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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

Elections

NY State Assembly District 76

«NY State Assembly District 60 NY State Assembly District 77»

Overview

 

christensen

Hartzog.jpg

 David Menegon  Seawright.jpg

 Garland.jpg

Gus Christensen (D)

Ed Hartzog (D)

David Menegon (D)

Rebecca Seawright (D)

 David Garland (R)

 

Christensen (D)

christensen

Gus Christensen (D)

Campaign Website
Facebook
Twitter

 

On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: Member, Board of Directors, NY Landmarks Conservancy; Member, Board of Directors, Woodlawn Cemetery; President, Lenox Hill Democratic Club

Previous Work: Managing Director, Evercore Partners

Education: BA, Yale University; MBA, University of Pennsylvania


On the Issues

*Source for Gus Christensen's issue stances, unless marked otherwise: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire

Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓


In his own words:
1. Fighting the E 91st St Marine Transfer Station: I have been leading the civil disobedience efforts for Pledge 2 Protect, and I am by far the most deeply involved and knowledgeable about the fight of any of the candidates. As a Member of the Assembly, I will continue that fight on multiple fronts. I have put forth well-reasoned alternative plans, which do not involve moving the facility to a different community as we do not need to build it anywhere. We need to improve the city's recycling efforts dramatically, and we need to transition the city's (and the entire state's) garbage truck fleets from dirty diesel to clean electric and CNG, proven technologies that will actually save significant money on operating costs.
2. Invest in education: public schools in our community are extremely overcrowded (as they are in many parts of NY), and I want to get creative to build more classroom space, particularly for Pre-K (despite UPK's passage, no slots were added in this district for 2014-15 due to lack of space) by pushing mixed use development with mandatory inclusionary zoning, getting the state's Educational Construction Fund working again to finance that, and more.
3. The Fight for 15: My fight for fair labor standards won't end until every full-time worker in New York is earning at least $15 per hour. The minimum wage should be increased, and municipalities need the freedom to set their own. Eligibility for the EITC should be broadened and the $ amounts should be increased at both the state and federal levels. NYS also needs to enact additional legal protections for hourly workers to reflect the modern, software-driven staffing environment of today's world. So employers of hourly workers should be required to post shifts at least one week in advance, and employers should not be allowed to cut shifts short once workers have arrived. I have been outspoken in the media about all of this, and I believe that I can be strong, eloquent leader for all workers, arguing the fundamentally correct economic case for our side through the media to the broader electorate.
4. Protect our existing affordable housing and create more of it. We need to strengthen existing tenant protections, especially for seniors and people who are being harassed by their landlords. And we need to change a number of laws that currently favor luxury housing development while making it extremely difficult and costly to build affordable housing in the city and its suburbs.
5. We need to push the core Democratic agenda in Albany through the State Senate, including passage of the full 10-point Women's Equality Act, comprehensive campaign finance reform, GENDA and the DREAM Act.

Budget↓


In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus, stated: "It should be invested in infrastructure, including the following: building new schools and rehabilitating aging school buildings; raising the MTA capital budget to complete the full, 4 phase, 2nd Avenue subway more quickly, to modernize the signal and controls technologies throughout the subway system, and to move forward with the Moynihan Station project."

Civil Rights

Would vote yes on the full, ten-point Women's Equality Agenda.

Opposes the strategy of removing the 10th point in the WEA, which deals with abortion access, in order to push for passage of the other 9 points with less controversy.

Economy

Supports a statewide minimum wage at $15.

Also has stated support for increasing the statewide minimum wage to $10.10, and for NYC to have the ability to increase the minimum wage to $13. DNA Info

Stated that municipalities such as NYC should be able to set their own minimum wage.

In addressing developing a NYS jobs program, stated: "There are already a lot of jobs programs operating in New York, at the city, state and federal levels, and what we really need to do is study which ones are working, and invest more in those, and which ones are not, and move to shut those down."

Education

Supports implementing Common Core state standards with changes.

In addressing charter schools, stated: "Charter schools should return to their original function, which is to serve as pedagogical laboratories for our public schools, and I have a number of specific legislative proposals to make that happen."

Supports statewide universal pre-kindergarten.

In addressing how the legislature can ensure that adequate funding is distributed to all school districts to comply with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decisions, stated: "It can and should insist on it in the annual budget process. I could talk about putting a lockbox on the funding, or tying it to dedicated sources, but we all know that what Albany does on a 'permanent' basis in one session is often ignored in later budgets through a wide variety of shenanigans. The legislature simply needs to start funding education fully, and keep in the habit of it."

Environment

Opposes hydrofracking in NYS.

Stated that municipalities should not decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction.

Government Accountability

Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits.

Supports instituting a public-matching campaign-financing systems statewide.

Stated that Governor Cuomo should not have dissolved the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.

