WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, January 26

Jan 26, 2021

Credit Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Dennis Cantrell/ Creative Commons License / U.S. Navy

First hour: Can public service heal the country?

Second hour: Discussing how President Biden's American Rescue Plan will impact people with disabilities 

What can be done to promote unity in this country? One idea being floated is requiring some kind of community service when people turn 18. What do you think? We talk about what this kind of service could look like, if it should be volunteer or paid work, mandatory or optional. Our guests:

  • Matt Kelly, independent journalist, co-owner of Hunt Country Vineyards, and volunteer EMT and firefighter
  • Shanterra Randle-Mitchum, educator in the Rochester City School District, and project coordinator for the Youth History Ambassador Project at Teen Empowerment
  • Andrew Hollister, small business owner and community activist

Then in our second hour, one aspect of President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is focused on helping people with disabilities. The American Rescue Plan would end the subminimum wage for people with disabilities. The decades-old option allowed employers to pay workers with disabilities less than minimum wage; in some states, they were paid as little as $2.13 an hour. Biden’s plan would also provide stimulus payments for adults with disabilities who are considered dependents; those individuals were excluded from previous stimulus packages. This hour, we discuss the plan with our guests, who weigh in on the impact it may have and what it may be missing. We also discuss their “to-do” list for the Biden/Harris administration when it comes to disability rights. Our guests: 

  • Aaron Baier, executive director of Access to Independence of Cortland County, Inc., and vice-chair of the New York State Independent Living Council 
  • Charles White, community patient representative in the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center  
  • Nicole Jorwic, senior director of public policy at The Arc 

This conversation is part of Dialogue on Disability Week, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies, in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.