Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more
Sacramento, CA, August 19 – Republican candidate, farmer and psychologist Robert C. Newman II has responded to a detailed candidate questionnaire on disability issues. The questionnaire is from RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization that does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to candidates in California’s critical gubernatorial recall election. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Newman’s responses follows:
EDUCATION & SKILLS: What is your plan to ensure that all students with disabilities, including English Language Learners, receive an appropriate education to acquire critical and marketable skills?
California public schools are some of the worst in the nation. I am a Schools Choice advocate. I believe this would allow parents to have more input to their child’s educational choice, i.e. charter schools, private schools, home schooling. The costs for each student would be less than what is paid to public schools. Schools Choice will also give parents of disabled children power and opportunity to decide what educational institution best fits the needs of their children. For example. If you have an autistic child you, as the parent, would have the chance to do your research and choose another educational alternative to public schools. Although I am a supporter of private education, there are instances when private institutions do not have the resources to instruct disabled pupils. However, with Schools Choice, these private institutions would have the support from parents to supply the needs of disabled pupils.
EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP: If elected, what will you do to advance opportunities for people with disabilities who want to work and earn an income, just like anyone else? How will you support employers, large and small, to recruit and hire workers with disabilities?
The governor has a job description outlined in the California State Constitution. Although the governor does not make laws, they can influence the legislature which does make laws. I believe that we should support the disabled population and I would use my influence as governor, to assist the disabled population with employment opportunities. I believe in the intrinsic value of work. It is important for the disabled to have the experience of feeling valued by working and being compensated for that work.
ACCESS & INCLUSION: Whether or not you have a formal platform, what specific plans do you have to incorporate the voices of people with disabilities into your decision-making processes, if elected?
I have had campaign events where others who have disabilities attended. As a clinical research psychologist, I did assessments of the mentally and/or physically disabled in board and care facilities. Having a disability myself, I have made strides to give everyone access to my campaign whether in person or online. With my own disability I have experienced situations when typical movement or access is difficult. Due to this experience, I do spend time thinking about ways in which to make access for the disabled easier. However, I am open to suggestions from the people.
FIGHTING STIGMAS: If elected, what will be your plan to fight stigmas, highlight the disability community, and promote higher expectations for success?
I will use my influence as governor to fight stigmas, discrimination against disabled individuals, and highlight the successes and accomplishments of the disabled community.
OTHER KEY ISSUES: What additional policies and priorities, other than those already discussed above, do you plan to focus on to improve the lives of people with disabilities?
Housing, criminal justice, climate issues, voting rights and transportation effect all people, including the disabled. I am interested in all these areas of legislation, not just for people without disabilities, but for all people. The Declaration of Independence says“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The disabled have the God given right to pursue happiness and work and education can bring happiness. To me it is a wonderful thing that the Declaration of Independence, a magnificent document, does not single out and discriminate between peoples, but declares the rights of all.
Newman is one of many candidates who are competing in California’s special gubernatorial recall election. For a full list of candidates running in the September 14 recall election and to learn more about voting, please visit the California Secretary of State’s 2021 CA Gubernatorial Recall Election website at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of California candidates on our website.