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    Public School Champions

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    These legislators and candidates are Public School Champions who agree that #WeCantWait!

    These Public School Champions agree that we need to invest in public schools, not abandon them. They believe every child in New York deserves a high quality education, and that the state must fully and fairly fund public schools by getting back on track with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity.

    Read more on their commitment to New York's students.

    New York City

    William Scarborough

    William Scarborough

    29th District
    William Scarborough

    William Scarborough

    William Scarborough represents the 29th District in Queens County. Having spent most of his life in the same district that he now represents, Mr. Scarborough knows very well the nature of its diverse communities.
    William Scarborough was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has since lived in St. Albans and Rosedale, where he attended local schools. Graduating from Public School 140, Shimer J.H.S. 142, and Andrew Jackson High School, he is also a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science.
    Assemblyman Scarborough has an extensive background in community involvement. He was District Manager of Community Board 12, where he coordinated and monitored the delivery of municipal services to residents of the Community Board. During his tenure as District Manager, he was also Chairman of the Board’s Human Services Cabinet, increasing the availability of primary health care in the area.
    He served as Chairman of Area Policy Board 12 and was a member from 1983-1994. During his chairmanship, his duties included allocating funds of half a million dollars annually to community-based programs to provide housing, job training, senior citizen services, education and tutorial services, and many other types of services to residents below the poverty line.
    Assemblyman Scarborough’s political career began when he was first elected as a member to Community School Board 28. He assumed and shared responsibility for over 22 elementary and middle schools with a budget of approximately $30 million. His functions included setting educational policy, determining curriculum, selecting principals and countless other duties in the pursuit of quality education for their youth.

    Annette Robinson

    Annette Robinson

    Assembly District 56
    Annette Robinson

    Annette Robinson

    Annette M. Robinson was elected to the 56th Assembly District on February 12, 2002. Assemblywoman Robinson brings to Albany a deep concern for the well being of New York’s families and a strong commitment to economic development and community service. These principles are reflected not only in her political advocacy and legislative agenda – which centers on protecting children and families, creating jobs and helping lift New Yorkers out of poverty – but also in her personal life.
    Assemblywoman Robinson was born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn. Growing up in Bedford Stuyvesant gave her a keen awareness of the potential of each human being – no matter their circumstances – to be successful, and the critical role that family structure, economic opportunity and good governance play in building strong communities. The hallmark of Assemblywoman Robinson’s public service has been her unrivaled attention to constituent service, her thoughtful and creative approach to public policy, and her workmanlike approach to the details of the legislative process.
    Assemblywoman Robinson has devoted most of her adult life to public service and community affairs. She was elected as a member of the Community School Board of District 16 in 1977 and served three terms. Additionally, Assemblywoman Robinson is a District Leader/State Committeewoman in the 56th A.D. Assemblywoman Robinson served as Coordinator and Liaison for former N.Y.C. Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin, and after 6 years of service she became District Director for U.S. Congressman Major R. Owens. In both of these positions, Assemblywoman Robinson built a strong reputation of not being afraid to roll up her sleeves and do some good old-fashioned work. She was instrumental in obtaining much needed municipal, state and federal services for New York City constituents.
    Assemblywoman Robinson was elected to the New York City Council in 1991. As the representative of the 36th Council District, she served as chairperson of the Sub-committee on Juvenile Justice. Her other committee assignments included, Youth Services, Higher Education, Consumer Affairs, International Intergroup Relations, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, Civil Service, and Labor and Government Operations. Additionally, Assemblywoman Robinson was chosen by the City Council Speaker to chair the select Committee on Police Performance and Community Relations during the turbulent months in New York City after the death of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx.
    As a member of the New York City Council, Assemblywoman Robinson was well known for her leadership on issues as diverse as civil rights, senior services, health, education, employment, economic development and the digital divide. She led a number of lobbying efforts to Albany, City Hall, and Washington, D.C. She also fought to open Woodhull Hospital and the Interfaith Medical Center, and helped organize the North Brooklyn Coalition of Senior Councils and the Bedford Stuyvesant Inter Agency Council on the Aging. During her tenure on the City Council, Assemblywoman Robinson also established international relationships between her Bedford Stuyvesant community, with Panama, Brazil, and South Africa.
    Assemblywoman Robinson is also a national speaker on religious, cultural and political issues. Her television appearances include the Ricky Lake Show, numerous appearances on NYI, BCAT Cable Television, Radio Stations WBAI, WWRL WLIB and WINS.
    Married for over 50 years to William Robinson now deceased, the Assemblywoman is a mother of six, a grandmother and great-grandmother.
    Assemblywoman Robinson received both her Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degrees from New Hampshire College. She is a member of the Brooklyn Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Church Women United, and Vice Chair of Kings County Committee
    Currently she is the Chair of the New York State Standing Committee on Banks and her Committee assignments with the NYS Assembly are: Aging, Children and Families, Housing, Small Business, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation and Real Property Taxation. She was the former, Chair of Subcommittee on Retention of Homeownership and Stabilization of Affordable Housing.

    Liz Krueger

    Liz Krueger

    Senate District 28
    Liz Krueger

    Liz Krueger

    First elected to the New York State Senate in a Special Election in February 2002, Liz Krueger is currently the Ranking Member of Senate Finance Committee. She is also a member of five other committees: Elections; Higher Education; Housing, Construction and Community Development; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and Rules.
    Sen. Krueger is a strong advocate for tenants’ rights, affordable housing, improved access to health care and prescription drug coverage, social services, more equitable funding for public education, and animal welfare. She has made reforming and modernizing New York State’s governmental processes, electoral system, and tax policy central goals of her legislative agenda.
    Sen. Krueger is a founding co-chair of the New York State Bipartisan Legislative Pro-Choice Caucus, and has led on women’s health and reproductive choice since her first term in the Senate, when she was a leader in the successful fight to pass the Women’s Health and Wellness Act.
    Sen. Krueger’s legislative initiatives include protecting and expanding affordable housing for New Yorkers, protecting New York’s environment and public health from threats such as hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (“hydrofracking”), and expanding access to food stamps and safety net assistance for needy families and individuals.
    Sen. Krueger has dedicated her career to issues relating to poverty, and she is a nationally recognized expert on the problems of hunger, homelessness, and the lack of affordable housing, healthcare, and job training.

    Sen. Krueger has served as Chair of the New York City Food Stamp Task Force; Co-Facilitator of the New York City Welfare Reform Network; on the board of the City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court; and as a board member of the NYC Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Food and Shelter Program administered by the United Way of Greater New York.

    Prior to her election to the Senate, Sen. Krueger worked for 15 years as Associate Director of the Community Food Resource Center (CFRC), where she was responsible for directing its efforts to expand access to government programs for low-income New Yorkers. She helped monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of federal and state programs in New York City, identifying barriers to participation, and fighting for improvements in the effectiveness of these programs.
    Prior to her work with CFRC, Sen. Krueger was the founding Director of the New York City Food Bank, building that organization into one that now serves over 1,100 emergency food programs, senior centers, day-care centers, and other community-based programs serving an estimated 5.4 million meals each year.
    A graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelors degree in Social Policy and Human Development, Senator Krueger also holds a Masters degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris Graduate School of Public Policy. Senator Krueger lives on the East Side of Manhattan with her husband, Dr. John E. Seley, a professor of Urban Planning and Geography at the CUNY Graduate Center and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs.

    Luis Sepulveda

    Luis Sepulveda

    Assembly District 87
    Luis Sepulveda

    Luis Sepulveda

    In 1988, Luis R. Sepulveda graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelors degree in the Natural Sciences. While at Hofstra, Luis was invited to join the New College Honor’s program. He also founded the New College Review Journal and was elected president of the New College Student Government Association and a Senator to the Hofstra University Student Government Association.
    After graduating from Hofstra University, Luis was accepted as a fellow to the Council on Legal Educational Opportunities. After successfully completing the CLEO program, he was awarded a three year scholarship to Hofstra University Law School. In 1991, Luis graduated from Hofstra Law School. After graduation, Luis worked with a midsize law firm in Long Island, New York.
    Luis quickly realized that he wanted to establish a grassroots law practice based in an underserved community. Thus, he left the comfort and security of his job, and moved to the Bronx. He set up his law practice in the Parkchester section of the borough. He has been there now, for over 20 years.
    Due to Luis’ efforts, and his community first philosophy, he was appointed counsel to several New York State Senators, and to the New York State Senate Majority Counsel’s Office. For years, he ran a pro bono project that provided free legal assistance and information to Bronx residents in need. For his efforts, in 1996, he was awarded the Louis Nine Award of the Black/Latino Legislative Caucus. The award is given to persons who provide outstanding service to the constituents of the 32nd Senate District, Bronx, New York. In 2011, the NAACP Youth Counsel awarded Luis the Community Service Award.
    Luis has developed several initiatives designed to improve the lives of his constituents. He is the Co-Founder, along with State Senator Ruben Diaz, of the Parkchester Public Initiative and the Castle Hill Community Public Safety project and the West Farms/Lambert Houses Public Safety project. He is also the Co-Founder of the Cross Bronx Initiative, an organization formed to combat the devastating effects that traffic congestion on that expressway has on the health and commerce in the Bronx.
    Luis has also organized several community-based workshops that provide much needed counsel for the communities that he serves. For example, the Free Tax Preparation Workshop assisted many who could not afford to have their tax returns prepared by professionals. With the NAACP, Luis also held a free Wills, Trust and Estates forum in Parkchester.
    In November of 2012, Luis was elected to represent the 87th New York State Assembly district in the Bronx. Since then, as an Assemblyman, Luis has been a staunch advocate for privacy rights, reflected in the pieces of legislation that he’s introduced, such as seeking to restrain the use of drones, and compelling law enforcement to acquire warrants for the use metadata in investigations. He also has focused on the importance of how policy can influence economic development through bills concerning exploring novel ways to finance college educations for our students, as well as developing a workforce education bill to help unemployed workers transition into new fields. And at the behest of the Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, Luis introduced legislation that seeks to provide funding for universal pre-kindergarten. These are just a few of the legislative mandates that Luis has committed himself to in order to re-imagine a more just social and economic landscape for all New Yorkers.
    As an Assemblyman, Luis is a member of a number of committees: Aging; Agriculture; Banks; Corrections; and housing. He is also a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and a member of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.
    Since being elected to office, Luis has been steadfast in his involvement in his district. He has been committed to ensuring that he, and his office, are accessible and engaged. From requisitioning mammography vans to patrol various points in his district, to facilitating a Summer Reading Challenge to promote childhood literacy, Luis has been fervent in his desire to be a true public servant.
    Luis has always demonstrated his concern for the community and an unwavering enthusiasm in improving the lives of the constituents of the Assembly district that he represents, and New York as a whole. And despite Luis’ active schedule, he still manages to be a doting father to his two sons, and a loving husband to his wife.

    Velmanette Montgomery

    Velmanette Montgomery

    Senate District 25
    Velmanette Montgomery

    Velmanette Montgomery

    Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of north and central Brooklyn as well as to New Yorkers statewide.

    In her role as the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Senator Montgomery is committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the State’s juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care systems.

    Senator Montgomery continues to be one of New York’s leading proponents of school-based health care as a model system for delivering comprehensive primary and mental health services to children of all ages, in the school setting where youth spend most of their day. The Senator’s Teen Health Agenda includes legislation that requires, among other things, the teaching of age appropriate, medically accurate sexuality education in kindergarten through 12th grade. Senator Montgomery is the co-sponsor of the law that allows for the certification of nurse practitioners, and she spearheaded the campaign to stem the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users through legalized needle exchange programs.

    As a respected advocate for criminal justice reform and a member of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction, Senator Montgomery sponsored a law that prevents New Yorkers from being arbitrarily denied a license to barber or practice cosmetology just because they spent time in prison. She also authored a law that prohibits the shackling of a pregnant woman in prison while being transported to the hospital to deliver her baby.

    Other recent Montgomery laws include a measure that prevent the NYS Office of Children and Families from posting the home address or personal information of day care providers on the Internet; a proposal that provided over $400 million in federal funding for the repair of NYCHA buildings, and a law that prohibits employers from discriminating in the granting of funeral or bereavement leave to its employees who are in a committed same-sex relationship. Also, in 2012, Senator Montgomery sponsored a law to support New York’s primary industry, agriculture, by requiring the State’s Procurement Council to include a member of a non-profit organization that represents New York’s farming communities.

    Standing Committee Assignments 2013:

    Ranking Democrat, Children and Families; Agriculture; Crime Victims, Crime and Correction; Education; Finance; Health; Rules.

    Biografía de Velmanette Montgomery,

     

    Velmanette Montgomery es reconocida por su liderazgo eficaz y firme compromiso con sus electores del norte y centro de Brooklyn, así como a los neoyorquinos en todo el estado.

    En su papel de Presidente del Comité del Senado de la Niñez y la Familia, la senadora Montgomery se ha comprometido a ayudar a los jóvenes lograr resultados positivos mediante la reforma de la justicia de menores del Estado, cuidado de crianza y los sistemas de atención adoptiva. En 2008, la senadora autora de una ley que permite a los niños adoptados a reclamar dos padres de registro, incluso si uno de ellos muere antes de la adopción es definitiva.

    Otras leyes importantes patrocinadas por la senadora incluir una medida que permite a juntas de la comunidad a través de Nueva York para solicitar y recibir financiación del Estado a través de las áreas de oportunidad Brownfield (BOA) del programa. Ella también es responsable de una ley que permite a los consumidores a recibir de su proveedor de servicios públicos por tiempo de servicio del día, una medida de ahorro que redirige el uso de electricidad a los no-pico, las horas de baja demanda.

    Senadora Montgomery sigue siendo una de los principales valedores de Nueva York de la escuela basada en el cuidado de la salud como un sistema modelo para la prestación de servicios integrales de salud primaria y mental a los niños de todas las edades, en la escuela donde los jóvenes pasan la mayor parte de su día. “The Senator’s Teen Health Agenda” incluye la legislación que requiere, entre otras cosas, la enseñanza de la edad apropiada, médicamente exacta de educación sexual en jardín de infancia hasta el grado 12. Senadora Montgomery es la co-patrocinadora de la ley que permite la certificación de profesionales en enfermería, y encabezó la campaña para detener la propagación del SIDA entre usuarios de drogas por vía intravenosa a través de programas de intercambio de la legalización de la aguja.

