(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
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.