"My first and most important promise is I will always listen. This page has many of my ideas. Please let me know what you think. I will be glad to hear from you."
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Education lasts your whole life, and I believe it is the most important invest we make in our future. My goals for education are: • Increase the state aid to rural school districts. • Support and increase vocational training for established programs along with curriculum for new, innovative careers. • Provide funding for local school district initiatives for early child intervention, including summer programs and early starts for younger grades as needed. • State exams should be used for understanding student needs, not for evaluating teachers. • Increase collaboration with our higher education institutions throughout the state.
Farming is the core of our upstate economy, and the next generation can succeed with innovative approaches and technology that support the tradition of agriculture. My goals to support our farms include: • Fix the Farm Labor Bill to protect farms from overtime regulations that hurt farm workers and owners. • Review and align regulation with our friends and neighbors in nearby states. • Increase access to capital so farms can retool and take hold of the opportunities for 21st century farming. • Strengthen the farming business in New York by empowering our local institutions, such as Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), Morrisville College, and Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), that offer the first line of support and resources to farms.
Now is the right time for green energy. It is a source of new economies and jobs with the added advantage of preserving and protecting our environment for future generations. My goals for ensuring lower cost, safe energy in New York include: • Support transition of gas and coal plants to large scale solar and wind farm utilities. • Secure funding so the benchmarks for a 100% clean energy system can be realized by 2050. • Increase incentives for home weatherization programs that reduce energy demand. • Include state aid for municipalities and school districts to add green energy production, and energy conservation technology, to municipal land and buildings. • Extend energy-saving incentives for insulation in residential, municipal, and commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption and improve quality of life. • Set achievable goals with incentives for large scale and cooperative purchases and implementation of energy savings systems, such as using electric buses as transportation solutions. • Support funding for research and commercial development of renewable energy storage systems with a goal of large and small scale implementation.
From improving infrastructure and strengthening our workforce to incentivizing entrepreneurs, we can not only sustain our long standing businesses, we can foster the growth of new industries. My goals to rebuild our upstate economy include: • Expand broadband and cellular service to cover 100% of New York State. • Incentivize entrepreneurship in Upstate New York – create, build, and sustain 21st century industries. • Improve StartUp New York by making changes so the program realizes the full potential of its promise.
Our civil liberties are what makes our country do better. These must be protected by each and every one of us – especially those in public office. My goals to protect your rights include: • Remove the SAFE Act – we didn’t need it, it doesn’t work. • Support our law enforcement by ensuring proper pay and access to technology that keep officers safe. • Consult law enforcement on the development of new laws focused on reducing gun violence. They are experts and their input must be considered.
I believe healthcare is a fundamental right and government must act to ensure it is accessible, efficient, and affordable for all. My goals to improve healthcare include: • Secure funding to open school-based health clinics in every upstate school district. • Increase access to mental health services, including capacity for inpatient care. • Standardize reimbursement rates to healthcare providers to allow for transparent, consistent pricing for services with all providers. • Pass legislation to allow and encourage pharmacies to have convenient care clinics on site. • Create incentive-based plans to adopt technology-based solutions that enhance efficiency, lower operating costs, and deliver faster patient care. • Always support women's reproductive health and right to choose.
It is becoming more and more difficult to raise a family in Central New York, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can and should do more to ensure every family is supported. My goals to support our upstate families include: • Re-imagine public transportation. Public transportation upstate doesn’t work. We can do better with use of 21st Century technology – smaller busses, electronic vehicles. • Increase access to childcare. Every family deserves it. We need the funding and policy changes that make it possible. • We must have more affordable housing. • We need a broader strategy to providing services – a county by county approach is less effective. The state must take a leading role, and I want to help. • Update job training programs to match the demand of our changing economy.
COVID-19 has changed the way we do almost everything. Our upstate communities need support to be back to business. The Build Back Better Act promises big changes for communities like ours. My goals to help communities get back on track include: • Advocate for the distribution of recovery funds quickly to rebuilding projects. • Support the much needed investment in infrastructure – including expanding broadband coverage across all of upstate New York. • Support school recovery plans to ensure our students don’t lose any more time in the classroom.
We must have more voter participation. More and more voters are choosing no party, and less and less are turning out to vote. We must consider reforms to increase participation and confidence in election results. The people of New York are demanding change and accountability, and now is the time for our government to act on it. Reforms to pursue include: • Ranked Choice Voting, which allows voters to show preference for candidates and not just an either/or selection. • Update ballot access requirements for candidates. Right now, non-major party candidates have to secure three times as many signatures to get on the ballot. That is plainly unfair and restricts choices for voters. • Allow for statewide initiatives and referendums to be placed on the ballot by citizens. This will increase accountability and trust in elected officials because they will respond quicker to the interests of the people or they will be bypassed. • Continue to support early voting and allow for no-excuse absentee voting.
The Bail Reform Law in 2019 certainly made long overdue corrections to the justice system, but it also created challenges for our justice system in Central New York. We can and must make modifications to the law. We must return court's discretion on all cases. This is not a reinstatement of the bail system, but instead allows the courts to impose stricter pretrial supervision if necessary to ensure public safety.