    Como una respetada defensora de la reforma de justicia penal y miembro del Comité del Senado sobre las víctimas de delitos, la delincuencia y de la corrección, la senadora Montgomery patrocinó una ley que impida que los neoyorquinos de ser privado arbitrariamente de una licencia de barbero o cosmetología práctica sólo porque estuvo en prisión . El senador también es el patrocinador de ” tiempo mérito” proyecto de ley, que ha sido elogiada por defensores de la justicia penal en todo el estado, y continúa liderando los esfuerzos para mejorar y ampliar los servicios de transición para hombres y mujeres de la cárcel.

    Felix Ortiz

    Felix Ortiz

    Assem. District 51
    Felix Ortiz

    Felix Ortiz

    At a young age, Felix Ortiz was very concerned about the youth in his community. To address his concerns, he circulated a petition among parents and children, requesting that the Governor of Puerto Rico support the formation of a youth baseball league. His efforts were successful. Ortiz was invited to meet with Governor Luis A. Ferr who authorized the donation of sporting equipment and helped to establish the town of La Playa de Salinas’ first Little League program.

    In 1980, Assemblyman Ortiz was the first member of his family to move from Puerto Rico to the United States. Although not yet fluent in English, he graduated from Boricua College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration three years later. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University (NYU) in 1986. Upon completing his schooling, Mr. Ortiz joined the United States Army and served our country from 1986 until he was honorably discharged in 1988.

    He was elected to the office of New York State Assembly in November 1994, defeating a one-term incumbent. Once elected, Assemblyman Ortiz went to work for people of all ages who were in need. During his first week in office he held a press conference to call attention to the unjust treatment of sweatshop workers and set out to address the numerous labor violations in the industry. As a result of his efforts on behalf of immigrants and other workers, the Speaker of the Assembly selected Assemblyman Ortiz to chair the Subcommittee on Sweatshops. As Chair, he continued the fight to hold the industry accountable for its horrendous labor violations and force it to comply with state and federal labor laws and worker safety conditions. With the help of the State Attorney General, Assemblyman Ortiz was able to recover back wages previously denied by the factory owners. To this day, Assemblyman Ortiz continues to monitor labor and wage practices and the safety conditions in the industry.

    In 2000, Assemblyman Ortiz achieved passage of the nation’s first law to ban the use of hand held cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. This law has saved the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers and has since been replicated by other states. Assemblyman Ortiz continues to respond to requests for help from families of accident victims and legislators in states that have not yet passed this law.

    In 2001, Assemblyman Ortiz was appointed to serve as Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food Farm and Nutrition Policy. He worked to provide farmers with economic relief in 2002 by passing a law requiring schools to purchase locally grown produce. In October 2003, Assemblyman Ortiz was presented with the Anne B. Gennings Award from the New York State School Food Services Association in recognition of his efforts on behalf of local farmers and school children from farming communities across the state.

    That same year, Assemblyman Ortiz passed New York’s first Statewide Child Obesity Education Program law which ensures that nutritionally based education programs be a part of every classroom. In 2004, he passed a law to create five eating disorder centers across the state to help those who suffer from illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia. He continues the fight to pass laws mandating that fast food restaurants post the nutritional value of foods they serve to help consumers make more informed choices.

    Assemblyman Ortiz serves as President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, Vice-President of COPA USA, Chair of the Labor and Workforce Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), and Executive Committee Board Member of the Council of State Governments (CSG), Ex-Officio Board Member of the NALEO. Assemblyman Ortiz is a member of the Assembly Standing Committees of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Corrections; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Energy; Labor; and Banks and the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, and the Black & Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus

    He is a 2002 Toll Fellow Graduate and in 2003 he was selected to be part of the Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship Program.

    Assemblyman Ortiz continues to lead a distinguished career in public service. He is nationally and internationally recognized as an elected official who is not afraid to take on unpopular issues and forge solutions on behalf of the people he represents. His cutting edge legislation has made New York a leader in public health and safety issues and many of his bills are used as role models by other state legislative bodies. Ortiz is a recognized fighter for children, families and immigrants.

    After serving in the Assembly for two years, the New York Times said: “…Mr. Ortiz is well regarded in the Assembly for both his hard work and talent at coalition building. In a city where Latino neighborhoods are often shortchanges by the quality of their representatives, Mr. Ortiz could grow into an important leader…” (The New York Times, September 5, 1996).

     

    Catherine Nolan

    Catherine Nolan

    Assem. District 37
    Catherine Nolan

    Catherine Nolan

    As Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee, I have fought hard to ensure that New York’s students get every dollar they are entitled to receive. Last year, I wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting a $1.9 billion increase in education aid and persuaded many of my colleagues to sign on.  Our majority, led by Speaker Silver and working closely with AQE has led our state in advocating for students and parents.”

    Catherine Nolan represents the 37th Assembly District in Queens County, which includes the historic New York City neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, Woodside, Maspeth, Dutch Kills and Blissville. She was first elected to the Assembly in 1984.

    A resident of the district for most of her life, she is a graduate of St. Aloysius R.C. School and Grover Cleveland High School. Ms. Nolan graduated from New York University cum laude with a B.A. degree in Political Science.

    Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Ms. Nolan to Chair the Assembly’s Committee on Education in 2006. She has spearheaded efforts to achieve class size reduction, universal pre-k, middle school initiatives, improve high school graduation rates and other measures that will ultimately mean success for the more than three million school children in New York State. As a parent of a public school student, Assemblywoman Nolan will bring a parent’s perspective to ongoing education debates.

    Prior to Chairing the Education Committee, Ms. Nolan Chaired the Assembly’s Committee on Banks from 2003. She has focused that Committee’s efforts on enhancing consumer protections and maintaining a competitive balance among financial institutions, successfully passing numerous new banking related laws. Among Ms. Nolan’s initial achievements was the extension of the state’s wildcard provisions that foster parity between federal and state-chartered banks. She also authored a new law to extend the retention period for ATM surveillance tapes in an effort to curb ATM fraud.

    Ms. Nolan also Chaired the Committee on Labor. As Chairwoman she led the Committee’s review of workers’ compensation, worker safety, protection and privacy laws. She successfully passed legislation in the Assembly to raise the minimum wage, to enhance whistleblower protections for healthcare workers, strengthen sweatshop enforcement, tighten enforcement of unpaid wage violations, protect innocent bystanders involved in strikes and to create a special fund to investigate prevailing wage violations. Ms. Nolan also continued to focus on occupational safety and health and worker education and retraining, securing funding for several programs, including the first ever occupational safety and health clinic in Queens. She has also held hearings on such important issues as raising the minimum wage, wage and hour violations, workers’ compensation, the understaffing of nurses and age discrimination in the workplace.

    For many years in the legislature Ms. Nolan was the Assembly’s representative to the MTA Capital Program Review Board, where she successfully signed the third MTA Capital Plan, driving millions of dollars to mass transit. She was successful in passing laws increasing the public’s participation in MTA decisions, extending the arbitration provisions for MTA’s labor unions and requiring fire safety training for employees.

    In addition, she serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. She also serves on the Assembly Majority Steering Committee, and the Rules Committee. Assemblywoman Nolan previously chaired the Real Property Taxation Committee, where she was successful in passing important legislation to save taxpayer dollars by consolidating assessing units and a bill allowing the United Nations Development Corporation to expand its New York City-based operation for UNICEF. Prior to that, she chaired the NYS Assembly Commission on State-Federal Relations, where she focused on fighting for more federal aid for public transportation. Assemblywoman Nolan is also a proud past Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Assemblywoman Nolan is active in many civic associations in her district where she has been the recipient of numerous awards.

    She lives with her husband, Gerard Marsicano, and son Nicholas on Grove Street in Ridgewood.

    Standing Committee Assignments 2007: Education (Chair); Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Rules; Veterans’ Affairs; Ways and Means.

    Bill Perkins

    Bill Perkins

    Senate District 30
    Bill Perkins

    Bill Perkins

    En Español Senator Bill Perkins, Democrat was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2006. Senator Perkins represents the 30th Senatorial District which is part of New York County and encompasses Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights. A life long resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins started his political career as a community activist and is known for his commitment to serving the community. The young, elderly and the most vulnerable New Yorkers have always been Bill’s legislative priorities. Prior to the election, Senator Perkins served on the New York City Council. During his eight year tenure, he was the third highest ranking member of the Council serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. As Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Perkins was the prime sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 which protects children from the deadly effects of lead paint in their homes. Thanks to his efforts New York has the best lead paint prevention law in the country. A strong advocate of public education, Bill Perkins has fought to provide every child equal access to a quality education. He advocated for and allocated funding for computer technology, public libraries and the rehabilitation of school playgrounds. He helped fight for and won increased funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) scholarships, full-time staffing and college preparatory courses. Bill is one of the leading voices on maintaining the public university’s mission of access and excellence. Senator Perkins knows the importance of early cancer detection. He has been successful in establishing early detection programs increasing awareness of colon and other cancers in city hospitals so colon cancer patients stand to have a better chance at survival. He helped safeguard the health of children and adults by fighting against conditions that trigger asthma like pesticide use, diesel buses and rats. In response to a myriad of health concerns in our community, Bill was the leader in the fight to combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality, and HIV/AIDS and make quality care more accessible to all New Yorkers. A strong voice in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties, Bill Perkins introduced the Patriot Act Resolution in the City Council which mandates that anti-terrorism laws and policies be implemented in New York City that do not infringe on the fundamental rights and liberties of New Yorkers. He also opposed racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities. He was instrumental in leading the fight for the Living Wage to provide a minimum wage that was also a living wage. As a youth, Senator Perkins recognized the importance of a quality education. He worked hard and was awarded a scholarship to Collegiate Preparatory School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Perkins returned to New York and dedicated himself to giving back to his community through activism and public service. Bill Perkins has continued on that mission ever since and remains committed until this very day to fight for fairness, justice, equity and improving the lives of those he represents. Standing Committee Assignments 2009: Corporations, Authorities & Commissions (Chair); Cities; Civil Service; Codes; Environmental Conservation; Finance; Judiciary; Labor; Transportation   Biografía de Bill Perkins,   El Senador Bill Perkins, el demócrata fue elegido para el Senado de Nueva York en noviembre de 2006. Senador Perkins representa el Distrito Senatorial 30a que es parte del Condado de Nueva York y abarca Harlem, el Upper West Side y Washington Heights. Una vida residente de Harlem, Bill Perkins comenzó su carrera política como activista de la comunidad y es conocido por su compromiso de servir a la comunidad. Las personas de edad joven, y los neoyorquinos más vulnerables han sido siempre las prioridades legislativas de Bill. Antes de las elecciones, el senador Perkins había servido en el Ayuntamiento de Nueva York. Durante sus ocho años, fue el tercer miembro de más alto rango del Consejo, que actúa como líder de la mayoría Adjunto. Como diputado líder de la mayoría, el senador Perkins fue el principal patrocinador de la Pintura con Plomo en Niños Prevención del Envenenamiento por Ley de 2004 que protege a los niños de los efectos letales de la pintura con plomo en sus hogares. Gracias a sus esfuerzos Nueva York tiene la mejor pintura de la ley de prevención de plomo en el país. Un fuerte defensor de la educación pública, Bill Perkins ha luchado para proveer a cada niño el acceso equitativo a una educación de calidad. Era partidario de los fondos asignados y de la tecnología informática, bibliotecas públicas y la rehabilitación de los patios de recreo de la escuela. Él ayudó a luchar y ganar una mayor financiación para la Universidad de la Ciudad de Nueva York (CUNY), becas, cursos de preparación de personal de tiempo completo y la universidad. Proyecto de ley es una de las voces principales en el mantenimiento de la misión de la universidad pública de acceso y excelencia. Senador Perkins conoce la importancia de la detección temprana del cáncer. Él ha sido éxitoso en el establecimiento de programas de detección precoz cada vez mayor conciencia de colon y otros tipos de cáncer en los hospitales de la ciudad para que los pacientes de cáncer de colon puedan tener una mejor oportunidad de sobrevivir. Él ayudó a proteger la salud de los niños y adultos mediante la lucha contra las condiciones que causan asma como el uso de plaguicidas, los autobuses diesel y ratas. En respuesta a una miríada de problemas de salud en nuestra comunidad, Bill fue el líder en la lucha para combatir las altas tasas de mortalidad infantil y materna y el VIH/SIDA y para hacer una atención de calidad más accesible a todos los neoyorquinos. Una voz fuerte en la lucha por los derechos civiles y las libertades civiles, Bill Perkins introdujo la Resolución de Ley Patriota en el Ayuntamiento que establece que las leyes contra el terrorismo y las políticas llevará a cabo en Nueva York, que no infrinjan los derechos fundamentales y las libertades de los neoyorquinos. También se opuso, a la caracterización mediante perfiles raciales, étnicos y religiosos. El patrocinó una legislación histórica para proteger los derechos de los gays, lesbianas y transexuales. Fue fundamental en la conducción de la lucha por el salario digno para proporcionar un salario mínimo que fuera también un salario digno. En su juventud, el senador Perkins reconoció la importancia de una educación de calidad. Trabajó duro y se le concedió una beca para la Escuela Preparatoria de colegiales en Manhattan y más tarde, una beca para estudiar en la Universidad de Brown. Después de graduarse de Brown en 1972 con un BA en Ciencias Políticas Perkins volvió a Nueva York y se dedicó a devolver a su comunidad sus conocimientos a través del activismo y el servicio público. Bill Perkins ha seguido en esa misión y desde entonces mantiene su compromiso hasta el día de hoy para luchar por la equidad, la justicia y mejorar las vidas de aquellos a los que representa.

    N. Nick Perry

    N. Nick Perry

    Assem. District 58
    N. Nick Perry

    N. Nick Perry

    New York Assemblyman N. Nick Perry was born and raised in the parish of St. Andrew, Jamaica. The fourth of five sons in a family of eleven children, he completed his secondary education at Kingston College (H.S.) where he attended on a full scholarship, and worked for the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union before migrating to the U.S. in the summer of 1971.

