Issues and Ideas
INCREASE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL NEW YORK
We must focus on new and innovative ways to bring opportunities for good paying, long term jobs to upstate New York. Solar and wind are the careers of the future and investing now to bring them here provides a future for our children while increasing our energy independence and reducing our carbon footprint.
Investments in sustainable housing infrastructure, training and transportation will help to keep our rural communities vibrant and competitive, while preserving our most valuable natural resources like clean water.
Investments in Community College and BOCES programs are critical for training people for the jobs that exist today. Making sure that every county in our district has a robust community college program and empowering partnerships that involve local employers so that we can offer the skills and vocational training that match employment needs.
Creating incentives and partnerships with small businesses will help them compete with big box stores and encourage local entrepreneurs to grow the economy. Addressing the reduced minimum wage for wait staff, which disproportionately impacts women, would help empower local workers and put more money into the local economy.
I will work to secure state funding to help small town general stores stay in business and continue to serve their communities while acting as regional food hubs for distribution of local agricultural products.
We must provide better health care to all New Yorkers. No one should ever fear a doctor visit because of the potential cost and no one should ever have to choose between filling their prescriptions and feeding their families. A single-payer system that includes long term health care, prescription coverage, dental care and mental health care will provide better care while reducing costs for individuals and businesses, and removing tax burdens on counties. It will also ensure that women's comprehensive health services are available, and affordable throughout the state.
We must treat drug addiction as a public health issue and not a criminal matter. Our regional facilities need the resources to address overdoses and treat opioid addiction with competence and humanity. Pharmaceutical companies that knowingly created the opioid crisis must be held accountable and bear the expense.
New York in the 21st Century
Upstate New York needs to have universally available high-speed internet and cell phone service. As we move further into the 21st century this has become increasingly vital, particularly for education and economic opportunities. Cell phone coverage for all areas needs to be incentivized and addressed as a public safety issue.
We must take action to ensure Net Neutrality remains in effect in our state even if the FCC has removed such protections at the federal level.
Working with the Democratic Majority
With the Democratic majority in the New York State Assembly, a Democratic representative from District 101 will have better opportunities to make an impact in Albany on the issues that matter to people in small towns and rural areas.
Here are just a few of the issues that I will champion:
· New York State is well behind other states in providing guarantees of ballot access and making it easy to register to vote. We can save money and improve participation by moving to automatic voter registration and 100% mail-in ballots. Allowing online voter registration will also encourage the adoption of early voting.
· Animal shelters provide an essential public service but are often largely staffed by volunteers and have limited funding. Public funding for this much needed work grows the economy and increases public safety for all.
· Legislative action can encourage a reduction in the use of unnecessary disposable single-use non-biodegradable plastic products providing relief for overstuffed landfills.