Supports implementing the following reform measures to increase voter participation and reduce barriers to voting: 

  • Same day voter registration,
  • Early voting,
  • No-excuse absentee ballots,
  • Reforming special elections,
  • Instant runoff voting,
  • Granting voting rights to parolees,
  • Consolidating state and federal primaries,
  • Lowering the voting age,
  • And giving consideration to the California system of open primaries.

In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "We need comprehensive campaign finance reform, including significantly tighter rules on how funds can be spent, and we need a regulator with some teeth. Allegations must be investigated and dealt with quickly and with serious consequences for wrongdoing. The regulator must be completely independent from both the legislature and the governor's office."

In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "We need to reform the entire public authorities system in NY State. Frankly, far too much activity and borrowing are buried in authorities rather than kept on the state's books, and under the direct control of state officials, where it belongs. We need honest conversations (and accounting) around sources and uses of funds, both on an operating and capital basis. Rather than the usual Albany routine of putting this or that cashflow stream in a lockbox and then raiding that lockbox when convenient, we should run more through the general budget process in a more open and transparent manner."

Stated that there should be "Zero tolerance for both sexual harassment & financial impropriety in the State Legislature." Campaign Website

Has been criticized for legally paying membership dues for several individuals in his political club and subsequently becoming president and receiving the club's endorsement. Debate

Health↓

In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "This year's implementation was successful in many ways, including a pretty robust website, a relatively high level of enrollment and decent cost control. However, that cost control came through the use of very narrow provider networks and reduction or elimination of out-of-network benefits. We need to strike a balance between cost control and networks that are large enough for patients to see the doctors that they need to see, especially for people with chronic, often high-cost, conditions. And while there is not enough space here to get into it, we need a statewide plan to deal with the multi-decade structural shift in the need for hospital beds that has led to growth of certain large medical centers, such as those in my district, while many smaller community hospitals, such as St. Vincent's and LICH, have collapsed. We need a system that recognizes that there are unsustainable numbers of beds in many community hospitals without leaving those communities high and dry - we all need good access to emergency care, care for chronic conditions, etc., even if much of the higher level care is being inexorably concentrated into major medical centers and their satellites. This is going to take a huge, coordinated effort that will have to come from Albany."

Housing and Development↓

Supports mandatory inclusionary zoning at the 50-30-20 ratio.

Supports reforming the Urstadt Law.

In addressing the affordable housing needs in the state and city, stated: "Preserve the affordable housing that we have while creating a lot more of it. We need inclusionary zoning, but we also need to change a thicket of regulations that make it much too difficult and expensive to build anything other than luxury housing without significant subsidies. We need to upzone large areas of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, all along the trunk subway lines, and we need to stop the suburbs from restricting multi-family housing."

In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "We can change zoning to limit the number of bank branches or national chains in a given area. And we can push back on banks branches while increasing the quality of street life by instituting things like minimum opening hours requirements, but none of these things address the fundamental economic trends at work. This is something for a longer discussion than there is space available for here."

Immigration↓

Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.

Supports non-citizen voting.

Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Infrastructure↓

Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district are: "We need to finish the current, first phase of the 2nd Avenue Subway and then get going building the next 3 segments. We need to build new schools. And we need to improve the transportation infrastructure on Roosevelt Island, including by fixing the F-train and tram elevators, adding express bus service to key destinations in Manhattan and Queens, and adding ferry service. A good portion of this could be done with next year's 1-time budget surplus. In addition, I favor Value Capture as a concept for paying for infrastructure investment, as well as the MoveNYC plan for regional transport and congestion pricing."

Policing and Criminal Justice↓

Supports the legalization of marijuana.

In addressing whether there is a role for state government in overseeing the conduct of municipal police forces, stated: "Police - community relations in New York City really come down to the Mayor, and that office's direct control of the police force. However, there are a number of things that we should do at the state level, including the legalization of marijuana, that would reduce the pointless and counterproductive arrests of many non-violent, otherwise law-abiding people. At the federal level, the government needs to stop encouraging the militarization of police forces nationwide. Certain police forces, first and foremost the NYPD, do need to have substantial counter-terrorism capabilities because of real and specific risks of serious incidents. But low-profile areas of the state and of the rest of the country don't need the same type of hardware."

Sanitation

Opposes the 91st street marine transfer station, and stated: "It's now or never to stop it. There's nothing that has been built yet that cannot be repurposed for another use, such as an extension of Asphalt Green and Carl Schurz Park. Yorkville and East Harlem need more green space." DNA Info

Transportation↓

In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "We need to implement Vision Zero, and we need to change a number of laws at the state level to make that happen. We need more cameras, both for speeding and other moving violations, but I believe that we should have a system of lower $ tickets, written much more frequently, such that we actually change driver behavior over time. And we need a number of new laws within the criminal code, including to make it a felony for a driver to kill or maim a pedestrian or cyclist in a collision that occurs during the commission of any moving violation, such as failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk."