    Upon arriving in the U.S., Perry volunteered for the U.S. Army where he served for two years of active duty and four years on reserve status. He is the recipient of several service medals and was honorably discharged with the rank of Specialist E-5. Perry then attended college on the G.I. Bill, graduating from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Political Science, and later studied for an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration. While in college Perry was a student leader and student rights activist.

    After college Perry got involved with community organizing and gained recognition as an effective advocate and strong leader in his community. He was appointed to the local Community Board, where he demonstrated the leadership skills that propelled him to election by his colleagues as Chairman. He was reelected to five consecutive one-year terms, during which he served on the Brooklyn Borough Board. Assemblyman Perry was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992 to represent the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn. Assemblyman Perry ran unopposed, and was reelected to serve his 10th consecutive term in the 2010 General Election.

      • Assemblyman Perry is the Chairman of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators.

     

      • Regional Chairman (Region 2-NY & PA) National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL)

     

    • For the current term Assemblyman Perry was appointed by Speaker Sheldon Silver to serve as the Deputy Majority Leader.

    Assembly Committee Membership:

    Ways and Means
    Banks
    Codes
    Labor
    Insurance
    Transportation

    Recent Legislative Accomplishments

      • Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act-The bill authored by Assemblyman Perry offers a second chance to teens that make the poor decision of sending explicit content electronically, the practice is commonly known as “sexting.” Under the Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act a first time youthful offender who did not have the intent to commit a criminal offense, and was not aware that his/her actions constituted a crime, would be diverted to an education program and given a chance to have the charge dismissed upon successful completion of the program rather than be criminally prosecuted. Signed into law by Governor Cuomo, October, 2011.

     

     

    • The Taxpayer Refund Choice Act ensures that New Yorkers who are due tax refunds can still opt to receive a paper check in the mail. Had the NYS Tax Department been allowed to implement its program, New Yorkers would have been subject to possible fees and penalties, which occur via bank transactions. Under the Taxpayer Refund Choice Act, if the state establishes a program to pay refunds by prepaid debit card or direct deposit, the income tax forms will indicate that the taxpayer has the option of receiving his or her refund by various methods, including by personal check, and check boxes will be provided on the income tax forms to allow the person to select the desired option. Signed into law by Governor Cuomo, August, 2011.
    William Colton

    William Colton

    Assem.District 47
    William Colton

    William Colton

    William Colton was elected to the New York State Assembly in November 1996, representing the 47th Assembly District, consisting of the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights and Midwood. He has been a lifelong resident of his district, where he married his wife, Mary, and has two stepchildren, Jennifer and Joseph. He was educated at St. Athanasius School and graduated from Cathedral Prep., the minor seminary of the Diocese of Brooklyn. In 1968, he received a B.A. degree in Urban Education from St. John’s University. He also was awarded an M.S. degree in Urban Education from Brooklyn College. In 1978, he graduated from St. John’s School of Law with a J.D. degree.

    William Colton worked as a public school teacher for eleven years, serving as a UFT Chapter Chairperson for six of those years. While teaching, he attended law school in the evening and he was admitted as a lawyer in New York State in 1979.

    Long active in community and civic affairs, William Colton was co-founder and organizer of the Bensonhurst Tenants Council, an organization that was instrumental in preserving the neighborhood by saving dozens of apartment buildings from becoming slum buildings. He also was active in numerous community issues, including improving transit, as a founder of the Bensonhurst Straphangers Committee; fighting for more monies for schools in Districts 20 and 21; serving as the attorney in the successful lawsuit to stop the re-opening of the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator; fighting for numerous community improvements, such as traffic lights, sewers, vermin and rodent extermination; and assisting in the organizing of community projects, such as Project Option to work for cleaning up of commercial shopping areas, among others.

    Mr. Colton has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Verrazano Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Italy, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Cardinal Stritch Knights Corporation of the Cardinal Stritch Knights of Columbus Council.

    William Colton has been the recipient of numerous community awards, including Outstanding Teacher of the Year in PS 56, the United Federation of Teachers of District 13 Political Action Award, the Civic Service Award from the Building Maintenance Education Program of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Meritorious Civic Service Certificate from the New York City Division of Preservation and Anti-Abandonment, the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Bensonhurst Tenants Council and the 1996 Man of the Year Award from the Bensonhurst West End Community Council.

    Since being elected to the State Assembly he has also received awards from Aidone Social Club, Association of Assistant Principals, St. Athanasius Youth Program, Avenue M Block Association, Brooklyn Italia, Eastern New York Amateur Soccer Association, Ezra’s Torah Society, Federation of Italian American Organizations, Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Most Precious Blood Sports Program, New York Junior Tennis League, the Tenants of 8700 25th Avenue and the New York Conference of Italian-American Legislators.

    He was appointed Chair of the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management and currently serves as Majority Whip.

    Standing Committee Assignments 2013-14: Correction; Environmental Conservation; Governmental Employees; Labor; Ways and Means.

     

    Walter Mosley

    Walter Mosley

    Assem. District 57
    Walter Mosley

    Walter Mosley

    Walter T. Mosley was elected in November 2012 to represent Brooklyn’s 57th District in the New York State Assembly, which includes the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant.

    As Second Vice Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus and member of the committees on Housing, Codes, Corrections, Banks, Cities, and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Assemblyman Mosley is dedicated to helping struggling working families and giving his community a powerful voice in Albany. He is also a proud member of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators and State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG).

    Since taking office, Assemblyman Mosley has focused on tackling economic inequality by strengthening affordable housing, improving public education and after school programs, and bringing more jobs into the community. Assemblyman Mosley has introduced legislation that fights public employer discrimination of formerly incarcerated individuals; provides legal representation for persons facing foreclosure proceedings, and require mortgage lenders and brokers to inform potential homeowners of their Mortgage Bill of Rights.

    Having cast his first career vote to pass the NY Safe Act – which enacted the nation’s toughest gun laws in New York State – Assemblyman Mosley is committed to making our communities safer and healthier places to live. He has introduced legislation that prohibits smoking on all State University of New York (SUNY) campuses, and also mandates seatbelt use for passengers in the back seats of cars. As a public school parent, Assemblyman Mosley has also been a fierce advocate for increased education funding and expanding school choice for families.

    Most recently, Assemblyman Mosley has introduced the Retail Anti-Profiling Act, which calls for more transparency regarding NYPD personnel in private businesses –such as major department stores that have been accused of discriminatory practices. This bill also seeks to curb unfair treatment of public housing residents by eliminating the $74 million annual payment from the financially distressed NYC Housing Authority to the NYPD for police services to which every New Yorker is entitled.

    In addition to serving as a member of the Assembly, Mosley is also the District Leader and NYS Committeeman for the 57th district. Prior to being elected, Assemblyman Mosley served as Special Assistant & External Relations Specialist to the NYS Senate Minority Leader, where he facilitated internal and external governmental affair matters on behalf of the Senate Minority Conference. From 2007-2009, Mosley worked as Director of Contract Compliance and Government & Community Relations for Spectrum Personal Communications, where he oversaw MWBE/DBE contract compliance efforts and managed various construction projects for its corporate and government clients. In 2008, Mosley was one of the first New York State delegates to pledge his support for the presidential bid of then-Senator Barack Obama. He was also tapped as Kings County Outreach Director for Bill Thompson’s 2009 mayoral campaign and as Field Director for Governor Patterson’s 2006 campaign. Assemblyman Mosley was also a public school teacher in Bedford Stuyvesant and has served on the Board of Directors for the CUSH Campus Charter School.

    Assemblyman Mosley received his bachelor’s degree in Criminology, with a minor in African Studies and American History, from Pennsylvania State University at University Park, graduating with honors for his exceptional academic performance. In 1998, he then received his law degree from the historic Howard University in Washington D.C.

    Born and raised in Clinton Hill – where he and his wife are also raising their son – Assemblyman Mosley is committed to accessible, passionate and substantive representation of the communities of central Brooklyn in the New York State legislature.

     

    Brad Hoylman

    Brad Hoylman

    Senate District 27
    Brad Hoylman

    Brad Hoylman

    I am deeply committed to advancing the Campaign for Fiscal Equity to ensure all New York State students receive the sound basic education to which they are entitled. I will continue to fight to increase Foundation Aid and remove the harmful Gap Elimination Adjustment. We must fully and equitably fund the New York City education system and school districts throughout the state.”

    Senator Brad Hoylman represents New York’s 27th State Senate District, which covers much of the heart of Manhattan, including the neighborhoods of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side, Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the East Village and Lower East Side. He was first elected to the State Senate in November 2012 after having spent more than 20 years as a Democratic grassroots activist in the communities he represents.

    Senator Hoylman is a former Democratic District Leader and three-term Chair of Manhattan Community Board 2. He is a former Trustee of the Community Service Society, New York City’s leading anti-poverty organization, and is a former board member of the Empire State Pride Agenda, Tenants & Neighbors, Class Size Matters and Citizen Action. A past-president of the Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, he and his husband, David, and their young daughter, Silvia, are members of the LGBT synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah.

    Although Senator Hoylman has deep roots in Manhattan, he was born and raised in rural West Virginia as the youngest of six children.  He attended public schools through college, graduated with honors, won a Rhodes Scholarship, and put himself through Harvard Law School. After graduating, he began his non-profit legal career in affordable housing, eventually becoming general counsel of the Partnership for New York City, a non-profit business and civic organization.Senator Hoylman is a strong advocate for better public schools, tenants’ rights, responsible development, neighborhood preservation, open space and public transportation. He has brought to Albany the same reform-minded approach that he demonstrated as a community activist and leader.

    Some of his top priorities include:  fighting for New York City’s fair share of education dollars and increasing parental involvement in school governance decisions; strengthening laws to protect rent regulated tenants; reforming campaign finance laws to encourage smaller donations and wider participation in the political process while lessening the corrupting influence of big money donations; making the state tax system more progressive; winning passage of the Gender Equality Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), securing greater resources for LGBT youth; and keeping transit fares low while improving maintenance and operations on our subways and buses.

    Senator Hoylman is proud to represent New York State’s 27th Senate District, which includes some of New York City’s oldest and storied neighborhoods, and to be an advocate for those New Yorkers who normally do not have a voice in the halls of government.

    Ruth Hassell-Thompson

    Ruth Hassell-Thompson

    Senate District 36
    Ruth Hassell-Thompson

    Ruth Hassell-Thompson

    First elected to the New York State Senate in 2000, Ruth Hassell-Thompson brings years of public service and community activism to her post as the Senator of the 36th Senatorial District. As a lawmaker, Senator Hassell-Thompson has been the sponsor of such landmark legislation as: New York’s No-Fault Divorce Law, Major reforms in New York’s Maintenance/Alimony Laws, the creation of New York’s Office of Indigent Defense Services, Women Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) Pension Fund Legislation, Establishment of Operation SNUG, Caseload Caps for Indigent Criminal Defense, Increased Funding for Indigent Civil Legal Services and several laws supporting Prisoner Re-entry. Perhaps the Senator’s greatest legislative achievement was reform of the so-called Rockefeller Drug Laws. In 2009, the Senator created Diversion Courts which gave Judges the authority to divert drug addicted individuals into drug programs instead of prison. Her aim was to replace a purely punitive policy with a policy that addresses the underlying causes of criminality. Since the institution of the new law, New York has experienced a drop in major crimes and a major decrease in prison populations. In the area of education, Ruth Hassell-Thompson was a legislative plaintiff in the historic lawsuit, Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York. The Senator was a distinct critic of the poor roll-out of “common core curriculum” and has advocated and voted at every turn to ensure that the school community is properly prepared and funded to integrate common core into the overall curriculum. Senator Hassell-Thompson is a frequent visitor to schools within her Senatorial District and is often seen tutoring her 9 year old grandson through core curriculum modules. This year, the Senator rejected the Executive proposal and voted to increase state aid to schools by over one billion dollars. The Senator has served as Chairperson of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, and currently chairs the Conference of Black Senators and the NYS Senate’s Democratic Task Force on Domestic Violence. In 1993, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was elected to the Mount Vernon City Council, serving as Council President and Acting Mayor. In this position, she was Vice Chairperson of the Urban Renewal Board; a voting member of the Board of Estimate; Vice chairperson of the Real Estate Board and Chairperson of the Capital Projects Board. Among her other Committee responsibilities was oversight of all Council Committees, which included Legislation and Public Works; Human Resources; Finance and Planning, Public Safety and Codes.
    A retired nurse/counselor for Mount Vernon Hospital (1963-1998) specializing in pediatrics and helping women with substance abuse issues, Senator Hassell-Thompson is the Founding-President/CEO of “The Gathering,” a volunteer-staffed Women’s Center in Mount Vernon that provides counseling and support services. In addition, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was a health educator for the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Health Center’s initiative, which entailed working with persons infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. She was honored with the “Unsung Heroes” award, presented by the AIDS Related Community Services (ARCS) organization.
    Prior to holding an elected office, she was President/CEO of Whart Development Company, Inc., a real estate development company that also provided consultant services to small and developing businesses. Senator Thompson’s firm researched and published “The African American in Westchester” in 1990. She is well known for her expertise on minority business needs and has initiated numerous workshops and seminars on business development. From January 1980 to June 1987, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was the Executive Director of the Westchester Minority Contractors Association (WMCA). In this position, she became well-versed in economic development issues which impact women and people of color. She became one of their most ardent advocates and successfully persuaded members of both the public and private sectors to increase economic participation with minority and women-owned businesses. She served on numerous boards and committees that focused on issues related to minority and women business ownership. Among her many achievements was her ability to spearhead bank loans for financing minority and women-owned business activities. She continues to serve as an advocate for these concerns.
    Prior to leading the WMCA, Ms. Hassell-Thompson worked for the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (Westchester Co-Op) for 10 years in a number of management positions, ranging from director of an infant day care center to executive assistant to the executive director of the Co-Op and coordinator of community based programs in Westchester and Putnam counties. During her tenure there, she was awarded the Joseph P. Gavrin Memorial Award for Personal Achievement and Contributions to the community by the Westchester Co-Op.
    As a testament to Ms. Hassell-Thompson’s achievements in helping women and minorities excel in business ventures and in life, she has received several awards. Chief among them are: the “Sojourner Truth Racial Justice Award”, the “Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award”, the “Minority and Women Business Development Award” from the state of New York Department of Commerce; the Professional Women in Construction Award for “Dedicated Services and Action on Behalf of Equal Opportunity for Women and Minorities”; Westchester Black Women’s Health Project for “Outstanding Contributions to Business; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scroll of Honor in recognition of Outstanding Achievement in Outreach; African-American Civic and Legal Hall of Fame, Inc., Dr. Martin Luther King, Keeping the Dream Alive Award “In Recognition and Appreciation of Service in the Dr. King Tradition” and the Mount Vernon Hospital Community Service Award.
    Senator Hassell-Thompson was enstooled by the Akwamu Traditional Council in the Eastern Region of Ghana, as their Mpuntuhemaa (Queenmother for Development). Her enstoolment as Mpuntuhemaa was to bring about development for the people of Akwamu, taking into consideration the educational needs of the area at large. Ms Hassell-Thompson was given the stool name Nana Addobea I by the 17 provinces and villages that make up the Eastern Region.
    Ms. Hassell-Thompson is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate degrees; Mercy College, Doctor of Humane Letters; and Eastern Theological Consortium, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Christ Theological Seminary, Doctor of Humanities. She is an alumna of Bronx Community College.
    Senator Hassell-Thompson was the original sponsor of legislation to further decriminalize marijuana possession as a response to unconstitutional stop and frisks of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. In 2013, she continued her crusade to end discriminatory searches and she also persuaded a majority of the Senate’s membership to co-sponsor her Domestic Violence Survivor’s Act, a bill which would give Judges the discretion to reduce sentences where domestic violence played a major role in the underlying crime. Also in 2013, she fought tirelessly to have the old Fulton Correctional Facility transformed into a multi-purpose reentry facility where ex-offenders could find necessary support to become hard working citizens. The transformation of the Fulton Facility will bring millions of dollars of investment into the North Bronx.
    Ms. Hassell-Thompson is widowed with two daughters and is an adoring grandmother of two.

