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Special Report Election 2012 Meets Sandy

In this Special Edition Enews
President Obama Wins Second Term
NYSILC Launches Disability Post-Election Poll
Hurricane Sandy Pummels New York City
New York City Residents Brace for Another Storm
Sandy Related Scams are on the Rise Downstate
LGBTQ and Women's Rights Get Major Boost
Feel left out of the election? Should the US lower the voting age?
The Role of Social Media in the Election
NYS Democrats Maintain Control of the Assembly, Uncertainty in the Senate

President Obama Wins Second Term

Young Voters Make Up Nearly 1/5th of the Electorate

Last night, Barack Obama was reelected President over Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney.  President Obama overcame a bad economy and
criticisms of his work to secure the votes needed to win the election. President Obama carried Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin - all highly contested swing states.


In his early morning victory speech in Chicago, President Obama hinted at working to fulfill promises made during his 2008 campaign. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act - dubbed "Obamacare" withstood a challenge in the United States Supreme Court and now has a clear path for full implementation by 2014. Governor Romney had vowed to repeal Obamacare.


Young people came out to vote in near record force - exit polling conducted by Edison Group indicated that people ages 18 - 29 made up 19 percent of the electorate - a one percent increase from 2008. Early projections show President Obama receiving 60 percent of the youth vote to Governor Romney's 36 percent. Young people represent 21 percent of the voting eligible population.


A growing amount of evidence suggests that social media - including Facebook and Twitter - helped propel young people to the polls. On election day - and for many days preceding it - social networking sites were flooded with campaign messages, advertisements from candidates and stickers to indicate members had exercised their right to vote. Early speculation suggests that people were influenced to vote because it was all over the internet.


President Obama travels back to Washington today where he faces the impending fiscal cliff - the mandatory spending cuts to all departments, a looming fight over the debt ceiling and expiration of the Bush era tax cuts. But early this morning President Obama spoke enthusiastically about what lies ahead: "tonight in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come."


NYSILC Launches Disability Post-Election Poll

NYSILC is conducting a 2012 non-partisan post-election poll to assess disability voting trends. Please click on the following link to participate in the survey:


The survey is set up for responses by voters with disabilities. Please encourage peers to participate in this survey which shouldn't take any more than 5 minutes. To increase responses, the survey can be distributed to others, networks, and posted to sites and social networking. Be sure to click on the "done" button when you have completed the survey.


In addition, Survey Monkey has been tested with screen readers. Most colleagues have reported that they have been able to navigate and make choices with their screen reader. However, some have had some difficulty.  Click here for a PDF version of the survey. Return it to the following: NYSILC office (Email: Fax: (518) 427-1139. Mail: NYSILC 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 101, Albany, NY 12210). Completed paper surveys will be entered electronically into the Survey Monkey system by staff so they can be included in the collective results.


Complete the survey by Friday, November 30, 2012 for the survey. 


Your responses will allow NYSILC to assess disability voting trends. The results will be posted to the NYSILC website ( and distributed to social networks. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Brad Williams at (518) 427-1060 (Voice & TDD).


Hurricane Sandy Pummels New York City

By Pauline Gordon

Flooding at NYC Plaza 

Sadly, I think many of us can agree that this past week has been a whirlwind of commotion for New Yorkers. Hurricane Sandy greeted us with heavy rains and fierce winds flooding our streets, tunnels and subway lines causing power outages and ruined homes. Many families who were located in identified high risk areas were forced to evacuate from their homes to a safer zone area. As a result of Sandy many flights were canceled, businesses and schools were temporarily closed. Even on Election Day, many polling sites were badly damaged from the aftermath of Sandy. There were water damages and no electricity. As an alternative, numerous polling sites had to merge in to one creating inconveniently long lines. Some polling sites even had to set up tents to accompany the large crowds of anticipated voters.


Although the hurricane has taken a toll on our state alongside many others, as a New Yorker, I am extremely proud our state's resiliency and relief efforts. Many churches, community organizations, and other local groups volunteered and helped families and individuals in need of help after suffering major losses from the hurricane. YOUTH POWER! encourages you to get involved and lend a helping hand to someone you may know who may have been tragically affected by hurricane Sandy. Together we can build a network of support for those in need. No matter if you are donating clothes, toiletries, food or money to support the victims of hurricane Sandy your contribution small or grand will help make a difference. Click here for the Red Cross Click here for the Red Cross or here for the Salvation Army to find out how you can help.

New York City Residents Brace for Another Storm

By Colleen Deitrich

Only a week and a half after the devastating 'Superstorm Sandy' ripped up the New England and Mid Atlantic coast, another storm is threatening to make matters even worse.


Weather forecasters have predicted a Nor'Easter (or a winter storm with winds blowing in a North-Eastern direction) to fall on the Jersey and New York coasts on Wednesday into Thursday this week. This storm may bring up to a foot of snow and four feet of storm surge, along with 40 mph winds.


While the storm itself is not severe by most standards, the fact that it is following the record-breaking Sandy, which churned up the coastlines in several states and caused a heartbreaking amount of damage to homes, public transit systems, and tourist spots,  is a major fear.  The storm has the potential to take debris and carry it around, turning chunks of wood into missiles. The heavily-sanded roads and homes would take a second hit should the water levels rise. This time, there would be no defenses against the rising tide should it come inland again.


As for New York City, a Nor'Easter could bring lots of snow, adding woes to more woes in a city dealing with a broken public transportation system. Many subway stations are still being cleaned out. It still means hours in line at a gas station in order to fill up a tank. Buses and taxis are still hard to come by. A foot or more of snow would further paralyze the city so reliant on these modes of transit.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg has told police to seek out vulnerable people and tell them to evacuate, many whom have just returned home and received power.

