Sixth graders in downtown Brooklyn chose to advocate for increased accessibility for New Yorkers with disabilities. During their research, the class learned that a New York City Council bill requiring fully accessible taxis had been stalled. To help encourage a vote on the bill, the students organized a postcard campaign as well as a detailed advocacy presentation for local legislators.
STUDENT LETTER TO THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY:
“Our class is organizing a community service project as part of social studies. At the beginning of the project, we were asked to choose a problem in our community that we could help solve. We chose improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
During our research on what it’s like to live in NYC with a disability, we found out that a City Council member had introduced a bill to make all NYC taxis accessible to the disabled. Right now only 2% of our taxis are accessible and Mayor Bloomberg is trying to sign a contract for new taxis that would not be accessible. A majority of the City Council members support this bill but a vote has not been scheduled.
We are trying to help make this vote happen. We believe all new taxis should be accessible. We started a postcard campaign hoping it will help persuade City Council Speaker Quinn to schedule a vote. This week, we went out to the Metro Tech esplanade near our school and collected more than 130 signatures. We are planning to collect many more signatures.
Many people oppose Speaker Quinn’s thinking. It doesn’t harm you at all in anyway to sign a postcard and help the disabled. If we can get enough signatures we can get a vote. Please help!”