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City of Rochester

News Release - Joint Council Announces 'Democracy Rides'

City of Rochester/Monroe County

News Release

(Wednesday, October 22, 2009) County Executive Maggie Brooks and Mayor Robert J. Duffy announced today the creation of “Democracy Rides,” a volunteer effort to provide free rides to the polls for people with disabilities. The program is sponsored by the Monroe County-City of Rochester Council for People with Disabilities (COPD), an advisory board to the officials.

“We heard from a number of disabled residents that getting to the polls was just too difficult and expensive,” said Kathy Tanchick, Chair of the COPD. “The Council believes that there should be no barriers to participation in government and recruited some very caring companies to help. We hope that people who need lifts for their wheelchairs or scooters or other assistance will take advantage of this free service.”

Medicab, Medical Motor Service and Monroe Ambulance and Medical Transportation have each agreed to donate 20 rides per company to help people with accessibility issues get to the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. People needing rides should call the company of their choice by Friday, October 30 to schedule a ride. Due to the necessary medical appointments of their regular customers, the companies ask riders to be flexible in their timing requests.

“This is a great example of the collaborative spirit of volunteerism present in our community. When confronted with a problem, there is never a doubt that our citizens will work together to find a solution,” County Executive Brooks said. “The Council saw a need and figured out a way to help, and we are tremendously grateful to them and to the transportation companies for their commitment.”

“We asked the Council to identify areas in which there barriers existed for people with disabilities and to help us eliminate those barriers,” Mayor Duffy said. “This is the kind of creativity and determination we are fortunate to have from the volunteers in our community.”

The COPD is a nine-member advisory board made up of people representing a broad cross-section of disabilities. The COPD, County Executive Brooks and Mayor Duffy would especially like to thank Don Mead from Medicab, Bill McDonald of Medical Motor Service, and Bill Beideck of Monroe Ambulance and Medical Transportation for their generous support of this program.

Program details are below:

What:
Free rides to the polls in wheelchair-accessible vehicles on Election Day for people with disabilities

When:
Rides on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd. People needing rides MUST call provider by Friday, October 30th at 5:00 p.m.

Who to Call:
Companies providing free rides are:
Medicab: 342-7150
Medical Motor Service: 654-7030
Monroe Ambulance and Medical Transportation: 454-6211

Information:
Riders will need to be flexible on timing of rides; Riders should give location of polling place when setting up the ride (for information, call the Monroe County Board of Elections at 753-1550 or go to www.monroecounty.gov)

Sponsored by:
The Monroe County-City of Rochester Council for People with Disabilities, Kathleen Tanchick, Chair

Special Thanks to:
Don Mead, Medicab
Bill McDonald, Medical Motor Service
Bill Beideck, Monroe Ambulance and Medical Transportation

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For more information, contact Molly Clifford, City of Rochester, 428-7288 or Kara Halstead, Monroe County, 753-1004


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