Endorsements

Organizations: Lenox Hill Democratic Club; Stonewall Veterans' Association; Citizens Union; PRIDE Democrats; New York Times; NY Daily News

Individuals: John Halebian, District Leader; Norman Steisel, former First Deputy Mayor; Ronay Menschel, former Deputy Mayor

Hartzog (D)

Hartzog.jpg

Ed Hartzog (D)

Campaign Website
Facebook
Twitter

On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: Attorney; Member of Community Board 8; Founder & Executive Director, Kids Voting NYC

Previous Work: Executive Director at New Democratic Majority; New York State Coordinator at Draft Mark Warner for President; Field Director at Anthony Weiner for New York

Education: BA, Randolph-Macon College; MPA, Syracuse University; JD, Indiana University


On the Issues

Development

Stated that overdevelopment is the biggest issue facing the Upper East Side. DNA Info

"I would push for a moratorium on rent increases for those individuals and small businesses who were displaced by the [2nd Avenue] subway's construction. Rent should stay where it was before they were forced out due to lack of business in order for them to get back on their feet, should they so choose to return." Four Freedoms Democratic Club Questionnaire

"We need thoughtful and inclusive land use development decision-making. ...[I]t is incomprehensible to believe that effects from major construction on an avenue or street can be confined. That is why we need a complete and comprehensive understanding of development in our community -- taking into account the scope and benefits, as well as the timing and proximity of projects. Balancing job creation and economic development with the long-term effects on the surrounding neighborhood and community, with an eye towards green and open space, as well as accessibility to our waterfront."

"One result of over-development is a decrease in our collective quality of life. As one of the most under-served communities with respect to green and open space over-development only exacerbates our problem, by reducing the available land that could otherwise be used to reverse this unacceptable situation." 

"...[O]ur leaders [must] insist upon something in return when development occurs in our neighborhood. Whether this is dedicated green and open space, access to the waterfront, improvements to the esplanade, or real solutions to the inevitable traffic flow issues that come with more people and more buildings, something must change in the way we develop on the Upper East Side."

Election Reform

Advocates for a campaign finance system to combat corruption, wherein campaigns are fully funded publicly, with all candidates in an election receiving the same amount of funds.

Housing

Calls for repealing the Urstadt Law, which limits NYC's ability to control rent increases.

Calls for "a continuation and increase of the $50,000 SCRIE exemption when it sunsets in 2016." Four Freedoms Democratic Club Questionnaire

Sanitation

Opposes the 91st street marine waste transfer station and calls for the site to be part of an "East River Esplanade, from 59th to 120th Street. We are the only district without the kind of river access and greenery that's part of living in the rest of the city. And finishing the esplanade would be a job creator." DNA Info

 


Endorsements

Organizations: Americans for Economic Justice;

Individuals: NYS Assemblywoman Carolyn Maloney; Former Congressman Peter Kostmayer; Former President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association Matthew Katz

Menegon (D)

David Menegon

David Menegon (D)

Campaign Website
Facebook

On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: Marketing Executive, Xerox Corporation

Previous Work: Commandant, Knickerbocker Greys

Education: Central Connecticut State University


On the Issues

*Source for David Menegon's issue stances, unless marked otherwise: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire

Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓

In his own words:

1. New York State needs to move away from natural gas and fossil fuels and fully embrace alternative energy sources – wind, water, solar, geothermal and biomass. Developing these resources will benefit all New Yorkers and result in the State's long-term prosperity, both by creating local jobs and saving billions of dollars in pollution-related costs. Although only 11% of the energy New Yorkers currently use for transportation, heating, industrial processes and electric power comes from natural resources, according to the NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy, renewables have the potential to meet as much as 40% of the State's energy needs by 2030 and a full 100% by 2050. David will think strategically and support legislation that encourages the State to invest in infrastructure, call for an increase in recycling, and expand incentives to encourage companies to use renewable energy.

2. The wellbeing of New York City's senior population is a critical challenge facing the future of our city. The current population of New Yorkers over 65, which stands at approximately one million today, is expected to rise to nearly two million by the year 2040. New York's elderly population faces challenges relatable to seniors across our country. These challenges often stem from the reality of living on fixed incomes. We need to protect the programs that allow seniors to live in security. David will fight for affordable senior housing, access to health care, services that improve senior mobility, and funding of the centers that so many of New York's seniors depend on. David supports preserving funding for Senior Centers. He wants to expand the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program by 50% and would support legislation to protecting and expanding Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program.

3. David understands the concerns parents have for smaller class sizes, and supports the construction of new elementary and middle schools in our community to help alleviate overcrowding. Additionally, he believes that we need to implement innovative programs that attract and maintain quality teachers, as well as expanding after-school activities, continuing arts programs, increasing opportunities for our gifted and talented children, and making sure that students with special needs receive all the services they are entitled to.

