would be most effective, and then to work in whatever ways I can to help advance that agenda. I will continue that work with people with disabilities and the organizations representing them.
Richard N. Gottfried
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. You can see more candidate responses at http://therespectabilityreport.org. To learn more about the organization, visit www.respectability.org.
I remember Mr Gottfried from the 1980’s as a man committed to change, equality and assisting those with disabilities to succeed.