Los Angeles, March 25 – Candidate for L.A. City Controller and schoolteacher J. Carolan O’Gabhann 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.
One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability.
Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.
Below are O’Gabhann’s unedited responses:
1) Education and Skills: What steps will you take to ensure that students with disabilities of all backgrounds have what they need to succeed?
I am the only teacher running for Los Angeles City Controller so I am very much aware of the challenges that are met by our special needs students. I have those challenges within the LAUSD system, as challenging as this becomes at times due to the rules and regulations. I am a teacher that adapts my instruction to each student, and have received support for those goals.
As City Controller, I will have a special lens when I do management audits of the city departments so that those barriers are addressed in a human and effective manner.
2) Access and 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? What steps, if any, have you taken to make your campaign accessible for people with disabilities and to ensure that our voices are heard?
Again when I conduct suits, I would ensure that access and inclusion components are included in the rubric. For example, for city emergencies departments, are there accommodations provided in the event of an earthquake or global climate change.
Most importantly , I have called for an expansion of the City Council to one hundred so that a broader diverse policy making body may represent the City.
In other words, Los Angles would be viewed as a City/State , a dependent sovereign within California and the Nation. It is already larger than many states. In this way, the disability population would be more likely to be represented on the City Council, among other groups!!
3) Homelessness, Poverty, and Equity: What is your plan to address homelessness among your constituents, to work with other organizations to address the issue in the region, and to coordinate with other municipalities to create more affordable and accessible housing?
This triumphant will come together when equity is recognized as a communitarian and economic goal. It cannot be accomplished by law enforcement but through a public safety model that includes education, social services, housing, among many others, and bonding those social and economic forces in the City. The market economy needs to come to bear here where it is embedded within the social fabric of the City.
4) Other Priorities: What other policies that impact people with disabilities are you ready and eager to work on? What is your plan to involve your constituents with disabilities in key decision-making processes?
Climate change will be the lead lens that I will govern the City of Los Angeles. At this time, we are NOT prepared for disasters that are forthcoming. At the same time, we must create environmental , social and governance that are aligned with climate goals of zero carbon emissions. We cannot afford the corruption that we have seen in the last two years among our city elected officials.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2022 candidates.