    Long Island

    Adam Haber

    Adam Haber

    7th District
    Adam Haber

    Adam Haber

    “Adam Haber is a not a career politician – he’s a successful businessman, local school board member, father and husband who is sick of state government failing Nassau families and the taxpayers of our community.
    Adam has real, private-sector experience creating jobs, attracting investments and managing complex budgets, and he’ll put those skills to work for Nassau in the State Senate. As a Roslyn School Board member, Adam helped transform a failing institution making it one of the best in the state for taxpayers and students alike.
    Adam Haber understands that it’s not the politicians’ money, it’s not the government’s money, it’s our money and it needs to be managed correctly.”

    Ethan Irwin

    Ethan Irwin

    Senate District 6
    Ethan Irwin

    Ethan Irwin

    “As a father of two public school students, I understand the need to make our children and their education a priority. Ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment has been important to me since before I announced my candidacy for State Senate. Fully restoring state funding to our schools is critical to providing the quality education that all of our children need and deserve. In addition to returning money to our schools, I pledge to work to reform the Common Core to ensure it’s success. Our teachers and parents have voiced their concerns and it is time for Albany to take action. New York State collects far more in taxes from Nassau County than we get back, and it is time that our voices are heard, our schools are properly funded, and our students are given the best education that we can give them.”

    Throughout his life, Ethan Irwin has been a tireless advocate and dedicated leader by serving his country and community. He is running to represent Long Island and New York to bring reform to Albany. Partisan politics has dominated the Legislature and our current Senator has been part of the problem – not the solution. We need Ethan because he will put New York and Long Island first.

    t the age of 20, Ethan enlisted in the United State Marine Corps and served our country in Japan and South Korea. In the Marine Corps, Ethan learned the the meaning of duty, loyalty, honor, commitment and teamwork. After returning home to New York, he worked hard to finish his undergraduate education at Stony Brook University and obtain his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

    While in Law School, Ethan advocated in the family court for victims of domestic violence to obtain orders of protection against their abusers. Ethan also interned during law school at the Brooklyn public defender’s office, where he saw first-hand the problems with the criminal justice system, the effects poverty on crime, the challenges facing our overburdened criminal court system, the devastating impact of wrongful convictions, and the inefficiencies of our legal system. Since his graduation from law school, Ethan has spent most of his legal career fighting to protect us from insurance fraud and understands the significant impact that fraud and waste can have on an economy.

    Ethan is invested in the community as a husband and father of two young children. He understands what New York and Long Island families need, and has been fighting for it his entire life.

    Advocating starts with fighting for our families, not for the special interests in Albany. Ethan recognizes the critical need to invest in our children and he will bring their voices to the State Senate to secure all of the funds needed to fully fund our schools, making sure they remain the best in the nation.

    Since our current State Senator has been in office, Long Island has seen property taxes on the rise and unfunded mandates from Albany burdening our families. Ethan understands that supporting a family is hard enough without suffering a steady increase in taxes and the cost of living as well. He will fight to lower property taxes so that our families and young people can afford to keep calling Long Island home. Ending unfunded mandates is about fairness. The State should not impose regulations on our communities without providing stable and adequate sources of funding. If elected, Ethan will fight to pass legislation requiring funding plans and tax impact studies for all legislation proposing unfunded mandates.

    Ethan has proved to be a strong advocate for the environment. He has voiced his concerns with the support of Levittown Property Owners Association to clean Long Island’s drinking water. As a member of the Navy/ Grumman restoration advisory board, he fought for legislation that would lead to cleaning the pollution at the Grumman Site and make the polluters pay for the damage they caused, rather than leaving the pollution for the next generation like they had been doing for almost three decades. He has also fought alongside his neighbors to take back our water from private companies to ensure that water delivery remains safe, efficient and affordable. Ethan believes in the importance to both the economy and the environment of creating incentives for green energy in New York to cut down on pollution and create good jobs for all of us.

    Improving the economy and fighting for workers goes beyond creating new jobs – it also means improving existing ones. Ethan will fight to increase the minimum wage, so that hard working families can make ends meet. As a matter of dignity, a family of four with two full time minimum wage workers shouldn’t qualify for food stamps and Medicaid like they do now. Ethan’s fight for fair wages will include ending gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Single parent households shouldn’t qualify for public assistance because of gender based pay discrimination. The Women’s Equality Act is legislation that needs to be passed for the women and families of Long Island and New York.
    As a father, Marine, Long Islander and a Democrat, Ethan’s values have been reflected in his work, service, and volunteer efforts. Ethan lives in Levittown with his wife Veronica, niece Aleesia, and his two children Katherine and William who attend local public schools.

    Adrienne Esposito

    Adrienne Esposito

    Senate District 3
    Adrienne Esposito

    Adrienne Esposito

    “All of our children deserve a quality education, regardless of their zipcode, because a well-educated workforce is the number one way to achieve a strong economy. A rising tide lifts all boats.”-Adrienne Esposito

    Adrienne Esposito is a life long Suffolk resident, and she’s never stopped fighting for Long Island families. She has been an independent and hardworking leader who has dedicated her life to cleaning up Long Island and New York State. She has worked aggressively to protect our environment and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently so our families receive the services they deserve. Adrienne is a longtime Patchogue resident with a degree in Geology and Environmental Science from CW Post University. Additionally, Adrienne serves on the Brookhaven National Laboratory Citizens Advisory Committee, the Long Island Sound Citizens Advisory Committee, the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC).

    Adrienne is taking her 30 years of advocacy on behalf of Suffolk families and is running for the State Senate to continue that work. She will fight to hold the line on Suffolk homeowners’ property tax burdens by ending unfunded mandates and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in Suffolk and in Albany. She will make it a priority to pass the Women’s Equality Act which would ensure that women are paid the same as men for the same work, and pregnant women are not discriminated against. She will be a fierce advocate to fully fund and strengthen our local public schools, giving teachers and parents a voice in their children’s education and moving away from the extreme focus on standardized testing. To put Suffolk families back to work, Adrienne will fight to pass a comprehensive jobs plan that encourages small businesses to grow and creates tax incentives for hiring new workers. With her environmental expertise, Adrienne will lead the way in rebuilding and strengthening our communities so we are better prepared for natural disasters such as Super Storm Sandy. She will also work to protect our water and land resources.

    Michelle Schimel

    Michelle Schimel

    Assembly District 16
    Michelle Schimel

    Michelle Schimel

    Michelle Schimel is now serving her fourth term in the New York State Assembly for the 16th Assembly District. She was first elected in a Special Election held on March 27, 2007. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Michelle was the Town Clerk of North Hempstead for eight years, where she worked tirelessly to increase government efficiency and transparency for the residents of her community.
    Now a full time legislator, Michelle has built a reputation for being one of the most effective and productive members of the New York State Assembly. In January 2013, Michelle was appointed to the Assembly leadership position of Vice Chair of the Majority Conference.
    Michelle is recognized in her community for her passion on the issues that affect New York, particularly the prevention of gun violence and protecting the environment.
    For close to twenty years, Michelle served on the Board of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), the largest citizens’ group in New York State dedicated to reducing gun-related violence. In 1995, as Vice President and member of the Executive Board of NYAGV, Michelle and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy co-founded the Long Island Chapter.
    A leader on anti-crime initiatives, Michelle was elected as Co-Chair of the New York Chapter of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG) in 2011. SLAIG is a bicameral, bipartisan coalition of over fifty current and former members of the New York State Assembly and Senate.
    Following the horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Michelle worked behind the scenes assembling a broad coalition of support among state legislators for an eight-point plan to reduce gun violence. Many of these measures were included in the NY SAFE Act, which was recently signed into law and has been hailed as one of the toughest gun-safety laws in the country.
    To date, Michelle’s proudest accomplishment is her landmark microstamping legislation, which would make all semi-automatic handguns to be microstamp capable. Microstamping technology allows police officers to trace firearms through cartridge casings found at crime scenes, even if the crime gun is never recovered. When fired, all shell cartridges would have a microstamped engraved code for the make, model and serial number of the firearm. Over 100 law enforcement agencies and elected officials from across the state have endorsed the bill. Michelle’s bill has passed the Assembly with bipartisan support for five consecutive years, but it has been blocked in the State Senate due to strong-arming by the gun lobby. Michelle has been featured on numerous television shows, including CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, to speak on the subject. Michelle’s article, “Microstamping Guns: A Tool to Help Solve Gun Crimes in New York,” was published in the Summer 2012 Issue of the New York State Bar Association’s Government, Law and Policy Journal.
    The Environmental Advocates of New York has recognized Michelle as a leader on the environment. Her most recent work has focused on preserving open space, protecting Long Island’s water resources, most notably the Lloyd Aquifer, and promoting the recycling of electronic waste products. She has also been outspoken in her opposition to hydrofracking.
    A former small business owner in New York City, Michelle has focused on making it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs. Michelle helped create regionally-focused economic development initiatives and has fought to provide tax credits and low-cost energy to small businesses. She assisted in helping to create thousands of jobs through her support of the NY Works Program and investments in high-tech industry.
    Michelle has been a leader in protecting identity and national security interests through the protection of vital records. Recognized for her strong management and advocacy skills, she was appointed by the State Education Department and continues to serve on the Local Government Records Advisory Council, which sets guidelines for the security and accessibility of local government records. In 2006, Michelle was selected to serve on the New York State “Cyber-Security Panel” in conjunction with Homeland Security to review Internet policies for local governments throughout the state.
    Michelle Schimel was born in Brooklyn and has been a resident of Great Neck since 1982. Before being elected to public office, Michelle was a physical therapist and certified wound care specialist at North Shore University Hospital. From 1982-1994 Michelle was vice president of a fashion accessories firm in Manhattan. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania.

    Michaelle Solages

    Michaelle Solages

    Assem. District 22
    Michaelle Solages

    Michaelle Solages

    A lifelong resident of Elmont, Michaelle Solages was elected to represent the 22nd Assembly District in November 2012. The 22nd Assembly District includes North Valley Stream, Valley Stream, South Valley Stream, South Floral Park, Floral Park, Bellerose Terrace, North Woodmere, Elmont, Stewart Manor, and parts of Franklin Square.

    At an early age, Michaelle learned the value of hard work and the importance of a quality education. Michaelle earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Hofstra University’s School of Education, Health and Human Services. After graduation, Michaelle remained at Hofstra as a supervisor of access services at the University’s Axinn Library. Michaelle has helped to empower students through printed material and educational technology. Michaelle has also played a role in the modernization of the library’s resources.

    Michaelle believes in giving back to the community. As a result, Michaelle has volunteered as a legislative aide and served as an organizer for various civic and nonprofit organizations.

    One of Michaelle’s top priorities is fighting for Nassau’s middle class. Michaelle recognizes that a livable wage and safe working conditions are fundamental rights. Michaelle also seeks to be an advocate for environmental conservation, education, and small businesses.

    Michaelle currently resides in Elmont with her husband, Nick.

    Philip Ramos

    Philip Ramos

    Assem. District 6
    Philip Ramos

    Philip Ramos

    Philip Ramos (D, WFP – Bay Shore) represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes portions of the hamlets of Brentwood, Central Islip, North Bay Shore, Bay Shore, and Islandia. He was elected to a newly created Assembly seat in 2002 and is now serving in his twelfth year representing the people of the 6th AD.

    Phil Ramos was born in the Bronx. The son of a correction officer and a registered nurse, Phil learned at an early age the value of helping people and being dedicated to your community. His family was one of the first Hispanic families to move to Brentwood in 1957. He has lived in the community for the past 50 years, raising his two children and working tirelessly on behalf of the community.

    Phil graduated from Brentwood High School in 1974, and went to work as a therapy aide at the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center where he helped organize self-help groups for patients. Phil later became an Emergency Medical Technician and received a commendation for delivering a baby boy on the side of the Southern State Parkway.