The most important investment New York can make for long-term prosperity is in the education of our children.

For K-12, David will fight for more funding to decrease class size, create more universal Pre-K spaces in the district, and to construct or lease additional school space to reduce overcrowding.

David supports additional funding for CUNY and SUNY and would support legislation to protecting and expand the Tuition Assistant Program (TAP).

4. David will continue the fight in Albany against the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, an outdated and needlessly expensive mistake. This misguided project promises to put garbage trucks and tons of commercial and residential waste directly next to one of the Upper East Side's only recreational areas. The choice of this site is not only problematic because it is situated in the heart of a residential community, but it is also being built where another large storm would leave it susceptible to flooding. There is no way around the fact that New York City needs to revise this plan. David will do everything possible to stop this project.

5. Realizing the Full Completion of the Second Avenue Subway: David Menegon knows that East Side residents have waited far too long for adequate transit access. That is why David will make the full funding and resources for the completion of the 2nd Avenue subway. David believes that means planning and financing the 2nd Avenue Subway beyond the completion of the first phase of construction in 2016 that will extend the already Q line to 96th street. However, it appears that the MTA is yet again stalling in the planning of any further phases of construction.

As a resident of the Upper East Side David understands, that transportation equity on the East Side means fulfilling vision a subway line that extends from 125th Street to Hanover square. Although extending the Q line will alleviate some of the overcrowding on the Lexington line, David knows that this is not enough. It is imperative that New York State continues to fully invest in the 2nd avenue subway. This requires that there be no more delays in the planning and implementation of the next phases of construction.

David has a proven record of accomplishment forging creative solutions to transportation issues as a member of Community Board 8's Transportation committee. As an assembly member, David will be a tireless advocate for Upper East Side commuters in Albany, and will ensure that the completion of the 2nd Avenue Subway remains a top priority.

Budget↓}
In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus, stated: "New York should invest in education, improvements infrastructure, and a transition to renewable energy and a 'green economy.'"
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Civil Rights↓}
Would vote yes on the full, ten-point Women's Equality Agenda.
Opposes the strategy of removing the 10th point in the WEA, which deals with abortion access, in order to push for passage of the other 9 points with less controversy.

Economy↓


Supports a statewide minimum wage at $15.

Stated that municipalities such as NYC should be able to set their own minimum wage.

In addressing developing a NYS jobs program, stated: "New York should develop a jobs program to help the long-term unemployed find work and to make sure young people entering the job market have the technical skills employers need."

"Businesses have lost up to 50% of their revenues due to construction. Businesses need assistance to have net incomes at pre-construction levels. I support real-estate tax credits to lower rents, and economic development grants to provide financial and technical assistance to small businesses located within the area where construction is taking place for the duration of construction." Four Freedoms Democratic Club 

Supports "establishing tax-free sales zones and tax exemptions for small businesses." Campaign Website

Supports priority granted to Roosevelt Island-based businesses and residents as job candidates at Cornell Tech. Campaign Website

Supports priority hire for qualified candidates who have been unemployed for longer than six months. Campaign Website



Education↓

Supports implementing Common Core state standards with changes.
Supports raising the cap on charter schools.
Stated that government should pay for both location of charter schools in private space and for co-locations of charter schools in public school buildings.
Supports statewide universal pre-kindergarten.
In addressing how the legislature can ensure that adequate funding is distributed to all school districts to comply with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decisions, stated: "The Common Core is designed to prepare America's students for success. In order to do that we need to make that all of New York's children get the resources they need. The legislature needs to appropriate funding for teacher training and set standards that will make sure every teacher is prepared to teach the Common Core."

"Supports the construction or leasing of additional schools to reduce overcrowding

Supports additional funding for CUNY and SUNY

Supports protecting and expanding TAP [Tuition Assistance Program]...

Supports an increased charter school cap, and increasing financial accountability and transparency of these publicly funded schools." Campaign Website

Environment↓


Opposes hydrofracking in NYS.
In addressing whether municipalities should be able to decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction, stated: "Hydrofracking should be banned. If the State allows then municipalities should be able to decide whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction."

Supports creation of "tax credits for owners of buildings, co-ops and condos to offset the high conversion costs to refit boilers to burn cleaner fuels.

New York State needs to move away from natural gas and fossil fuels and fully embrace alternative energy sources – wind, water, solar, geothermal and biomass. Developing these resources will...result in the State's long-term prosperity, both by creating local jobs and saving billions of dollars in pollution-related costs. Although only 11% of the energy New Yorkers currently use for transportation, heating, industrial processes and electric power comes from natural resources, according to the NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy, renewables have the potential to meet as much as 40% of the State's energy needs by 2030 and a full 100% by 2050. ...

Supports closing Indian Point Nuclear power plant.

