Democrat/ Working Families
What three things do you most want to get done in the state legislature during the next two years?
New York has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. We need to make sure everyone who wants to can register and vote. We also need to fight the crisis of corruption in Albany by tightening campaign contribution limits and closing loopholes.
Everyone in New York City knows we have a severe housing crisis. Working families, seniors, and young people are struggling to find and keep a roof over their heads. Albany has to be doing much more to protect and dramatically expand our affordable housing stock.
Our state has historically been a leader in protecting the reproductive rights of all people. But our laws are woefully outdated, and the Republicans in the State Senate refuse to support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions. Our families deserve an up-to-date, 21st-Century law to defend their reproductive rights.
Do you think you will be able to work with the opposition party? How?
I have been both battling and working across the aisle from the first day I was elected. I’m very proud of my reputation among both Democrats and Republicans for standing on principle, holding my ground and coming prepared to every issue I take on. I never worry about getting the credit or taking the “victory lap.” My goal is make sure that the needs of New Yorkers are served, whether through my own legislation, through state or city agencies, or through the efforts of my colleagues across the aisle.
What is your favorite TV show?
I have recently rediscovered “The West Wing,” which first aired in 1999, before I entered politics. I’m more enthusiastic about it now than when I first watched. In this terrible election cycle, with a pretty scary man running for president, I like the substance and optimism the show provides.
Republican/ Independence Party / Women’s Equality / Libertarian
Education is one of my top priorities, though I know I won’t be able to accomplish all I wanted in two years. So being realistic here are a few changes I think I can achieve. Get rid of common core, mandate that every kid receives a personal finance course before they graduate and put more emphasis on vocational studies in our school systems. For small businesses we need to reduce overregulation. This is a long-term goal. However, in my first term I want the state to set up a searchable database of all the state, federal and local laws to help owners avoid fines. Government corruption is the next item I wish to address. That’s why Non-Profit Reform is a must. We must impose spending rules on all nonprofits that get government money. We will demand that 70% of all funds go to the non-profits programs, thus not enriching their administrators.
To start, my first concern will always be the people of my district, my city, and my state – never my party. As to the question, I’m an Independence Party member so I already work with people in all parties.
I have working relationships with a number of elected officials in both parties and in both houses. Having worked on numerous campaigns for both Democrats and Republicans, writing some of their position papers, which by the way, most of those positions were the same except for minor details relating to their districts. I believe that I can actually be a bridge between both parties.
Because I’ve worked with people in all five boroughs plus around the state; therefore, I understand many of the problems facing our state. Plus, being a leader in the Independence Party gives me a unique opportunity to work with both sides to get things accomplished.
What is your favorite TV show? And why?
“Babylon 5” is my favorite TV show of all time. It was one of the most well-written series of all time because the producer had a five-year storyline written before production began. Intertwined in this storyline were multiple subplots that helped explain and enrich the viewer’s understanding of the show.