    Phil retired from the Suffolk County Police Department, after 20 years of dedicated service. He rose through the ranks of the department – retiring as a detective.

    Phil Ramos began his career in 1979. He followed in the footsteps of his father by going into law enforcement where he not only helped protect people from crime, but also worked to make the community better. As a Suffolk county police officer, Phil used his position to help bridge the gap between the Latino community and law enforcement. He organized meetings with Latino merchants and precinct commanders to solve problems in the community. He also joined with other Latino police officers in founding the Suffolk County Police Hispanic Society to help address Latino issues in the community.

    In the Police Department, Phil worked eight years in the Narcotics Unit as an undercover officer. He witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of drugs on the community, and used this experience to help teach parents how to discuss the effects of drugs with their children. Phil has also lectured at schools on the issue of police relations and minority youths. Promoted to detective in 1987, Phil was assigned to the community where he grew up. He helped solve several major crimes – including the brutal assault of two day-laborers in Farmingville.

    Assemblyman Ramos has helped organize and found the Long Island Latino Elected Officials Association which now consists of seven members throughout state, county, city, town and village government. Phil also played an integral role in the establishment of the Long Island Black & Brown Caucus which consists of twenty two members.

    During the 2013 session Assemblyman Ramos was appointed Co-Chairman of the Task Force on Demographic Research & Reapportionment. Assemblyman Ramos is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Volunteer Emergency Services as well as the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute. He is also a member of the committee’s on Aging, Economic Development Job Creation Commerce & Industry, Education, and Local Governments. Assemblyman Ramos is a member of the subcommittee’s on Students with Special Needs, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.

    Charles Lavine

    Charles Lavine

    Assem. District 13
    Charles Lavine

    Charles Lavine

    “The very best investment in our nation’s future is public education. I fully share AQE’s commitment and dedication to public education.” – Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine 

    Charles D. Lavine represents the 13th Assembly District, which consists of portions of northeastern Nassau County. He serves as chair of the Committee on Ethics and Guidance, co-chair of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission and is a member of the committees on Codes, Health, Higher Education, Insurance, Judiciary, and Social Services.

    Assemblyman Lavine is dedicated to fighting for legislation that will make New York an even better place to live. His passion for a more transparent and efficient government has motivated him to author legislation that will strip corrupt public officials of their pensions. The Assemblyman is also a proponent of campaign finance reform and ethics legislation.

    To keep our families safe, Assemblyman Lavine has sponsored legislation that will increase penalties for those who use high capacity magazines as well as legislation that will help to halt the trafficking of illegal guns into New York. Troubled by the number of veterans living in poverty and with mental health disorders, he authored legislation to identify veterans in need and coordinate the necessary services to improve the quality of their lives. He is also a proud sponsor of the legislation that resulted in Marriage Equality in New York State.

    As President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, Lavine is a strong voice for the Jewish community for the state of Israel. He has been a steadfast advocate for a strong alliance between the United States and Israel.

    Assemblyman Lavine is a champion of reforms and legislation to streamline the regulatory protocols of New York State governmental agencies and authorities, advocating on behalf of small businesses to increase governmental efficiency.

    The Assemblyman grew up in Marinette, Wisconsin, Menominee, Michigan, Manistique, Michigan and Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from Marinette High School in 1965 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 with a B.A. in English Literature. While at Wisconsin, he was director of the Robert Theobald lectures presented by the University’s Symposium Committee. He also served as a chairman of the fact-finding commission of United Students for Action, a civil rights advocacy group that recommended that the University divest its interests in companies that dealt with South Africa, which then practiced apartheid. The University subsequently ended its investments in those corporations.

    A graduate of New York Law School, Assemblyman Lavine earned his Juris Doctorate in 1972. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Board, Chairman of the Student Curriculum Committee, and representative of the Student Bar Association representative where he was the recipient of the Student Bar Association’s Exceptional Service Award. In connection with his service on the Moot Court Board, Mr. Lavine was the editor of a publication titled Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy.

    Between 1972 and 1976, Assemblyman Lavine was employed as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York. He was selected as one of the original members of the pioneering Continuity Unit, which provided each client with a single attorney throughout the processing of the entire case. Prior to that time, clients were represented by a succession of attorneys, with no single lawyer having full responsibility for the case. That innovative approach would eventually be adopted as the model for the manner in which Public Defender Organizations currently provide legal services.

    The Assemblyman left the Legal Aid Society in 1976, to practice law. He had offices in Queens County and lower Manhattan, specializing in the defense of complex criminal litigation. He played a role in many of the cases that captured headlines over the course of his legal career. Since his Assembly election, he no longer accepts cases and serves as a full-time legislator.

    Assemblyman Lavine has resided in Glen Cove since 1980. His demanding work schedule never kept him from contributing to the betterment of his community. In the mid-1980s, he served as counsel for the Glen Cove Community Development Agency and the Industrial Development Agency. As CDA attorney, he was lead counsel in the City’s successful defense of litigation brought to prohibit Glen Cove from developing a movie theater in its downtown.

    In 2000, Assemblyman Lavine was appointed to the Glen Cove Planning Board and in May of 2003, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove City Council; a position to which he was subsequently elected. In 2004, he was elected to the New York State Assembly.

    He is married to Ronnie, a retired public school educator and active Planned Parenthood of Nassau County volunteer.

    Hudson Valley

    Frank Skartados

    Frank Skartados

    104th District
    Frank Skartados

    Frank Skartados

    Frank Skartados is the former Assemblyman from the 100th Assembly District. In the Assembly, Frank’s top priorities were job creation and economic development, reducing the tax burden on businesses and working families, and improving educational opportunities for New York’s children.
    Frank was born on a small island off the coast of Greece where, as the seventh of eight children, he helped his father maintain their family’s small subsistence farm. He moved to America at age 14 with his mother.
    Within months of arriving in New York City, Frank’s mother returned to Greece, leaving the young man to build his own life in America. Frank taught himself English and worked his way through school, eventually graduating from George Washington High School in upper Manhattan.
    Frank was determined to continue his education but needed the funds to make it happen. So after four years of working in the restaurant business, he was able to put himself through State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, where he graduated with honors and a degree in Political Science while also working in the Commandants Office of the New York Military Academy.
    After SUNY New Paltz, Frank went on to get his Masters Degree in International Studies from the State University of California at Sacramento, followed by an internship at the United Nations at the Center Against Apartheid. He returned to the New York Military Academy for the next eight years to serve as Chairman of the Health Department and a teacher of Environmental Studies and American History.
    Frank has devoted his life since leaving the Academy to building his business and renovating properties in downtown Poughkeepsie. Founder and President of the Academy Street Business Association in Poughkeepsie, Frank helped in the revitalization of the Street’s business environment which changed the negative perception of the area. He also served on the Mayor’s Promotions & Events Committee to help further promote and attract new people to the City of Poughkeepsie; and as a member of Poughkeepsie Partnership – a go-between to promote the partnership of business and city government agencies. Frank also owns a small farm in Milton, NY where he cares for his many animals.

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    46th District
    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk had a long record of community service before deciding to run for the State Senate. As a member of the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education, she was known as a strong and vocal advocate for our public schools, and was elected by her colleagues to serve as President of the Board.
    Senator Tkaczyk is the Ranking Member on both the Elections Committee and the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. She also serves as a member of the following committees: Agriculture, Environmental Conservation, Education, Children and Families and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
    Her top priorities in the Senate include strengthening the State’s economy and fostering job growth. She believes this can only be done by supporting and improving New York’s public school system in order to prepare our children for the new technology-based job market.
    Senator Tkaczyk was born and raised on a dairy farm. She is extremely proud of her farming roots, and is currently the only farmer serving in the State Senate. She owns and lives on a small sheep farm in the town of Duanesburg, NY, with her husband, Eric and their son, Peter.
    Editorial boards around her district, and even outside her district, have praised her work ethic, knowledge of the issues and her commitment to bring real change to State Government.
    In their endorsement of Senator Tkaczyk, the Albany Times Union said: “No one running for the Legislature this year has a better command of the challenges facing the state’s rural population than Ms. Tkaczyk. “ The Poughkeepsie Journal agreed, saying “Tkaczyk spoke elegantly about ending the disparity among school districts in terms of funding, saying New York must do more to help its high-needs districts, whether they are in urban or rural areas.”
    Dr. Alan Chartock, President and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and Executive Publisher of the Legislative Gazette wrote after an interview with Cece: “She made great sense. She was quietly articulate and she did not engage in political double talk.”
    But the Utica Observer-Dispatch summed it up best when they began an editorial on government reform with the sentence: “Cecilia Tkaczyk is the kind of person we need in government.”

    James Skoufis

    James Skoufis

    Assem. District 99
    James Skoufis

    James Skoufis

    Last year in the Assembly, we helped increase statewide K-12 funding – to significantly higher levels than the Governor proposed – in order to support the mission that every student has access to a high-quality public education. I fought for even greater increases than what was included in the final budget and will continue doing so until all of our public schools are fully and fairly funded.”

    James Skoufis, born in Flushing, Queens in 1987, has resided in the Town of Woodbury and Hudson Valley for nearly twenty years. He graduated from Monroe-Woodbury High School in 2005 and went on to earn his B.A. summa cum laude from The George Washington University and M.A. from Columbia University.

    Having spent the first many years of his life in New York City Public Housing and being only one generation removed from food stamps, James understands the struggles that many families are bearing and will be a strong advocate for his working- and middle-class constituents in the Assembly.

    In addition to strong constituent services and 24/7 availability, James’ legislative priorities include raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, a full repeal of the MTA payroll tax, tax credits for new small business growth, tax penalties for corporations who ship jobs overseas, and taking care of our veterans who honorably serve our country.

    Before his election, James was a Project Manager at Amerigard Alarm & Security Corporation and a Member of the Woodbury Town Board. On the Town Board, James distinguished himself in the wake of Hurricane Irene by leading the local relief effort and helping affected families with food, shelter, and financial assistance.

    The son of a Greek immigrant, James’ family includes his mother, Donna, father, George, and two sisters, Melissa and Anna Maria.

     

    Terry Gipson

    Terry Gipson

    Senate District 41
    Terry Gipson

    Terry Gipson

    I’m Terry Gipson, and I’m honored to be serving my first term as a New York State Senator, representing the 41st District, which includes Dutchess and Putnam Counties. My wife Michelle and I are residents of Rhinebeck, where I formerly served as Village Trustee and owned a small business. Community is important to us and we are involved with the local library, historical society, farmer’s market and Chambers of Commerce.

    Prior to moving to Rhinebeck, we lived in White Plains, where I served as a volunteer firefighter. I worked as a Design Director for MTV Networks, and previously, as a designer for Rockwell Architecture. For more than 20 years, I made my living developing creative solutions for complex problems — and this has proven to be a unique and valuable asset in Albany.

    Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, I am proud of my family’s roots in farming. Encouraged to work hard and to be a self-starter, I put myself through school, graduating from Texas Tech with a BFA in 1987, and Penn State with an MFA in 1991. To do so, I worked as a landscaper, dishwasher, cook, carpenter, painter, cafeteria manager, and scenic and lighting designer.

    My top priorities remain reducing taxes and creating jobs in the Hudson Valley. I am committed to improving the quality of our education system and finding a more equitable way to fund it, so that owning a home or business in our community is more affordable.

    As someone who started my own business in the Hudson Valley, I know first-hand that we need to encourage entrepreneurs to start up or expand their businesses right here, rather than leaving for opportunities elsewhere.

    While making New York more business-friendly, we must continue to protect our natural resources. I believe we can harness the unique natural characteristics of the Hudson Valley to spur our local economy and create jobs by promoting the use and manufacturing of alternative energy sources.

    I am pro-choice, a strong defender of equal rights on behalf of all New Yorkers, and dedicated to preventing child abuse and domestic violence. I am also a staunch advocate for our senior citizens and understand the importance of making sure we all have access to affordable, quality health care.

    I thank you for your continued support and look forward to continuing to serve you.

    George Latimer

    George Latimer

    Senate District 37
    George Latimer

    George Latimer

    “In my freshman term as the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee, I fought for and achieved a $1.1 billion increase in Education funding. That was a great start, but clearly more must be done. I plan to continue the fight to provide State resources to our local schools across New York to improve education. This is the right of our next generation and our responsibility.” – Senator George Latimer

    George Latimer, a third generation Westchester native was born November 22, 1953 in Mt. Vernon to the late Stanley and Loretta (Miner) Latimer.  After attending Mt. Vernon public schools, George graduated with a B.A. from Fordham University in the Bronx as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner School.

    Since completing his education, George by profession is a marketing executive, who has gained first hand business and economic experience over 20 years at major corporate subsidiaries of Nestle, and ITT, with on-site responsibilities for projects with AT&T, IBM and Shearson Lehman.  During that time, Latimer had direct involvement with project development in numerous sites nationwide.

    A resident of the City of Rye for nearly 30 years, George successfully ran for the Rye City Council, spending the next 4 years combining his business experiences with his background in public service, eventually leading him onto the Westchester County Board of Legislators, while simultaneously keeping a steady portfolio with Benchmark Management. During the 13 years that George was a member of that chamber he served as the Minority Leader and then as the first Democratic Chairman of the Board of Legislators in Westchester history.

    From 1998 to 2001, while George was the Chairman of the County Board of Legislators, property taxes decreased in three consecutive years by nearly 7%. Additionally, Latimer oversaw the passage of groundbreaking legislation such as the creation of the Human Rights Commission, Smoke Free Workplace Laws, and the Waste Haulers Laws.  George was regarded as bipartisan and transparent during his tenure, appointing Republicans to chair committees, facilitating a fair redistricting plan that involved members of the chamber’s minority party and outside “good government” groups and establishing the first cable TV coverage of Board of Legislators meetings.

    Elected in 2004 to the State Assembly, George Latimer has established a solid record of accomplishment, sponsoring legislation and advancing funding for environmental issues (including protection of the Long Island Sound), housing, transportation, healthcare, lower property taxes and a myriad of other issues. In the Assembly, he is the author of over 20 new laws in topics as diverse as establishing provisions to allow Freedom of Information requests (FOIL) to be requested and responded by e-mail, launching a program to increase organ donations, and preventing radio piracy.