Opposes natural gas drilling/hydrofracking in New York.

Supports tax incentives to homeowners and business to convert to solar and wind energy sources.

Supports development of more green spaces/parks." Campaign Website

Good Government↓

Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits.
Supports instituting a public-matching campaign-financing systems statewide

  • but does "not support singling out one office as a trial [as in the NYS comptroller's race]. All statewide offices should be done at the same time." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Stated that Governor Cuomo should not have dissolved the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.
Supports implementing the following reform measures to increase voter participation and reduce barriers to voting:

  • Same day voter registration,
  • Early voting,
  • Reforming special elections,
  • Instant runoff voting,
  • Consolidating state and federal primaries.

In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "I agree with the standards for evaluating misconduct set by JCOPE and would work to increase disclosure requirements for outside income, campaign contributions, and campaign bundlers.
It's clear that current restrictions are not deterring corruption and that is why we need to have a full time legislator."

In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "The MTA and Port Authority need to be reformed. I agree with the Strap Hangers campaign [sic] in calling to create a review board and an independent budget office to ensure transparency. For the Port Authority, I would support legislation to make the body more accountable to the State Inspector General."

Supports moving to a full time legislature: "Being a NYS legislator doesn't just mean attending legislative sessions and voting on proposed laws. Legislators also spend large amounts of time assisting constituents. I support a full-time position up to $134,000 per year with the condition of term limitations. Legislators cannot have other income or income for services. Retirement and investment income would be permissible." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Proposes to revise and get passed "legislation that would address direct election of members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation...[so that] Roosevelt Island residents...[have] a RIOC board that is responsive to the voters in the community who elected them."

Health↓


In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "The NYS health care exchange has worked better than the Federal system. Going forward, to improve the exchange we need to make sure that providers disclose more information to New Yorkers and offer more coverage for hospitals.

To control the cost of Medicaid, we need to make sure New Yorkers are getting preventative care and have access to doctors so they do not continue to frequent emergency rooms. Preventive care will decrease the number of emergency room visits and if monitored correctly will reduce the cost of the Medicaid program."


Housing and Development↓


Supports mandatory inclusionary zoning at the 50-30-20 ratio.
Opposes reforming the Scaffold Law from absolute liability to comparative negligence.
Supports repealing the Urstadt Law.
In addressing the affordable housing needs in the state and city, stated:

  • "We need to move from the "80/20" mandatory inclusionary zoning to "50/30/20" to create more affordable units for middle class families.
  • We need to expand the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption level by 50% and make it apply to new developments and not just older apartment buildings.
  • AIRBNB and other illegal hotel activity must be monitored and enforcement of violations need to be increased to ensure that affordable housing units are occupied by middle class New Yorkers.
  • The Urstadt law also needs to be repealed and New York City needs to have the ability to set its housing policy."

In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "Jeremiah Moss noted on the eve of Mayor de Blasio's inauguration that we need to encourage the City Council to revisit the 'Small Business Survival Act' and expand 'mom and pop' rezoning. We need to lobby City officials to do just that.

In Albany we need to expand the Governor's "Tax Free Zones" to include struggling communities in the City and expand protections to shop owners along the 2nd Avenue Subway construction sites that will prevent rent increases and allow them to keep their doors open during construction."

"We should urge developers to submit proposals to NYSHCR for construction of subsidized senior housing. We must keep up the pressure against illegal hotels, which often take away from affordable housing stock." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

"There are a lot of seniors that need to be directed to agencies to protect them from being kicked out of their apartment by unscrupulous landlords." DNA Info

"Supports preserving funding for Senior Centers...and protecting and expanding EPIC program." Campaign Website

"Call[s] for state investigation of rates and charges of heating and utilities in Roosevelt Island residential buildings that currently appear to be exorbitantly high." Campaign Website


Immigration↓}
Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.
Opposes non-citizen voting.
Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Infrastructure↓}
Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district is: "the 2nd Avenue Subway. Budget surpluses should be used to help fully fund the 2nd Avenue Subway. That means planning and financing beyond the completion of the first phase of construction in 2016 that will extend the already Q line to 96th street."

Policing and Criminal Justice↓


Opposes broken windows policing.
In addressing legalization of marijuana, stated "I would follow the lead the Brooklyn DA Thompson set and decriminalize small amounts."
In addressing whether there is a role for state government in overseeing the conduct of municipal police forces, stated: "The state legislature should support legislation that provides training resources to officers and supports initiatives like community based policing that create trust and security."

Sanitation

Opposes the 91st street marine waste transfer station, and has stated that the only way to stop it at this point is for councilmembers to get involved.

"Transporting garbage from pickup to final destination is the most cost effective solution synchronized with an aggressive recycling campaign." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Transportation↓


In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "The NYPD needs to enforce the rules of the road and make sure drivers respect cyclists and to ensure that cyclists obey traffic lights and watch out for pedestrians, particularly seniors."

