There are plenty of issues facing New York State. Here are the issues I’d prioritize as your State Senator, and what I’d do about them.
First 30 Days
Reproductive Health Act
With the threat of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the new conservative Supreme Court, a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, right to choice of birth control, and family planning services has been threatened in ways that we have not see in generations. That is why we need to pass the Reproductive Health Act to codify Roe v. Wade in state law, and to remove reproductive health from the state’s criminal code.
Gun Safety Measures
I reject the idea that we cannot prevent gun violence while also protecting people’s Second Amendment rights. We need to pass the Red Flag bill to keep our schools and families safe. This bill that would temporarily remove firearms from the homes of people who are deemed either a threat to themselves or to others by a judge. It combines due process rights with the ability of concerned friends, family members, teachers, or law enforcement officers to proactively prevent a tragic situation. Eleven other states in the country have passed this common sense legislation. It’s time for New York to take this crucial step to protect its own citizens.
Child Victims Act
The present statute of limitations for reporting and prosecuting cases of abuse is often too short to bring the abusers to justice. The Child Victims Act is necessary to allow adult survivors who were abused as children to hold their abusers, as well as the institutions that enabled them, accountable in a court of law. It is unconscionable that the Republican majority in the New York State Senate has blocked this bill from even receiving a vote. This bill has already passed the Assembly, and I’ll make sure it passes the Senate, too.
It’s time to enact real health care reform in New York State. Healthcare should be a basic right available to all New York residents, not a privilege accessible only to those fortunate enough to afford it. Introducing a single payer system in New York is not only the right thing to do, it will save the State money. It is also the best way to address the addiction crisis and the lack of parity for mental health treatment. New York Senate Republicans have single payer healthcare for themselves, but they won’t offer it to their own constituents. This is wrong.
There are too many “Space Available” signs in our downtown mainstreets, because our family-owned business can no longer compete with online retailers and the big box store chains. As your Senator, I’ll focus like a laser on revitalizing our downtown main streets, working in partnership with each community to help them with their economic development goals – whether this is infrastructure, streetscapes and lighting, or taking advantage of historic features. We need a proactive plan to make our downtown streets walkable, enjoyable, and thriving again.
Holding Utility Companies Accountable
For too long, neighborhoods in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties have suffered extended power outages after major storms, because of the gross incompetence of utility companies, such as NYSEG and Con Ed. Unfortunately, the utility companies refuse to implement badly needed changes to their procedures and infrastructure. They need to build truly resilient grids, including hardened poles, thicker wire, and fortified substations. As state senator, I will make holding utility companies accountable a top priority.
New York State has among the lowest voter participation rates in the nation. I want to change that with election reforms like early voting, voting by mail, and automatic registration. More importantly, we need to protect the voting rights of historically marginalized citizens. Senator Terrence Murphy wants to enact a Voter ID law, which would suppress minority turnout and intimidate voters. This is offensive to Hudson Valley values – but it is a perfect fit for Donald Trump’s values..
New York State is already one of the leaders in solar energy. But we need to be the leader. The Wall Street Journal reports that last year, private sector investments in clean energy were more than double that of oil, gas, and nuclear. We do not need to use natural gas, and its dangerous infrastructure, as a bridge fuel to a cleaner economy. The technology for solar and wind energy is abundant today and less expensive per kilowatt than gas, oil, coal, or nuclear.
There are other issues as well, but these issues are the ones I will make my top priority as State Senator.