    He has received public recognition and awards from numerous Westchester and Hudson Valley organizations for his work in these areas, and has been cited with awards from the Sarah Neuman Center, the Washingtonville Housing Alliance, Congregation Anshe Sholom in New Rochelle, the Port Chester/Rye Brook Chamber of Commerce, the Mamaroneck Chamber of Commerce, LMC-TV, Council of Community Services in Port Chester-Rye Town, Helping Hands and the NY State Association of School Psychologists.

    George Latimer’s sound business experience, his record of public service and his dedication to the County community have been the driving force behind his effort for the last 25 years in both the public and private sector.  In public office as a City Councilman, County Legislator and Assemblyman, George has always fought for what his Westchester residents and neighbors need. He is routinely cited as the most open and accessible of representatives.  Latimer was elected to the State Senate, representing the 37th District in November of 2012. The 37th district is comprised of Bedford, Bronxville, Eastchester, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook, Tuckahoe, White Plains and Yonkers.

    Ellen Jaffee

    Ellen Jaffee

    Assem. District 97
    Ellen Jaffee

    Ellen Jaffee

    My passion has always been to advocate for children and quality education. In 2007, the State Legislature agreed to an historic four year increase in education funding as part of the compliance with the court order in the Campaign for fiscal Equity lawsuit.  Despite the fact that the State has not yet been able to increase this funding, I have been and will continue to be vocal in my advocacy for restoration of this essential funding stream as well as  increased multi- year funding for all our public schools.  I will continue to oppose the tax cap, vouchers and charter schools, which divert funding for our public schools.” – Assemblymember Ellen C. Jaffee

    Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee represents the 97th Assembly District in Rockland County, which includes Orangetown and over half of the Town of Ramapo. With over 40 ethnic groups and dozens of languages spoken, Assemblywoman Jaffee proudly ranks the 97th district as one of the most culturally diverse areas in New York State.

    A record of rapid response to constituent calls has earned Assemblywoman Jaffee a reputation as an ardent advocate for the 97th District. From the beginning of her first term in 2007, Assemblywoman Jaffee has collaborated with scores of state and local officials to solve constituent problems, from

    school funding, acquisition of open space, public safety, transportation projects, needs of children with developmental disabilities, aid to villages and towns, flood remediation, and Rockland’s singular challenges with water supply. She has fought for Rockland’s children, seniors, and families and has secured increased state funding for schools, hospitals, and healthcare facilities while fighting cuts to AmeriCorps, BOCES, the Rockland County Youth Bureau, and other agencies in the 97th District.

    A Brooklyn native, Ellen and her husband Steve moved to Rockland County in 1978, settling in Suffern. There they raised two children, Marc and Allison, who are now married to Julia and Steven, respectively. Ellen is the proud grandmother of Daniel, Miles, and Jade. She earned her B.A. in Education from Brooklyn College and her M.S. in Special Education from Fordham University. She was formerly Educational Consultant and Resource Room teacher at Pomona Middle School.

    Capital Region

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    46th District
    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    Cecilia Tkaczyk

    State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk had a long record of community service before deciding to run for the State Senate. As a member of the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education, she was known as a strong and vocal advocate for our public schools, and was elected by her colleagues to serve as President of the Board.
    Senator Tkaczyk is the Ranking Member on both the Elections Committee and the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. She also serves as a member of the following committees: Agriculture, Environmental Conservation, Education, Children and Families and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
    Her top priorities in the Senate include strengthening the State’s economy and fostering job growth. She believes this can only be done by supporting and improving New York’s public school system in order to prepare our children for the new technology-based job market.
    Senator Tkaczyk was born and raised on a dairy farm. She is extremely proud of her farming roots, and is currently the only farmer serving in the State Senate. She owns and lives on a small sheep farm in the town of Duanesburg, NY, with her husband, Eric and their son, Peter.
    Editorial boards around her district, and even outside her district, have praised her work ethic, knowledge of the issues and her commitment to bring real change to State Government.
    In their endorsement of Senator Tkaczyk, the Albany Times Union said: “No one running for the Legislature this year has a better command of the challenges facing the state’s rural population than Ms. Tkaczyk. “ The Poughkeepsie Journal agreed, saying “Tkaczyk spoke elegantly about ending the disparity among school districts in terms of funding, saying New York must do more to help its high-needs districts, whether they are in urban or rural areas.”
    Dr. Alan Chartock, President and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and Executive Publisher of the Legislative Gazette wrote after an interview with Cece: “She made great sense. She was quietly articulate and she did not engage in political double talk.”
    But the Utica Observer-Dispatch summed it up best when they began an editorial on government reform with the sentence: “Cecilia Tkaczyk is the kind of person we need in government.”

    Neil Breslin

    Neil Breslin

    Senate District 44
    Neil Breslin

    Neil Breslin

    Neil David Breslin, Democrat, is currently serving his ninth term as New York State Senator. He represents the 44th District, which consists of parts of Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County. Born as one of six children on June 9, 1942, Neil is a lifelong resident of Albany.
    On academic scholarship, Neil attended Fordham College from which he graduated in 1964 with a BS degree in Political Science. While in law school at the University of Toledo, he was named the editor-in-chief of the Law Review and was also selected as outstanding student in his class. Upon graduation from law school, Neil became an associate in the firm of Garry Cahill & Edmunds and two years later became a partner in a new firm entitled Garry, Cahill, Edmunds & Breslin. In 1981, Neil formed a partnership with his two brothers, Michael and Thomas. Currently, Neil practices law as “of counsel” to the firm of Hiscock & Barclay.
    Neil has been a community leader for many years. His involvement in civic and social areas in Albany includes 15 years as a board member of Arbor House, a residence facility for women in need. He also served as president of Arbor House for a period of seven years. Neil has been the attorney for St. Anne’s Institute in Albany and has done work for Hospitality House, the International Center and Hope House, a drug treatment facility. Further, Neil was Vice President of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless from 1994 to 1998.
    An active member of the New York State Bar Association, Neil has served as a lecturer on real estate law; editor of the newsletter of the New York State Bar Association General Practice of Law Section from 1980-1984; member of the Executive Committee of the General Practice of Law Section from 1980-1985 and from 1989-1998; chairperson of the General Practice of Law Section from 1993-1994; and member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association from 1992-1994. Additionally, he has been a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Appellate Division, Third Department since 1987 and was chairman of the Grievance Committee for the Albany County Bar Association from 1985-1993.
    Neil serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is the former Chair of the State/Federal Relations Committee of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). In recognition of his dedication and commitment, Senator Breslin has received awards from numerous organizations including Capital Area Council of Churches, the Legal Project, the Homeless Action Committee, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Caregivers Respite Services of Catholic Charities, University at Albany’s Presidential Honors Society, New York State Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union, KidsPeace National Centers, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (“Distinguished Public Service Award”) and Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club (“Profiles in Courage Award”). In addition, in 2009, he was the recipient of the Pathways of Hope Award given by the Clearview Center, the Advocacy Award given by the International Center of the Capital Region, the Community Service Award from Centro Civico Hispanoamericano; and was honored by the Capital District Area Labor Federation for years of service to the labor movement and working families. He was also the recipient of the 2012 “Voice of Progress Award” given by the RFK Democratic Club.

    Phil Steck

    Phil Steck

    Assembly District 110
    Phil Steck

    Phil Steck

    Phil grew up in the Assembly District he now represents. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard (1981) and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1984) where he was a member of the Law Review and Penn’s National Moot Court team. From 1987 to 1989, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York and Rensselaer Counties. Phil joined the law firm of Cooper, Erving and Savage LLP in 1990. His practice is concentrated in civil rights and employment law. He is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. In 1999, Phil was elected to the Albany County Legislature from the District centered in Menands. He was re-elected three times. In 2012, he won the Primary and General Election to become the representative of the 110th Assembly District. Phil lives in Loudonville, New York with his wife Patricia and their children, Alexandra (18), a student at Smith College, and Aaron (15), a student at Shaker High School in the District. He is the son of retired Albany Academy Athletic Director Ernest Steck and the late Hackett Middle School teacher Roselyn Steck.
    Phil is a member of the Health, Insurance, Transportation, Judiciary, and Children and Families Committees. His major legislative interests include single-payer health insurance (Medicare for All), expanding membership in County self-insured health plans to embrace all municipalities so as to reduce health insurance costs funded by taxpayers, reducing paperwork faced by medical professionals and businesses, raising revenue through the stock transfer tax to support rebuilding the infrastructure of Upstate New York, increased funding for public education to meet levels promised in prior legislation, oversight of the Office of Court Administration, and reducing property taxes by having the State assume 100% responsibility for funding Medicaid.

    John T. McDonald III

    John T. McDonald III

    Assembly District 108
    John T. McDonald III

    John T. McDonald III

    John T. McDonald III is serving his first term in the New York State Assembly representing the 108th Assembly District, which consists of parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. It includes Cohoes, his hometown where he previously served as Mayor for 13 years, sections of Albany, Troy and the communities of Green Island, North Greenbush, Rensselaer, Waterford and Watervliet.
    A life-long resident of Cohoes, Assemblymember McDonald is an alumnus of Keveny Memorial Academy and the Albany College of Pharmacy where he received a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1985 and was awarded a Doctorate of Humanity. As President of Marra’s Pharmacy, his family-owned business based in Cohoes, McDonald has practiced his profession and has adopted business practices and responsibilities that have led the business to become one of the largest independent pharmacy operations in the Capital Region.
    During his tenure as Mayor of the City of Cohoes, McDonald focused on financial accountability, improved quality of life and expanding economic opportunity. He pursued an aggressive economic development agenda centered on downtown revitalization, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, Hudson and Mohawk Riverfront developments and gateway improvements. His accomplishments include residential development, bringing more than 2,000 new residential units to the City, a revitalized downtown and improvements to the Cohoes Falls, which have become a regional tourist attraction. McDonald’s platform for a more transparent and open process for conducting city business has proven to be a success, making the city more financially sustainable today than when he assumed office in 2000.
    As Mayor, McDonald was an active member of the New York State Conference of Mayors having served as president of the statewide organization. He chaired the Capital District Transportation Committee, RiverSpark, the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency and the Cohoes Local Development Corporation. In addition, he has served on the boards of the New York State Heritage Areas Advisory Board, New York State Workforce Investment Board, State Comptroller’s Local Advisory Team, the NYS Local Government Records Management Council and the Board of Governors for the New York State Municipal Insurance Reciprocal as well as many other regional councils and commissions.
    He enjoys running and golfing, however his most prominent activity is spending time with his wife Renee, and his children Emma Rose, Liam John and Sophia Mary.

    Patricia Fahy

    Patricia Fahy

    Assem. District 109
    Patricia Fahy

    Patricia Fahy

    Patricia A. Fahy was elected in November 2012 to represent the 109th Assembly District from the City of Albany, and the Towns of Bethlehem, Guilderland, and New Scotland. Pat successfully ran on a platform of education and jobs, bringing over two decades of experience at all three levels of government and extensive community service. 

    Pat served as Associate Commissioner of Intergovernmental Affairs and Federal Policy for the state’s Department of Labor from 2007 to 2012. As lead advocate and liaison for the Department’s federal and congressional relations, Pat advocated for federal funding for New York in the economic stimulus package, extended unemployment benefits, grant proposals, and youth training initiatives. While at the Department of Labor, Pat served as co-chair of the Disconnected Youth Work Group of Gov. Paterson’s Children’s Cabinet from 2009 through 2010.

     

    In December 2005, Pat completed a four-year term as a citywide elected member of the Albany Board of Education, in which she was unanimously elected by the school board to serve as President in 2003.

     

    Before moving to Albany in 1997, she served as Executive Director of the business-led Chicago Workforce Board, overseeing Chicago’s workforce-related programs. Prior to her work in Chicago, Pat spent over nine years in Washington, DC, in a number of capacities, including:

    • Serving in the Clinton Administration as the Associate Director for Employment and Training, in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Congressional Affairs Office headed by Secretary Robert Reich.
    • Senior legislative analyst in the U.S. House of Representatives, for the Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Employment.
    • Legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, for the Committee on Health, Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Employment, then chaired by Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL).
    • President Management Intern (PMI), competitively selected in 1985 for a two-year federal agency appointment.

     

    Pat has also served as a consultant on education and workforce training issues for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute and the National Commission for Education and the Economy (NCEE).

     

    Pat is active in the community, including: the Board of Directors, the Boys and Girls Club of Albany (2005 to present), Interim President in 2007 and chair of the 2006 annual fund drive; Board of Directors, Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, SUNY Rockefeller College, (2009 to present); as a member and former Co-Vice President of the PTA for Hackett Middle School and PTA member at Albany High; and as a Founding Member ofAlbany PASS (People Advocating Small Schools), a grass roots advocacy organization formed to promote rebuilding Albany’s public schools (2001- 2006).

    Pat and her husband, Dr. Wayne Bequette, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI, have two children attending Albany High and Hackett Middle Schools. Pat has a master’s in public administration from University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s in political science from Northern Illinois University.

    Western

    Elaine Altman

    Elaine Altman

    61st Senate District
    Elaine Altman

    Elaine Altman

    I am running to be the next State Senator from Election District #61 and have been endorsed by the Working Families Party and the Erie County Democrats. As the Vice President of the Kenmore Teachers Association and as a Union leader I support issues which directly impact workers and our communities. Residents of District 61 deserve to have a legislator who will fight for labor, fair taxes and equitable funding for public schools. Losing our youth and employment options for workers is unacceptable.
    My dream as a daughter of first generation American citizens was to model the core values of my parents as an adult and mother of three sons. Earning fair wages by being fair in business were the hallmarks of my childhood. Both my parents taught us that the mark of who you are is best measured by the way you treat others. I strongly feel that our public schools, our students, and our workers are not accorded with these same values today.
    Albany needs legislators who are not afraid to be accountable. Our elected officials need to take responsibility for their actions and actively work to create options for solving problems as opposed to “one size must fit all” scenarios.
    I can be a catalyst for change with your help. If you believe that action has to occur on behalf of public education and opportunities for our workers, please support my candidacy. Albany needs legislators who have personally experienced the challenges our workers, students, and public servants are faced with. Your support brings us all closer to advocacy on behalf of our issues.