Proposes to work in the Assembly "to award the City the proper funding to help keep our roads, buses, and subways from falling into disrepair and prepare it for the rest of the 21st century." Campaign Website


Endorsements

Organizations: Four Freedoms Democratic Club; Sierra Club

Individuals: Sal Albanese

Seawright (D)

Seawright.jpg

Rebecca Seawright (D)

Twitter

On the Issues

Endorsements:

Currently: Member, Community Board 8; Member, Board of Directors, CUNY Law School; Chair, Board of Directors, Feminist Press, CUNY

Previous Work: Labor Arbitrator, New York City Board of Education; Administrative Law Judge, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Education: JD, CUNY Law School


On the Issues

*Source for Rebecca Seawright's issue stances, unless marked otherwise: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire

Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓

In her own words:

1. Women's Equality Act: The majority of residents on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island are women. These women deserve the protections of the Women's Equality Act. If elected, I will fight for this bill, along with any and all legislation that promotes a more equitable society for all regardless of sex and sexual orientation. ‬
"Affordable Housing: Fight for affordable housing for families of every size and diverse income, including moderate and middle-income families.

2. I will work with my colleagues in the Assembly and with the Speaker to include the repeal of vacancy destabilization as part of the executive budget. Tying rent law renewal to the budget process is the best way to strengthen the rent regulation laws. I will appeal to the Governor that by addressing this issue as part of the budget process, we can demonstrate a true commitment to affordable housing.

3. Campaign Finance Reform: I will promote statewide campaign finance reform based on the public matching system used in NYC. Not only will this reduce the power of private donations in Albany, it will make running for office more accessible. It is unacceptable that personal wealth can determine who can successfully run for office.

4. Quality of life improvements: I advocate for improvements to the overburdened public conveyances. The 76th Assembly District is greatly under served by the current transportation infrastructure. The Second Avenue subway line has faced far too many delays, while Roosevelt Island residents face far too infrequent F train service. It is vital that the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island receive greater service by bus, rail and tram. I oppose the proposed waste transfer station being built at East 91st Street. ‬‬‬‬

5. Schools: As a public school parent I have witnessed first hand the problems in our public school system. Education is a top priority and I will ensure that all schools have the resources they need to better serve our communities.

Budget↓}
In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus, stated: "Fund needed programs that have been previously cut. As a public school parent, I understand the overcrowding in our school system and I will fight for more funding for our public schools. As the daughter of an aging parent, I understand the needs of seniors and will fight for more services."
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Civil Rights↓}
Would vote yes on the full, ten-point Women's Equality Agenda.
Opposes the strategy of removing the 10th point in the WEA, which deals with abortion access, in order to push for passage of the other 9 points with less controversy.

Economy↓


Supports a statewide minimum wage at a living wage.
Stated that municipalities such as NYC should be able to set their own minimum wage set to a living wage.
In addressing developing a NYS jobs program, stated: "The economic development funds should be carefully targeted towards job creation. In particular, small businesses should receive their fair share to create more jobs. There needs to be clawback provisions to ensure accountability in job creation. Benefits for unfulfilled promises must be returned."

"We need to approve and expedite state and federal grants to assist businesses that are being affected by the construction. There should also be programs to extend credit to affected businesses to help them pay their bills on a long term basis, building on programs available through the City and State economic development corporation." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

"We need more middle school seats in the UES, additional resources to support our teachers, and we need to fight for smaller-size classes in public schools. ...I would request to be on the [Assembly's] Education Committee in order to be a strong voice fighting for additional resources and schools on the UES." DNA Info

Education↓


Supports implementing Common Core state standards with changes.
Supports maintaining the cap on charter schools.
Stated that government should not pay for location of charter schools in private space or for co-locations of charter schools in public school buildings.
Supports statewide universal pre-kindergarten.
In addressing how the legislature can ensure that adequate funding is distributed to all school districts to comply with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decisions, stated: "Demand that full funding for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision be included in the state budget considering that New York is currently underfunded by $5.8 billion."

"We need more middle school seats in the UES, additional resources to support our teachers, and we need to fight for smaller-size classes in public schools. ...I would request to be on the [Assembly's] Education Committee in order to be a strong voice fighting for additional resources and schools on the UES." DNA Info

Environment↓}
Opposes hydrofracking in NYS.
Stated that municipalities should not decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction.
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Good Government↓}
Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits.
Supports instituting a public-matching campaign-financing systems statewide.

  • Opposes piloting a state campaign finance system in just the comptroller's race.

Stated that Governor Cuomo should not have dissolved the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.
Supports implementing the following reform measures to increase voter participation and reduce barriers to voting:

  • Same day voter registration,
  • Early voting,
  • No-excuse absentee ballots,
  • Reforming special elections,
  • Instant runoff voting,
  • Granting voting rights to parolees,
  • Consolidating state and federal primaries.

