(Bronx, NY) Founded in June 2013 by longtime community leader Ronn Jordan, Rolling Forward Politically Able (RFPA) is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Bronx politics. The mission of RFPA is to empower and educate disabled and senior voters about their rights and responsibilities in New York City politics. Representing two groups that have been historically overlooked and taken for granted. John Reynolds a founding member of RFPA said “We are proving that disabled voters have power and refuse to be ignored”.
On August 7th 2013 the candidates for the open seat in the 16th Council District met for a Candidates Forum moderated by BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank at the RFPA home base at Daughters of Jacob Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center (DoJ) with over 50 residents and members in attendance. “This event was a huge success and our members were pleased to actually meet the candidates in person. Which gives you better insight when making a decision”, said RFPA founding member and former organizer with 1199 SEIU Earl White. Rolling Forward Politically Able members will celebrate their first slate of candidates running for office in the Bronx, just in time for the 2013 Democratic Primary.
“As the President of 1.4 million Bronxites, I welcome the endorsement of the ‘Rolling Forward Politically Able’ organization. My administration has focused on the needs of the disabled community since my first days in office as Borough President. From having regular meetings with my Disability Advisory Council, to hosting a much needed Medicaid Redesign Forum, to having an important disability forum with FEMA in response to Superstorm Sandy, to participating in an annual disability mentoring day, my office at Borough Hall has shown that the needs of those often overlooked have a voice and are being served. I am proud to have the support of this organization, and my administration will continue to highlight the needs of our borough’s disabled community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
When: September 4th, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Where: Daughters of Jacob Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center
1160 Teller Ave.
Bronx, NY 10456
Top Left: Vanessa Gibson, BronxTalk Host Gary Axelbank, Dr. Bola Omotosho, Pedro Alvarez Bottom Left Rolling Forward Politically Able Members: John Reynolds, Ronn Jordan, Lollie Singleton, Earl White
You never forget your first, and I will always remember the first event that Rolling Forward Politically Able (RFPA) organized as a huge success, the NY City Council 16th District Candidates Forum on August 7, 2013 at Daughter’s of Jacob Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center (DoJ). Unbeknownst to me the NYC Campaign Finance Board was denying Public Matching Funds on some of the candidates for the 16th District, so only three of the confirmed participants were able to attend. The attendees vying for the open Council seat were Pedro Alvarez, NYS Assemblymember Vanessa Gibson (who arrived late due to a scheduling mix up) and Dr. Bola Omotosho.
The candidates answered questions from the DoJ Residents Council and members of RFPA on access to Senior Services, Affordable Housing, Safe Streets and the Rights of the Disabled. The Forum was masterfully Moderated by the Host of BronxTalk Gary Axelbank, who will be hosting these same candidates in a Live Debate on his show Monday August 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM. Each of the candidates made a compelling case for why the packed room of voters should choose them to represent the 16th Council District. There are 193 registered Democrats residing at DoJ who could potentially decide who wins this race. Rolling Forward Politically Able will announce who they are supporting sometime next week.
I am so frustrated that the NYC Mayoral race has been obliterated by “Weiner-Gate”. While it may be very lucrative for comedians, the people of New York City are being pushed aside once again. Instead of asking questions about affordable housing, education, income disparity and the lack of living wage jobs, the media won’t move away from Anthony’s “weiner”. According to polls Weiner is seen as a pariah and obviously won’t get past September 10th, his deluded ego is the only thing keeping him in this race. I’m looking forward to the first televised debate on August 13th on our local ABC station.
Political season in New York City is a special time of year, for me it is right up there with the start of football or baseball. It provides us with a chance to evaluate our local community work and assess the needs of our neighborhoods. This is a busy election year, as we elect a new Mayor from a large pool of candidates, there are also 22 City Council seats that are open due to term limits.
I have been volunteering for the Ritchie Torres campaign for the 15th Council District in the Bronx. This is also a crowded field and I happen to be friends with two of the other candidates, but after meeting Ritchie I was so inspired and impressed that I decided to do whatever I could to help him win.
Due to failing health I am currently living in a nursing home/rehabilitation facility. It was during one of my trips to the campaign office that I realized that I was really missing being involved in a grassroots movement. It was difficult for me to accept the fact that I was “Disabled”, truly depressing, but thanks to my friend and former youth leader Juan Antigua (Ritchie’s Campaign Manager), I realized that I still had a lot left in the tank.
This campaign has been a life changing event in my life, a true “Aha” moment. Surely I couldn’t be the only “Disabled” person to feel this way, so when I came back to the nursing home I spoke with my friends (who are also patients) and told them that I was “Rolling with Ritchie”. We started talking about politics in general and New York City specifically, like me they were angry that people in wheelchairs were treated like second class citizens. We don’t want anyone feeling sorry for us, we don’t want or need pity, we need and demand RESPECT. Tired of being overlooked, we decided that we would show our power and what we bring to the party. Our facility is a voting location and we have over 400 patients here, not to mention that every voter in the neighborhood has to come here to vote. If every VOTER has to come here than every POLITICIAN should feel obligated to see what our vision for the community is and try to win our vote. This is where Rolling Forward Politically Ablewas born.
Attention Candidates, we are literally ROLLING out this movement and we will be a strong voice in this election so if you want our vote you will have to EARN it.
Take the poll and leave a comment, if you would like more information or would like to join the movement call 347-541-5689 and leave a message.