    Tim Kennedy

    Tim Kennedy

    63rd Senate District
    Tim Kennedy

    Tim Kennedy

    Committed to fighting for hardworking Western New Yorkers, Senator Tim Kennedy is focused on finding common ground solutions to build a stronger and more prosperous future in Western New York and across New York State.

    Born on October 20, 1976, Tim grew up in a blue-collar family in Buffalo. Tim’s parents, Marty and Mary Kennedy, raised Tim and his four siblings to work hard, focus on their education, help their neighbors and be involved in their community. Tim and his wife, Katie, live in the city of Buffalo where they are raising their three children, Connor, Eireann and Padraic.

    In January 2011, Tim was sworn into office as a New York State Senator representing Western New York. His district covers Cheektowaga, Lackawanna and most of the city of Buffalo.

    During his first year in the Senate, Tim has worked to deliver a series of reforms that Western New Yorkers have long awaited. To clean up Albany, the State Legislature approved comprehensive ethics reform legislation that creates a strong and independent commission to combat corruption. It also increases the disclosure of legislators’ outside incomes, and it will force politicians who are convicted of felonies to forfeit their pensions.

    Job creation and economic development have remained at the top of Tim’s priority list. He sponsored legislation to foster the growth of green jobs by developing a workforce for emerging clean technology industries. Tim also led his conference in pushing for the SUNY 2020 plan – which will spark the advancement of the University at Buffalo’s long-stalled UB 2020 vision.

    Tim also helped push the State Legislature to take steps to reduce the state’s property tax burden, starting with the passage of the property tax cap. Measures to provide mandate relief to local governments and school districts also passed.

    Tim continued the work he started in the County Legislature to combat distracted driving. After working with local advocate Kelly Cline to ban texting while driving in Erie County, Tim and Kelly again joined forces to take the fight back to Albany. They formed Families Against Texting While Driving, which played a significant role in getting the State Legislature to finally strengthen state law against texting while driving – making it primary violation.

    In 2004, at the age of 28, Tim took office as a county legislator, representing the Erie County Legislature’s Second District. A year later, Tim became the chairman of the legislature’s Economic Development Committee, earning a seat on the Board of Directors at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

    The Buffalo News, which recently described Tim as “a veritable cyclone of energy and ideas,” described his days in the County Legislature, saying, “If his Erie County Legislature career provides a guide, Timothy M. Kennedy would throw some elbows in the State Senate and scrap for his constituents. He would barter and agitate for whatever he can get for the folks back home.”

    With local roads and bridges aging, Tim has focused on making intelligent public investments in infrastructure to spark private sector investment and job growth. While Tim has helped trigger work that has been done throughout Erie County, his signature project has been the revitalization of South Park Avenue in South Buffalo. Collaborating with leaders from various levels of government, Tim found funding to bring new life to the once vibrant commercial strip. The investment in South Park Avenue has created construction jobs, generated private sector investment, improved pedestrian and motorist safety and brought new pride to the neighborhood.

    Starting in the County Legislature, Tim gained a reputation for taking a hands-on approach to job creation, working with business owners and community leaders to put Western New Yorkers to work. For example, Tim worked with Dave Sullivan, president and founder of Industrial Support Incorporated, a Buffalo-based manufacturing company, to connect him to the tools and resources he needed to expand his business and hire more workers. When President Barack Obama visited Western New York in May 2010, the president visited Industrial Support Incorporated to highlight the business as an example of job growth amid recession.

    As a resilient voice for the underrepresented, Tim has fought to protect vulnerable populations – such as seniors, children and the poor. When he learned it had been left out, Tim successfully spearheaded the push to include Buffalo Public School No. 84 in the school district’s renovation program. As a result, children with the most severe disabilities in Erie County will continue to receive the level of care and education that they deserve.

    Fighting to improve quality of life for Western New York seniors, Tim worked with community and governmental leaders to procure funds to transform the former Holy Family Elementary School into a senior apartment complex.

    Tim went to St. Martin’s Elementary School before attending St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He then received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at D’Youville College.

    As he studied at D’Youville College, Tim began to truly understand the challenges facing Western New York. Recognizing that any challenge is an opportunity for a community to grow stronger, Tim was inspired to get involved in government to help move the community forward.

    As a licensed occupational therapist, Tim has spent his entire career working to help people. For 11 years, Tim worked with geriatric and pediatric populations to help them recover from injuries and fully participate in all life situations.

    Marc Panepinto

    Marc Panepinto

    60th Senate District
    Marc Panepinto

    Marc Panepinto

    I was born and raised in the Town of Tonawanda. My father was a construction worker and my mother a hairdresser. I was the first in my family to go to college, graduating from the University at Buffalo where I played football and was captain of the 1987 team. I worked my way through school on the construction site as a Local 210 Laborer where I learned the value of hard work.

    After graduating with honors, I studied Labor and Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois. Inspired to help families like my own, I traveled the country organizing low-wage workers. As a union organizer working for the Laborers International Union of North America, I successfully ran campaigns for poultry workers in Mississippi, nurses in Northern California, and immigrant demolition workers in New York City.

    During this time I met a fellow labor organizer who shared my same values, beliefs, and passion; Catherine Nugent, a beautiful woman from northern Massachusetts, who would become my wife. After spending several years travelling the country as an organizer, I convinced my wife to move back to Buffalo where we had our first child while we were both attending the Law School at the University at Buffalo.

    We are extremely proud of our three beautiful daughters. The oldest, Rachel, just graduated from City Honors High School and is attending The University of Pittsburgh this Fall. Our two younger girls, Julia and Natasha, both attend City Honors. They are energetic and passionate young women and my wife and I do all that we can to support their many activities. From coaching softball, to managing Volleyball, to watching dance recitals, to taking our daughters all over the country for their travel sports teams, we do everything we can to support them and remain active in their lives.

    My wife and I made the decision to raise our family in the Elmwood Village because we believe it offers a number of significant advantages for our daughters. The exposure to various cultures and ways of life will be invaluable to them as they mature. I have always been involved in the local community, from sitting on the board of the North Buffalo Community Center to actively participating in Garden Walk Buffalo every year. I believe strongly in these organizations and I want my daughters to see what active citizenship is and understand what it takes to build strong communities. They should have a voice in their community and never be afraid to use it.

    Raising my own family has doubled my resolve to do all that I can to protect the rights of working families. I have spent my entire legal career fighting on behalf of clients who have been injured due to no fault of their own. I take great pride in helping injured workers navigate an extremely complicated legal system. My law firm, Dolce Panepinto P.C., has a reputation for fighting tooth and nail in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. I am very proud of the work that we do and the dedication and work ethic displayed by each one of our attorneys.

    I plan to bring that toughness and work ethic to the Senate floor in Albany as I advocate for the people of the 60th District.

    Sean Ryan

    Sean Ryan

    149th District
    Sean Ryan

    Sean Ryan

    Sean Ryan resides in the City of Buffalo with his wife Catherine Creighton and their two daughters. Sean is a graduate of SUNY College at Fredonia and Brooklyn Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York State.
    Sean’s broad legal experience includes work for Neighborhood Legal Services, private law practice collaboration with the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, concentrating on the rights of disabled students, and the Legal Aide Bureau of Buffalo. His legal career highlights include a record award for a victim of housing discrimination, a successful challenge to a school district’s denial of special education services to children enrolled in parochial schools, and an action to compel enforcement of Buffalo’s Living Wage Ordinance.
    In 2008, Sean began working with People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc. to create a non-profit development entity called the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company, Inc. (BNSC). Sean served as the Executive Director and General Counsel of BNSC and worked to create a redevelopment plan for a section of the West Side of Buffalo. BNSC secured in excess of $3 million in funding for construction projects to turn vacant houses into affordable housing. Sean also created a land bank program to purchase and reuse vacant lots. The evidence of this work is visible throughout the Massachusetts Avenue Corridor. Sean secured a grant, “Gateway to Grant Street”, which provides $500,000 in funding to business owners along Grant Street.
    Sean has served on the Board of Directors and has provided legal representation and guidance to numerous non-profit organizations including Buffalo Niagara River Keeper, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Autistic Services Inc, Coalition for Economic Justice, and the City of Buffalo’s Living Wage Commission.

    Crystal Peoples-Stokes

    Crystal Peoples-Stokes

    Assembly District 141
    Crystal Peoples-Stokes

    Crystal Peoples-Stokes

    Assembly Member Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, has faithfully served New York State’s 141st Assembly district since 2003. An advocate with clear and principled service, she has always put policy before politics. Crystal continues to fearlessly fight for diversity, specifically in making sure Minority and Women Owned Businesses have a fair chance in obtaining state contracts. Her hard work is evidenced by the fact that she was selected by Governor Cuomo to serve on the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Team Task Force, established in 2011. She also previously served as the Chair of the Assembly’s MWBE Task Force and currently as Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.
    Beyond diversity and MWBEs, the Assemblywoman’s passions include education and healthcare. Her official capacities are serving as a member of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Environmental Conservation; Government Operations; Health; Higher Education and Insurance Committees. Peoples-Stokes holds a position of leadership serving as Chair of the Assembly’s Majority Conference. Additional memberships include the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus; the Taskforce on Legislative Women’s Caucus; and on the following subcommittees: Oversight of the Department of Environmental Conservation; Tuition Assistance Program; and Women’s Health. In spring of 2013, she was elected as Chair of the New York State Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators, with the responsibility of organizing the annual conference weekend.
    She is a former Educator, Administrator, Community Organizer, and Erie County Legislator whose vision is to uplift, nurture and protect her constituents, the City of Buffalo, and the western New York region. A staunch advocate, some of her notable successes include securing $28 Million for the Educational Opportunity Center’s new facility in downtown Buffalo; $2 Million for capital improvements to the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor to promote cultural preservation and tourism; the advocacy and clean up of 858 East Ferry’s toxic waste Superfund site; securing HEAL-NY funding to support the building of a new home for the Community Health Center of Buffalo; advocating for the redevelopment of St. Martin’s Village; procuring $50 Million towards Buffalo Public Schools adding a nurse in every school and over $1.2 million towards the continued restoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, part of the historic Frederick Law Olmsted Park System to promote an active and healthy lifestyle and increased utilization.
    Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes has received numerous honors and awards including but not limited to the University at Buffalo’s Igniting Ideas Award, the NAN Truth Hammer Award, SCCC Community Service Award, the Black Achievers in Industry Award, the Community Service award from SCLC, the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Inc. award, the National Federation for Just Communities Government Award and many more.
    As a graduate of Buffalo Public Schools including Buffalo State College, she earned a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes attributes her achievements and abilities to her strong faith and family. She is a member of True Bethel Baptist Church and currently resides in Buffalo, New York with her husband.

    Harry Bronson

    Harry Bronson

    Assembly District 138
    Harry Bronson

    Harry Bronson

    Harry Bronson was elected to the 138th Assembly District in November 2010. The district includes parts of the City of Rochester and the towns of Chili and Henrietta. Harry’s passion for social justice, equality and fairness has defined his public service, legal and business careers.
    One of twelve children, Harry knows the meaning of sacrifice and that working together helps families and communities grow. He understands the importance of a good education and as a county legislator he was a strong advocate for Monroe Community College.
    After earning his undergraduate degree in Public Justice from SUNY Oswego, Harry went on to the University of Buffalo, where he earned his Juris Doctor. He is a former partner at the law firm of Blitman and King, where he focused on anti-discrimination employment law, labor issues, employee benefits and litigation. In addition, Harry has practiced in the areas of commercial development, industrial revenue bonds and other complex business transactions. He is recognized as an authority in and has lectured throughout the state on employment law and public justice issues. Harry also teaches Employment Law at Cornell University, Industrial Labor Relations School as an adjunct instructor.
    As a small business owner, Harry also understands the struggles businesses face in our state. He knows that small businesses are the backbone of our economic engine, making-up a significant portion of the employment sector. Harry is a co-owner of Equal=Grounds, a coffee house noted as a neighborhood meeting place in the Southwedge part of the 138th Assembly District.
    Community service was instilled in Harry at an early age and giving back to the community is key to his service as a public official. He has served on numerous non-profit boards of directors holding leadership positions in many. He is honored to have served the families of the 24th Legislative District throughout his entire tenure as a leader, first as Assistant Minority Leader (2006-2007) and then Minority Leader of the Legislature (2007-2010).
    Harry will use his diverse background to serve the families in the 138th Assembly District.

    Ted O’Brien

    Ted O’Brien

    Senate District 55
    Ted O’Brien

    Ted O’Brien

    Senator Ted O’Brien (D-55) represents a long swath of Upstate New York, including the eastern half of Monroe and western half of Ontario counties. The district stretches from Irondequoit on the shores of Lake Ontario to Naples in the heart of the Finger Lakes country, including significant parts of the city of Rochester.

    Ted is a member of the Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce. He has served as a member of the East Irondequoit School’s Facilities Study Committee, and has chaired a citizen’s advisory group on planning and economic development. Ted is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Heritage Christian Services and is former chairman of the HCS Board. He served as Chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee from January of 2000 through December 2002. He is also a former Monroe County legislator, who represented the 17th district from November 2004 through his election to the Senate in 2012, and was Democratic Minority Caucus leader from 2010-2012.

    In addition to his legislative duties, Ted is a partner in the Rochester, N.Y. law firm of Harris, Chesworth, O’Brien, Johnstone, & Welch. He was admitted to practice in 1983, and represents a wide spectrum of business and individual clients.

    Ted received his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University in 1982. He earned his undergraduate degree at Union College in 1979, and graduated from Webster’s R.L. Thomas High School in 1975.

    Ted, his wife, Sue O’Brien, and two daughters live in Irondequoit.

    Central

    Barbara Lifton

    Barbara Lifton

    Assembly District 125
    Barbara Lifton

    Barbara Lifton

    “I will continue to do what I’ve been doing for my twelve years in the Assembly – fighting for a good education budget and sounding the alarm every chance I get about the gross underfunding of our public schools and the inequity between wealthy and poorer districts that has ensued as a result. I will continue to stand with the Assembly Majority, which has long-supported full implementation of the CFE decision, calling for billions more in funding, distributed through a fair formula.”

    Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton represents the 125th Assembly District, which includes all of Tompkins County, the City of Cortland and the towns of Cortlandville and Virgil in Cortland County. Ms. Lifton was first elected in 2002 and is now starting her fifth term.
    Ms. Lifton is the daughter of Margaret Smith and the late Gerald Smith of Geneseo, and attended public school there with her six siblings. She received a B.A. in English, with certification to teach Secondary English, in 1973 and a M.A. in English in 1985, both from SUNY Geneseo. She taught high school English at Geneseo Central School from 1976 until 1982 and in Ithaca schools from 1985 until 1988. Ms. Lifton was also a member of the New York State United Teachers, the Ithaca Teachers Association, the PTA and the Ithaca Hockey Boosters.
    Ms. Lifton served as Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Marty Luster for fourteen years. She was a long-time member of the steering committee of the Tompkins County Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Lifton co-founded the Coalition for Community Unity in 1998 to combat hate groups. She served for two years on the Cornell/Community Waste Management Committee and was a member of the Ithaca Area Health Care Network.
    Assemblywoman Lifton was a leader in the effort to make sure New York had the best, most secure, accurate and reliable voting machines possible after the federal government passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). After the state passed its law in 2005, the Speaker appointed Assemblywoman Lifton to be his representative to the Citizens’ Election Modernization Advisory Committee, a bipartisan committee to make recommendations to the State Board of Elections as New York worked to implement the new law.
    As a former teacher, Lifton makes education a priority, both PreK-12, as well as higher education. Lifton continues to push for implementation of the CFE decision to get new funding and reform to our PreK-12 schools, and fights for state support for all college students, and especially for SUNY campuses. She has also devoted significant time to legislation and advocacy dealing with the issue of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. She has worked on other issues of importance to women and families, including daycare, healthcare, and, notably, in the 2010 session, the licensing of midwives.
    Assemblywoman Lifton serves on five standing committees in the Assembly – Agriculture, Election Law, Environmental Conservation, Higher Education and Mental Health. She served in 2009 as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, in 2010 as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee, and was designated as Chair of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee in 2011.
    Assemblywoman Lifton resides in Ithaca. She is the mother of two and grandmother of three.

    Al Stirpe

    Al Stirpe

    Assembly District 127
    Al Stirpe

    Al Stirpe

    A lifelong Central New Yorker, Al was raised in Clyde, where his family owned and operated Albert’s Restaurant for more than 25 years. Al graduated from high school with honors and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.
    After college, Al worked as a financial analyst for General Electric in Syracuse and eventually spun-off GE’s Electronic Camera Operation to form CID Technologies. Al was the company’s CFO and fostered innovation in the company’s information systems and customer support. In 1994, CIDTEC was sold to Thermo Electron, a Fortune 500 company.
    From there, Al formed a new venture, Qube Software, Inc. As the company’s president, Al brought Qube Software from a start-up business to a multi-million dollar company with 200 customers throughout the United States and Canada.
    During 2011, Al served as the Executive Director of Synapse Sustainability Trust, an environmental not-for-profit. During this period Synapse deployed 68 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations throughout Central New York. Through its Restoration Tree Trust, Synapse provided over 4,000 native trees for reforestation projects at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and Trees for Tributaries (from New York City to Troy along tributaries to the Hudson River). In addition, Synapse provided 420 special RPM technology trees for SUNY ESF’s Memorial Grove at Heiberg Forest. In October of 2011, Al received the first ever SUNY Empire State College Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award.
    Al has resided in the 127th Assembly District for more than 31 years. He lives in North Syracuse with his wife, Chele, and their daughter, Alexandra. Al’s step-son Chris – after serving four years on active duty in the Navy – has just completed his Masters in Economics from The University of Buffalo and begun work at KS&R. His step-daughter Jesseca lives in an ARC of Onondaga group home for the disabled in Syracuse.
    Al has served on the Board of Directors of Familycapped (now Advocates Inc.), a non-profit organization comprised of parents of children with disabilities; the organization was formed to expand programs for handicapped children in Central New York. Al and Chele were directly involved in helping to raise over $1 million to build Casey’s Place, a respite home for families caring for disabled children. He also serves on the Boards of Friends of North Syracuse Early Education, Onondaga Citizens League, New York State Fair Advisory Board and formerly served on the board at CNY Bounty (the Farmer’s Market to Your Door). For the past six years, Al has run his LifeSavers Blood Drive in conjunction with the Red Cross. It has come to be one of the biggest one-day drives in Central New York, regularly netting over 125 units of blood during the middle of summer, the most difficult time of the year for blood donations.
    Al previously served as a member of the Assembly from 2007 to 2010.

    Samuel Roberts

    Samuel Roberts

    Assem. District 128
    Samuel Roberts

    Samuel Roberts

    Sam Roberts was elected to the New York State Assembly in November 2010 to represent the 119th District, which includes parts of the city of Syracuse and the Towns of DeWitt, Onondaga and Salina. Roberts was re-elected for a second term in November 2012 to represent the newly defined 128th District.

    Roberts is currently Chair of the Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation. In addition, he is a member of the following New York State Assembly Committees: Committee on Aging; Committee on Labor; Committee on Libraries and Education Technology; Committee on Small Business; Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development; and Committee on Transportation. Roberts is also a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.

    Prior to becoming a New York State Assemblymember, Roberts served as an Onondaga County Legislator from 1990 to 1999. Roberts grew up on the east side of Syracuse and has garnered a solid reputation for his commitment to community activism and public service in Central New York. As a proud member of the United Auto Workers Union, Roberts is a retiree of General Motors, where he worked as a journeyman tool and die maker for 30 years, and was elected as Recording Secretary of UAW Local Union #465 and Chair of Local Union #854’s Education and Civil Rights Committees. Staying committed to the people, he dually served as Onondaga County Legislator while holding employment at General Motors. For five terms he represented Onondaga County’s 19th Legislative District, supporting legislation important to his constituents. Highly skilled in Labor Relations, he has earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College, associate degrees from Onondaga Community College and certificates in Labor Studies from Cornell University.

    Roberts’ dedication also transcends into the discipline of Martial Arts where he holds an 8th Degree Black Belt in American Shotokan Karate. He ranked No. 1 in New York and New Jersey, top 10 in the United States and Canada and was the winner of the World Championships prior to retirement from competition.

    Donna Lupardo

    Donna Lupardo

    Assem. District 123
    Donna Lupardo

    Donna Lupardo

    Donna A. Lupardo was elected in 2004 to represent the 123rd Assembly District which includes the City of Binghamton and the Towns of Vestal and Union.

    She has taken a special interest in the environment, sponsoring numerous initiatives that protect the public from potential health risks and environmental hazards. She championed the State Green Building Construction Act, tenant notification of environmental testing results, and is committed to raising awareness about the importance of indoor air quality.

    Donna has also distinguished herself as an independent, reform-minded legislator. She authored the Contract Disclosure Act, which reformed the way state resources are allocated. She also co-sponsored the legislation that created Project Sunlight, a website that gives the public access to different state databases for campaign finance, lobbying, agency contracts, member items and legislation. Project Sunlight has been instrumental in identifying corrupt and unethical practices.

    Donna is an outspoken advocate for the Southern Tier, focusing on economic recovery and tax relief, support for schools and colleges, along with issues facing area seniors and veterans. In addition, she helped pass the Work Zone Safety Act and Yield-Right-Away legislation designed to keep our roadways safer.

    In 2006, during her first term, Donna received the “Quality Services Award” from the Public Employees Federation and the Citizen Action of New York Phoenix Award. She was also named “Rookie of the Year” by the Sierra Club and “Legislator of the Year” by both ABATE of New York and The New York State Ophthalmological Society.

    In 2007, Donna was named “Legislator of the Year” by the New York AIDS Coalition and The American Motorcyclist Association, District Three. She also received the 2007 Legislative Award from the District Five, New York State Nurses Association, Inc. and the 2007 Friend of Education Award by the BOCES Teachers Association.

    In 2008, Donna was named “Legislator of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects of New York State. Other awards that she has received include: the American Cancer Society Leadership Award, YWCA Alice Mills Award, Mental Health Association of New York State’s Esther Mallach Staff Leadership Award and the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier’s Humanitarian Award.

    In 2009, Donna was elected First Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and is a member of the Executive Committee for the New York Conference of Italian-America State Legislators. She is also a member of the External Advisory Board of the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University.

    In 2011, Donna was appointed the Chair of the Legislative Commission on Science & Technology and elected Vice President of the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators. She also became Co-Chair of the Legislative Aviation Caucus.

    Donna is committed to “civic engagement” in her approach to public service. She believes that elected officials should explain where they stand, express a deep understanding of people and their concerns, and become more visible and involved in community life.

    In 2013, she was appointed Chair of the Committee on Children and Families and will serve as President of the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators.

    Originally from Staten Island, Donna is a graduate of Wagner College. She moved to the Southern Tier region in 1976 to attend graduate school at the State University of New York at Binghamton where she received a Masters degree in Philosophy. She stayed on as a lecturer in the School of Education & Human Development for ten years before dedicating herself to community mental health education and public service.

    She served on the Broome County Legislature from 1999 to 2000 and is the first woman to represent Broome County in the State Legislature. Donna lives in Endwell with her husband Scott J. Peters, a Syracuse University professor in the Cultural Foundations of Education department in the School of Education and Co-Director at Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life.

    Anthony Brindisi

    Anthony Brindisi

    Assem. District 19
    Anthony Brindisi

    Anthony Brindisi

     

    “As a former Utica School Board member, and father of two children in public school, I will continue to fight to make sure New York fulfills it’s commitment to adequately and equitably fund our school districts, especially those with the highest needs.  During my tenure in the Assembly, I’ve advocated for additional education aid to schools that need it the most because I believe every student in New York State, not matter where they live, deserves a quality education. ”

    Anthony J. Brindisi represents the 119th Assembly District. Situated in the Mohawk Valley, in the heart of New York State, the district includes the cities of Utica and Rome and the towns of Floyd, Frankfort, Marcy and Whitestown. He was elected to the State Assembly in a special election on Sept. 13, 2011.

    Born and raised in Utica, Brindisi studied history at Siena College before receiving his Juris Doctor Degree from Albany Law School in 2004. He wanted his children to grow up with grandparents nearby, just as he did, so he returned home to Utica after graduation where he lives with his wife, Erica, an instructor at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), and their two children.

    As a former Utica School Board Member and father of two young children, Brindisi is committed to making sure kids have all the tools they need to succeed. That includes a safe environment to grow up in and our fair share of state education funding. Brindisi has pledged to work hard – both within his own party and across the aisle – to create more well-paying jobs in the Mohawk Valley, so our children and grandchildren also have the opportunity to stay close to home when they graduate.

    Brindisi was admitted to the New York State Bar and Federal District Bar for the Northern District of New York in 2004, and is affiliated with the Utica-based firm Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi, & Pearlman LLP.

    Northern

    Addie Russell

    Addie Russell

    Assem. District 116
    Addie Russell

    Addie Russell

    Addie Jenne Russell represents the 116th Assembly District, also known as the “River District.” The district follows the shore of the majestic St. Lawrence River from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario to the manufacturing town of Massena and borders Fort Drum and the mighty Black River to the east. Ms. Russell was formerly an attorney at Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall, LLP, where she concentrated her practice in the areas of Trust and Estate Administration, Real Estate, Guardianships, Elder Law and Estate Planning. She served on the Jefferson County Board of Legislators from 2006 until becoming a member of the Assembly in 2009. She was a member of the county’s Planning and Development Committee, Health and Human Services Committees and Technology Ad Hoc Committee.

    Ms. Russell is the past President of the Jefferson County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and former member of AAUW New York State’s Public Policy Committee. She is a member of the Jefferson County and New York State Bar Associations. Ms. Russell belongs to the University at Albany Alumni Association. She was also one of the Conboy Law Firm’s corporate representatives for the Association of the United States Army. When Ms. Russell was elected to the Assembly she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Transportation Center, Community Action Planning Council (CAPC), and Jefferson County’s Community Services Board, chairing the MR/DD Committee. She is a past member of Head Start Policy Council as well.

    Ms. Russell is a 1996 graduate of Indian River Central School District. Ms. Russell received a B.A. in Political Science (Greek and Roman Civilization minor), Magna Cum Laude, from the University at Albany in May 2000, and a J.D. with a Certificate in Family Law and Social Policy from Syracuse University College of Law in May 2003. Ms. Russell sat for the New York State Bar Exam in July 2003 and became an associate attorney at Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall, LLP in August 2003. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in February 2004. Ms. Russell clerked for the firm during the summers of 2001 and 2002, and worked part time through the 2002-2003 school year. While attending the University at Albany Ms. Russell was active in Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Int., was an intern for Ronald Klain, Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore, and was an intern in the New York State Assembly for Martin A. Luster, Trumansburg. She also worked for the University at Albany’s Alumni Association. While at law school in Syracuse, Ms. Russell was a member of the Judicial Board, President of the Women’s Law Caucus and a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Int. She participated in the law school’s Criminal Law Clinic and was the editor of the law school’s newsletter.

    Ms. Russell was born in Watertown, New York, raised in Philadelphia, New York and now resides in Theresa, New York. She is married to James “Jamie” A. Russell and they have a beautiful son Aaron and daughter Cora. Ms. Russell is the seventh generation of her family to reside on the North Country. Her father Bruce is a retired diesel mechanic and her mother Susan is an attorney working for the Office of Court Administration. She has a brother and three sisters all residing in New York State.

    This commitment form cannot be signed by anyone who receives contributions from DFER or its affiliated groups. Nor can it be signed by anyone who voted for a One-House Budget bill that resulted in the extensive charter reforms included in the 2014 Enacted Budget. Now for the first time ever, school districts are required to pay the rent of privately run charter schools. Had this amendment not been included in a One- House Budget bill it could not have been included in the final budget. Therefore, we are excluding anyone who voted for that one house budget bill from signing on as a champion for public schools.

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