In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "In light of the disbanding of the Moreland Commission, laws surrounding transparency regarding legislators' activities including campaign financing, among others, need to be strengthened. I will lead the fight for campaign finance reform."
In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "I will support funding for a public utility advocate. There needs to be improved transparency of the MTA's budget. I will work with Senator Liz Krueger who has endorsed my candidacy, in support the Port Authority Reform Act (S3944)."

"We should have absolutely no tolerance for sexual harassment. Period. There should not be any sexual harassment or any misconduct. We should really hold our legislator to a high standard as public officials." Campaign Website

"Since less than 20 percent of the legislature right now is comprised of women and there's two women who are retiring in Brooklyn and one woman that just resigned in Manhattan, I think it is so important to have more women at the table fighting for women's equality and campaign finance reform." Observer

"I would...request to be on the [Assembly's] Corporations and Authorities committee because it oversees Roosevelt Island as well as the MTA." DNA Info


Health↓}
In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "New York State needs to lead in educating consumers so the public continues enrollment. I will support measures to make the program truly affordable including better oversight of the Department of Health and Financial Services. Long term health care options need to be improved. Medicaid providers need to be closely monitored to find ways to reduce costs incurred to the government."
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Housing and Development↓}
Supports mandatory inclusionary zoning at the 50-30-20 ratio.
Opposes reforming the Scaffold Law from absolute liability to comparative negligence.
Supports reforming the Urstadt Law.
In addressing the affordable housing needs in the state and city, stated: "New construction in our neighborhood must include affordable housing so that seniors, working families, and people with disabilities can continue to make their homes in our community. I support repealing the Urstadt Law so that New York City has full control over its rent regulations. I will work to end vacancy destabilization and permanently return apartments to rent regulation. I support legislation to guarantee equal amenities and access to tenants regardless of whether they are in market or below-market units (no "poor-door"). Enforce clawback provisions for all government subsidies for affordable housing. Developers who fail to live up to their promises must pay the consequences. I support the proposed $41 billion housing program to build or preserve 200,000 new units of housing. As Chair of the Board of Visitors of the CUNY School of Law, I will partner with the law school and its students to bring free housing legal aid and forums to the 76th Assembly District. I will fight for affordable housing for families of every size and diverse income, including moderate and middle-income families."

In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "I am concerned about the impact of skyrocketing commercial rents on small businesses. Zoning changes and commercial rent control should be explored on a local level."

"Would speak out on the issue [of affordable housing], work with grass root tenant and affordable housing advocacy organizations to fight against increases in rent so citizens are not priced out of their homes. Work with legislative colleagues on statutory remedies." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Immigration↓}
Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.
Opposes non-citizen voting.
Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.
{/mooblock

{mooblock=Infrastructure↓}
Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district are: "Transportation, including the subway, bus and tram system in the 76th District are overburdened and in need of improvements. We must keep the Second Avenue subway construction on schedule and ensure full service of the F train, even on weekends and holidays. The elevators that service the stations, particularly on Roosevelt Island, must be kept in good repair."

Policing and Criminal Justice↓


In addressing broken windows policing, stated: "Community policing builds relationships rather than criminalizing a large percentage of the population particularly in communities with less resources."
Supports the legalization of marijuana.
In addressing whether there is a role for state government in overseeing the conduct of municipal police forces, stated: "Reform marijuana legislation to be less punitive. Explore funding for police officer cameras and other technological solutions that allow for better accountability."

Sanitation

Opposes the 91st street marine waste transfer station, and supports turning the site "into a Riverside Park for all citizens to use! Work to put on the Governor's agenda. Would utilize my access to prominent City leaders. Would work closely with existing coalitions to suggest alternatives that are environmentally sound, including the use of waste transfer facilities in the region in less populated areas." Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Transportation↓


In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "Stronger enforcement of the rules of the road for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians."


Endorsements

Organizations: 32BJ Service Employees International Union; 1199SEIU; East Side Democratic Club (ESDC); Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Retail Grocery Store Union; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU); Communications Workers of America (CWA), District 1; Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 1180; Working Families Party (WFP); Local #46 Metallic Lathers Union and Reinforcing Iron Workers; New York Professional Nurses Union; NOW-NYC; NY State NOW organization; Eleanor’s Legacy / Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee NY; Empire State Pride Agenda; Stonewall Democratic Club; Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 and Local 7; Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats; Progressive Caucus Alliance; Tenants PAC; UAW District 9; Women's Campaign Fund

