Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more
Sacramento, CA, August 9 – American Solidarity Party of California candidate and former professor Dr. James G. Hanink 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 Hanink’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?
My plan is comprehensive. There must be sufficient funding for (1) school facilities, (2) teacher development, (3) employer liaison, and (4) the development of workshops for the severely disabled. In addition, there must be ongoing education of the general public with regard to the real capacities of disabled people to contribute to the common good. Without this public education there will not be the necessary support for the needed funding. For a start, the information provided in this questionnaire should be widely disseminated.
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?
If elected, I would incentivize multiple and ongoing community meetings that would bring together employers and disabled people. I would advocate for “starter grants” to employers who see a constructive role for the disabled in their various businesses. I would provide a mechanism for university researchers to provide relevant data to prospective employers and, of course, to advocates for the disabled.
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?
If elected, I would continue to rely heavily on one of my two campaign managers, Dr. Skylar Covich. He has been completely blind since birth and is an expert in providing digital skills for the blind. The campaign is largely carried out on social media and is, of course, open to those with disabilities.
FIGHTING STIGMAS: If elected, what will be your plan to fight stigmas, highlight the disability community, and promote higher expectations for success?
Celebrating the achievements of those with disabilities is, in my view, especially effective. I have in mind those with Down Syndrome. They are terribly at risk because of eugenicist abortion. I would sharply criticize this profoundly disturbing practice.
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?
As a university professor I worked with a number of students dealing with disabilities. I would press for adjustments in their learning environment. As the brother of a severely disabled person, I would press for ongoing provisions of public accessibility in streets and parks. I would further develop my thinking on disability questions through frequent personal contact with disabled people and through consultation with their advocacy groups.
Hanink 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.