YOUTH POWER! urges those in potentially affected areas to remain safe and indoors during the storm, and to take care of themselves and loved ones. 

Sandy Related Scams are on the Rise Downstate

The Division of Consumer Protection, an agency within the New York Department of State is alerting all New Yorkers to the possibility of people taking advantage of the vulnerable during times of disaster. Since Sandy, there have been reports of scams and people should remain aware of this. Below are resources to combat scams:

Division of Consumer Protection consumer complaint line: 1-800-697-1220 (toll free)



Inquiries/complaints about insurance:


For those without internet or phone service, the Division of Consumer Protection can work with service workers to get complaint forms to them.


If you need crisis counselling from Hurricane Sandy,  Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746 (Spanish-speakers can text 'Hablanos' to 66746). 24/7 support.
For more resources download these links for:

 LGBTQ and Women's Rights Get Major Boost

First Openly Gay Person Elected to the U.S. Senate

In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin made history last night at the voting polls. The people of America spoke. But the Presidential hopefuls were not the only ones on the ballot. Historical proposals for marriage equality were up for voting in several states. In Wisconsin, the United States Senate seat went to Tammy Baldwin, the United States' first openly gay senator.


Baldwin, a Democrat, beat Republican former Governor Tommy Thompson for the job with 51% of the vote. Before running for the Senate, Baldwin was a seven-term member of the House of Representatives. She was only the fourth openly gay Congressperson.


Besides being the first openly gay Senator in history, Baldwin also represents a huge election victory for women nationwide.  After Inauguration Day, women will hold a record number of seats (twenty)  in the Senate. While still a minority, this new number shows that change may be coming slowly but surely.


 In recent months, the Republicans' "War on Women," which comes in the form of highly restrictive reproductive rights bills and other political comments, have made headlines. But some believe that this trend is only backfiring and encouraging more women to seize power. 


"A lot of research has shown that more women in leadership leads to better outcomes for the community," CNN quoted Tiffany Dufu, president of The White House Project, a training program for women. "They care deeply not just about the outcome but the process."


Image taken from


Feel left out of the election?

Should the US lower the voting age?

18-29 19% 30-44 27% 45-64 38% 65+ 16%Many people across the nation are advocating to lower the voting age. There are many reasons for this. Youth bring a unique view to the vote. They are unbiased by the past. They only know what they have been told. Experience from age can make an adult biased. Youth also have many adult responsibilities but are not given the simple adult right to vote. The National Youth Rights Association is working actively in the nation to change the age from 18 to 16.


Others do not view this as a good idea. It is argued that youth under 18 simply don't have enough life experience to make an informed decision. They want the limit to be 18 because it also follows with the more important reasons as to why they are considered minors still. They are also unable to take legal action against someone and they cant serve in the military. The other argument is that trends are showing that youth don't really care about current events as much as older people do.


This election was very close. It had an unprecedented number of younger people vote. Nearly 1/5th of the voters were between the ages of 18 and 29. We may be moving away from that trend of young people not caring. But either way, those of us able to vote, should.


Data for pie chart taken from

The Role of Social Media in the Election

By Curtis Grupe

It's been a close race and we have seen many interesting remarks from both parties. The effect of social networks is very clear right now. From tweeting about candidates' remarks and messages on Facebook and Youtube from the candidates, I am sure that by now all of us are sick of seeing all the campaign commercials on tv, but some are predicting that in the future all the advertising will be through the internet. Instead of random ads on Youtube, we will be seeing campaign ads. The technology age shows no sign of slowing. Campaigns are paying attention to what young people have to say about their policies and candidates. There are many hashtags (#) on the social media we use everyday. We are going to have an even greater reliance on our technology in the future of politics.


For myself, the voting process was different this year than 2008. I felt like I was filling out a scantron sheet at school. You fill in the bubble with a pen and it gets scanned into a machine. This is more high tech even than in 2008 when we were still using those old machines with the levers that looked like they were from the 50s. The future of campaigning and voting is rapidly becoming more advanced.


image taken from

NYS Democrats Maintain Control of the Assembly, Uncertainty in the Senate

New Yorkers spoke loud and clear and sent a Democratic supermajority back to the Assembly. However, uncertainty still exists in which party will control the Senate.

Prior to Tuesday, Republicans held a 33 - 29 majority in the Senate. Thirty-two votes are required for action on business. Unofficially, early reporting indicates that democrats had gained two seats - setting up a potential split Senate. However, thousands of absentee ballots still need to be counted and the possibility exists for recounts in close elections. Additionally, a Democratic majority in the Senate is hampered by the five democrats who have not ruled out siding with the Republicans. Adding to the confusion, during the re-districting process this past year, Republicans drew a new Senate district, bringing the total number of New York State Senators to 63, beginning in 2013. 


In the new year, New York will face its infamous budget season as well as many legislative battles.  Generally, when the Assembly is controlled by one party and the Senate is controlled by the other, passing legislation becomes complicated. If both houses are controlled by the democrats it will be easier for them to enact legislation that will ultimately help our members.

YOUTH POWER! is the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and are seeking change.  Together, we have decided to speak up about our experiences because no one knows what it is like for us better than we do.  Through peer-to-peer mentoring, we empower young people to be active citizens who are aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policies, practices, regulations and laws.  We are young people helping other people, ensuring availability of self-help and peer support while changing systems so that young people get the support they need with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Nothing About Us Without Us!