Individuals: NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; NYC Public Advocate Tish James; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; NYS Senator Brad Hoylman; NYS Senator Liz Krueger; NYS Senator José M. Serrano; NYS Assembly Member Barbara Clark; NYS Assembly Member Dan Quart; NYS Assembly Member Walter Mosley; NYS Assembly Member Robert Rodriquez; NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick; NYS Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell; NYS Assembly Member Nily Rozic; NYC Council Member Ben Kallos; NYC Council Member Dan Garodnick; NYC Council Member Corey Johnson; NYC Council Member Helen Rosenthal; LGBT Activist Edie Windsor; Roe v. Wade Attorney Sarah Weddington; Former Chair NYS Democratic Party Judith Hope; Community Activist Dr. Elaine Walsh; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; Former Assemblymember Peter Grannis

Garland (R)

Garland.jpg

David Garland (R)

Campaign Website
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On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: Business Management Consultant

Previous Work: US Commerce Department; Candidate, NYC Council (D-5, 2013)

Education: Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; MBA, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School; MA, Foreign Affairs, University of Pennsylvania


On the Issues

Economy

Proposes "elimination of the City portion of sales taxes on merchandise purchased in stores along the [2nd Avenue] construction corridor, and...a moratorium on state sales taxes until construction is completed."

"Talk of taxing the rich to help the middle class, though it may sound popular to the vast number of New Yorkers who struggle to make ends meet, is not a responsible policy position. Those at the top end of the income spectrum, though in a position to pay more in income taxes through a progressive taxation system, will find creative ways to avoid doing so. Already, there are many such individuals who keep a residence in New York City but keep their permanent residence elsewhere in order to avoid the high tax burden currently in place. Economics and common sense indicate that those most able to contribute to New York City's tax base will continue to emigrate and find creative ways of avoiding taxes if the tax burden continues to climb."

Proposes "to increase the pool of taxable income rather than raising taxes and ultimately diminishing revenue" and "to create a better balance of industries in a private sector that still relies too heavily on financial services, which has undergone fundamental shifts in its business model in the past five years."

Education

Proposes for a short-term solution to school overcrowding that "synagogues, churches and other public facilities throughout the district that are predominantly empty during school hours on weekdays" should "be employed as interim school facilities. This would also provide a source of income for non-profit organizations that may be struggling financially."

Proposes for the long-term solution school overcrowding to "advocate for comprehensive public school facilities in future large scale development projects as a requirement of developers seeking the 421–A abatement. He will also fight for the delivery of that space to be 'finished' and include appropriately dedicated space for physical education. In other parts of the city, developers have delivered 'raw' space for public schools, which has done little to alleviate the financial burden on the Board of Education."

Housing

"[A] significant portion of affordable housing is being held and retained by individuals whose economic circumstances have vastly improved, or who are even wealthy. This is not the purpose of affordable housing. There should be periodic means testing to prevent such exploitation, allowing those with modest incomes to have access to those units."

Proposes to "work with developers seeking to build in the 76th Assembly District to more effectively implement the current provisions of 421-A tax abatement program... [to] increase the percentage of affordable housing units throughout New York City." 

Policing and Criminal Justice

"New York City's drastic reduction in crime over the last twenty years has been the result of good policy and hard work by 'New York's Finest.' Bad policy in the next four years can easily reverse this progress. David wants to ensure that all abuses of "stop-and-frisk" are quickly identified and eliminated; however, he believes the policy should continue as an effective tool of crime reduction."

Sanitation

Opposes the 91st street marine waste transfer station, and plans to "propose legislation banning dumps from all residential communities throughout New York City. ...He will lead the charge in the City Council to ban Transfer Stations in all residential communities, not build new ones."

Transportation

Proposes a "residential parking permit program to resolve [residents' difficulty finding street parking]. Those who pay income tax in New York City should be able to acquire residential street parking permits, as they currently do in Brooklyn and in long-standing programs in Washington, DC, Boston and Chicago."

Proposes "to work with the Department of Transportation to better time light signals and improve traffic flow" by the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

Proposes "to initiate a program to allot taxicabs for peak vs. non-peak hours. ...[T]here is an abundance of empty taxis available when they are not needed (during non-peak hours), but few to none during commuter rush hours. David's plan is ration taxis based on need at various times of day, and not have excess vacant taxis creating additional pollution and traffic during non-peak hours."

Supports bike lanes and CitiBike but calls for better enforcement and education surrounding biking laws and pedestrian safety.

Proposes "that avenues serving as major commercial routes be maintained and repaved more frequently and proactively," to address noise pollution resulting from trucks and cargo.

To address infrastructure concerns regarding the construction of the Cornell-Weill Technology Center on Roosevelt Island, plans to "propose legislation that only awards New York City taxpayer dollars to contractors using barge transportation for all construction materials associated with the project."

Proposes "to more proactively enforce the current terms of the [2nd Avenue] construction contracts and seek out potential amendments that will aid in restoring quality of life in the neighborhood surrounding the project."


Endorsements

Organizations: 

Individuals: 

 

Candidates' statements and photos taken from their respective websites and press releases, unless otherwise noted.