The responses from Presidential Candidates to the REV UP Questionnaire are beginning to trickle in. As of today (9/12/2019), 6 candidates have responded. You can read their answers on the AAPD.com Website.
Elected for Inclusion – January 13, 2020
Association of People with Disabilities and REV UP Texas Announce
Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and REV UP Texas are proud to announce Elected for Inclusion, our national nonpartisan Presidential forum on disability issues. The forum will take place on January 13, 2020 at the AT&T Hotel and Convention Center in Austin, Texas in advance of Super Tuesday and the November 2020 elections.
Elected for Inclusion – the Presidential Forum on Disabilities Issues will place the pressing questions the disability community faces on center stage and give major party Presidential candidates an opportunity to discuss policy decisions that affect approximately 23% of the American electorate.
AAPD and REV UP Texas are hosting Elected for Inclusion as a means of highlighting the power of the disability vote. In 2020, over 35 million eligible voters will be people with disabilities. The number of “disability voters” increases to over 62 million when we consider the ripple effect of the disability vote that connects families, friends, advocates, educators, providers, and other individuals that interact with people with disabilities.
AAPD President and CEO Maria Town stated, “Now, more than ever before, Presidential candidates know they must address issues important to the disability community and involve people with disabilities in their campaigns. Elected for Inclusion is an unparalleled opportunity for candidates to set forth their platforms and better understand this powerful, growing constituency.”
The disability community has a significant stake in the results of local, state, and federal elections this November. Our elected officials determine the direction and funding of the programs and services people with disabilities rely on for healthcare and independent living. Justin Dart, father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and AAPD co-founder, said it best: “Vote as if your life depended on it, because it does.”
For more information on Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues and the REV UP Campaign, visit www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/. The REV UP Campaign offers a host of information on registering to vote, increasing civic engagement, and state-specific resources and events.
Democracy Diverted – Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote – September 2019
This report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund details the creation by Congress of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its Section 5 Amendment (See below). This law discouraged much of the racism previously associated with voting rights. In 2013, Section 5 was dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby decision. Since Shelby, polling location closures have skyrocketed.
” Closing polling places has a cascading effect, leading to long lines at other polling places, transportation hurdles, denial of language assistance and other forms of in-person help, and mass confusion about where eligible voters may cast their ballot. For many people, and particularly for voters of color, older voters, rural voters, and voters with disabilities, these burdens make it harder — and sometimes impossible — to vote.”
” One of the more alarming trends we discovered is a widespread practice of blaming polling place closures on another civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The leading closers of polling places from Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana used ADA compliance as their major pretext. In several cases, little to no effort was made to understand ADA compliance. Instead, election officials took advantage of the public’s lack of understanding about the law to grossly inflate the estimated costs of compliance for both publicly and privately owned polling places .”
“…restore the Voting Rights Act, reactivate Section 5, and strengthen its other provisions that require elected officials to seek the input of communities of color and provide notice of any polling place change for any reason. “
In other words, your vote matters. Without the VRA, it is too easy for election officials to discriminate against specific types of voters. Talk to the candidates about the Voting Rights Act, Section 5 and how important it is for every single voter to be able to vote!
Jurisdictions with a demonstrated record of racial discrimination in voting were required to submit all proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for “preclearance” in advance of implementation. The jurisdictions were required to prove that the proposed voting change would not deny or adversely affect the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or an eligible voter’s membership in a language minority group.
During the upcoming presidential debates, the REV UP network would like to further promote policies that the presidential candidates should address. We would also like to see intentional discussion around disability issues during the debates. We could use your help!
- Please share questions and topics that you would like the Presidential Candidates to discuss during the upcoming debates. Please share your thoughts through this link before September 9th. AAPD will promote questions and topic areas to the debate moderators and via social media to amplify the Disability Vote.
- Leading up to the presidential debates, we encourage folks to amplify #SayTheWord. #SayTheWord is a hashtag to encourage individuals (including campaigns) to say the word disability. Please also use #REVUP and #CripTheVote.
- Finally, during the presidential debate on September 12th, we encourage folks to participate in the #CripTheVote twitter conversation.
Help us amplify the Disability Vote!
Watch Debate September 12
10 candidates met the Democratic National Committee thresholds to be in the ABC and Univision Primary Debate on September 12 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. This debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston. George Stephanopolis, David Muir, Linsey Davis and Jorge Ramos will moderate.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
- California Sen. Kamala Harris
- Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Businessman Andrew Yang
The podium order is: Klobuchar, Booker, Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Harris, Yang, O’Rourke and Castro .
from AAPD on August 1:
2020 Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies
Washington, D.C. – The 2020 Presidential elections will have significant implications for 20 percent of the US population- people with disabilities. As we move towards election day, the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Campaign and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) have developed a Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies. Through their responses to this questionnaire candidates will share their views and positions on key disability policy priorities.
“There will be over 35 million eligible voters with disabilities in 2020. We encourage all the Presidential candidates to engage the Disability vote,” said Maria Town, President & CEO of AAPD. “Our organizations are committed to empowering our community and speaking out about critical issues with the candidates.”
The Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies has been sent to all the 2020 Presidential candidates. Each campaign has been asked to return the questionnaire by September 6th so AAPD/NCIL can share their responses to our community before the September Presidential debate. All other responses will be posted after the October debate on an ongoing basis.
“It is important for the candidates to stay informed on disability policies and engage in initiatives that empower our community,” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of NCIL. “We encourage voters to reach out to the Presidential candidates, including through social media, to share the Presidential questionnaire and request their responses.”
The Presidential Questionnaire is split into categories such as:
- Civil Rights
- Climate Change & Emergency Preparedness
You can find a copy of the Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies through this link: https://www.aapd.com/2020-presidential-candidate-questionnaire-on-disability-policies/.
From the Disability Rights Center in New Hampshire. DRC partners with 24 disability advocacy organizations in NH.
In an effort to inform individuals with disabilities about the 2020 presidential primary candidates twenty-four New Hampshire based organizations joined together and requested that each campaign answer five disability related questions. You can view candidate responses below, either by selecting a particular candidate or by selecting a particular question.
Topics included are:
- Assistive Technology
- Special Education
- Mental Health Services
- Workforce Shortage
You can view the answers by candidate, or by question.
Here’s Some Free Advice for Presidential Candidates on How to Talk About Disability
This article offers some great advice for all candidates (and especially the 2020 presidential candidates).
Not one 2020 candidate has a website that is accessible to the blind
From Vox.com, June 26, 2019 by s. e. smith
“On Tuesday, a day before the first Democratic debates, every presidential candidate (including the Republican one) was called out by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired for having an inaccessible campaign site”.
The 2020 elections are a year and a half away. Clearly, it is not too early to make sure the candidates are focusing on disability issues! This article also talks about which candidates have at least mentioned disability issues.
If you have a favorite candidate, reach out to them, and let them know that the disability vote counts! And disability issues matter.