Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 17 – Mayor Pete Buttigieg called for equal voting access for people with disabilities at a town hall in Des Moines earlier this week. He also said it is important to ensure funding for the equal access.
“Part of our plan on disabilities is to make sure that we’re supporting ways for people with disabilities to have equal access to the vote, because you know, that’s 1 in 4 Americans,” the presidential hopeful said in response to a question about voters with disabilities – asked by a voter on the autism spectrum. “And those who don’t face disabilities might in the future, so we all have a stake in doing something about it… And we need to put funding behind it.”
Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more
Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 12 – Presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg 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 all of the major presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Buttigieg’s responses follows:
1. What policies and actions do you support to reduce the stigmas of people with disabilities that are barriers to employment, independence and equality?
As President, I
will strive to build a culture of belonging for everyone. We need both a
massive shift in federal policies and a more inclusive and welcoming society to
break down barriers to employment, dignity, independence, and inequality for
people with disabilities. I will retrofit our government so it works for, and
not against, people with disabilities. I will use the office of the
presidency—and all the levers of government available to me—to tirelessly
advocate for people with disabilities, so they no longer have to do it on their
disabilities should have every opportunity to live the life of their choosing,
and that includes having a fulfilling, well-paying job and career options to
achieve community integration. Yet today, only three in ten Americans with
disabilities are employed, compared to about seven in ten people without
disabilities. For Black Americans with disabilities, the employment rate is
less than two in ten.
That’s why I am committed to dramatically increasing opportunities for competitive integrated employment. Embracing Senator Tom Harkin’s goal, my administration will work on a national campaign to double labor force participation for people with disabilities by 2030, the 40th anniversary of the ADA, with a focus on closing racial inequities. This will require support from different federal agencies, states, and stakeholders across the private and social sectors. Together, I believe we can dramatically reduce the stigmas of people with disabilities by committing to bold goals, shifting federal policies, and creating a culture of belonging for everyone.
Los Angeles, Dec. 17 – As seven presidential candidates get ready for the sixth Democratic debate on Thursday, The RespectAbility Report, an online publication focused on the intersection of politics and disability, has put together a comparison of the candidate’s positions on the employment of people with disabilities. The seven candidates who qualified for the debate are: Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.
Noting High Intersection Between Disability and LGBTQ+ Communities, Buttigieg Addresses Bullying Epidemic
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 26 – The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary is heating up, and in recent polls, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been surging in Iowa. Earlier this month, he released a comprehensive plan for the disability community and rolled it out at a Democratic Party Candidate Forum, Accessibility for All, on disability issues in Cedar Rapids. This forum was the first time in the 2020 campaign cycle that disability issues were the main topic of discussion.
As a veteran, he placed a particular emphasis on mental health and suicide prevention, saying that “the place we need to get to as a country is where it is as routine to talk about and act on mental health issues as we would a physical challenge.” Mental health is the most common disability that people in America have, so Mayor Buttigieg’s emphasis on it was notable.
Washington, D.C., Nov. 1 – Tomorrow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, eight campaigns are set to participate in a history-making Accessibility, Inclusion, and Outreach Conference focused specifically on issues that affect people with disabilities. This is important, as while recent polling suggests that voters with disabilities themselves are more enthusiastic about participating in the 2020 elections than the nation at large, none of the campaigns are yet fully accessible to the disability community.
“It is vital for the democratic process to be open to all people and all means all – including people with disabilities,” said Lauren Appelbaum, vice president, communications of RespectAbility. “The majority of voters have a friend or family member with a disability or have a disability themselves. It is truly exciting that eight campaigns will be focusing their attention on addressing the 1-in-5 people living in America with a disability.”
Seven of the Democratic candidates will participate themselves. They are:
Sen. Cory Booker
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Rep. John Delaney
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Mr. Andrew Yang
Additionally, former Sen. Chris Dodd will speak on behalf of Vice President Joe Biden.
According to “Accessibility For All Now,” the organizers of the Forum, candidates will answer questions posed by people with disabilities and members of the Linn County Medical Society, which is co-hosting the forum.
Washington, D.C., Oct. 12 – When presidential candidates include senior staff and advisors with disabilities, with the same effort as other marginalized populations, they are exposed to a variety of thoughts and ideas. Mayor Pete Buttigieg proved that during a recent interview with The New Republic when he noted the…
Four Candidates – Biden, Booker, Warren, Yang – Have Made Substantial Improvements in Website Accessibility Washington, D.C., Sept. 12 – Nearly three months after a report by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired found that all of the presidential candidates’ websites block democratic access to voters who are blind…
How to Tell If a Presidential Campaign is Inclusive of People with Disabilities Washington, D.C., June 26 – On the eve of the first round of Democratic debates, it is important to remember that one important group of swing voters are people with disabilities, who comprise 20 percent of our…
Washington, D.C., May 5 – “Will you be putting people with disabilities in your campaign ads and will you be putting them on your staff?” asked Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the President of RespectAbility. To which, presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg replied, “Yes,” during a campaign stop in the nation’s capital on April 4, making him and Beto O’Rourke the only two presidential candidates to make such a campaign promise on the record.
And by the end of the month, Buttigieg had kept his promise by hiring Emily Voorde, a wheelchair-user, to work for his campaign. This occurred only days after sending a video message using American Sign Language to a deaf supporter to thank him for his support. By quickly keeping this campaign promise, Americans with disabilities have reason to hope that Buttigieg’s campaign will have people with disabilities in mind.
Buttigieg, also known as “Mayor Pete,” is unlike any of his adversaries or any other former president. He is a 37-year-old, openly gay millennial from South Bend, Indiana, who speaks at least seven languages, graduated with honors from Harvard and served in the Navy. In 2012, he became the Mayor of South Bend, a small midwestern industrial town, struggling to stay afloat. Buttigieg has received great credit and esteem for his work in turning around this Rust Belt city. He ran a failed bid for the presidency of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2017 and later announced his campaign for president of the United States earlier this year.