Boozer (D, WF)
On the Issues
Currently: Union Representative, NOLSW/UAW Local 2320; Housing Specialist, Housing Court Answers
Previous Work: Judicial Clerkship, Superior Court of New Jersey—Criminal Division, Newark, New Jersey; Housing Specialist, Urban Resource Institute
Education: BA, Vassar College; JD, Boston College Law School
On the Issues
*Source for Lori Boozer's issue stances: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire
Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓
In her own words:
1. Affordable Housing: Pass stronger rent laws including repealing vacancy destabilization; stronger NYCHA oversight to eliminate repair backlog; and make sure any new affordable housing is truly affordable for local communities to avoid displacement.
2. Schools. As someone who benefited from good public schools, I know our schools need more investment to ease overcrowding; we need to increase technology in the classroom to prepare kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow; we need to expand vocational education and we need to increase afterschool programs.
3. Safer Streets. More afterschool programs, a shift away from prosecuting minor drug crimes to focus on real threats to our community and a focus on treatment instead of incarceration for those with chronic drugs problems are all crucial, but more importantly we need to restore better police-community relations. The lack of communication and trust between police and the residents they are supposed to serve leads to worse law enforcement and more dangerous streets.
4. Increase the minimum wage. Families need to be able to earn a wage they can live on, and there is simply no greater driver of economic growth than providing better wages to working people. I also strongly support allowing regions with higher costs of living, like NYC, to raise their own minimum wage about the state levels.
5. Jobs. I have seen the decay in our community as more and more jobs have left, and displaced workers and young people have fewer and fewer options for trying to achieve the American Dream. I believe that we need more vocational education and job preparedness training in our schools, but we also need stronger local hiring requirements for public works projects, and I would like to see programs like START-UP NY provide tax incentives to businesses that provide jobs near NYCHA housing.
In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus, stated: "This surplus should be used to invest in mass transit and other high-needs infrastructure projects that will also help to create jobs."
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.
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: "we need more vocational education and job preparedness training in our schools, but we also need stronger local hiring requirements for public works projects, and I would like to see programs like START-UP NY provide tax incentives to businesses that provide jobs near NYCHA housing. I would also do more with unions to help young people get into the employment pipeline in high school, so they have the job skills they need when they graduate."
Opposes implementing the Common Core state standards.
Supports maintaining the cap on charter schools.
In addressing charter school siting, stated: "Current charters should not be evicted from their settings, but moving forward charters should secure private space."
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: "This simply requires the political will on the part of the legislature to fully fund schools as required by our state constitution, so all children receive a sound, basic education."
Opposes hydrofracking in NYS.
In addressing whether municipalities should decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction, stated: "I oppose hydro fracking, but If the state allows it, municipalities must still have the right to make their own decisions."
Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits.
Supports instituting a public-matching campaign-financing systems statewide.
In addressing whether Governor Cuomo should have dissolved the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, stated: Clearly there is more work to do to clean up corruption in Albany; but I believe the primary responsibility lies with the legislature in passing stronger ethics and campaign finance laws. As an Assembly member, I would rather fight for stronger reforms than rely on any outside commission to do our job."
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.
In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "first and foremost, we need to pass comprehensive public campaign financing and campaign finance reform to limit the flow of special interest money into campaigns, and we need to reform campaign spending laws to ensure that campaign funds are no longer spent for personal use. Self-policing by the legislature does not appears to be effective, but we have no shortage of structures in place to police the legislature, from the US Attorney to the Attorney General to local District Attorneys, and I support allowing them to do their jobs to remove corrupt legislators like my predecessor."
In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "all of these entities must be subject to the same ethics and transparency laws that we apply to state agencies, and I would be happy to support legislation to make that a reality."
In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "Enacting a policy this significant will never be without challenges, but so long as we remain committed to the program's success, those challenges can be easily overcome. I do believe we can and should be more aggressive on combatting Medicaid fraud so we can keep the program focused on providing quality health care to families across New York, but I strongly oppose any cuts in coverage."
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: "[solutions include] passing comprehensive strengthening of the rent laws, including repealing vacancy destabilization, closing the preferential rent loophole and reform MCI and IAI rules so that building or apartment improvements can no longer be used as a back door means of raising rents permanently. We must build new affordable housing that is truly affordable for Brooklyn families and require inclusionary zoning for all new construction. So-called "poor doors" – separate entrances for those living in affordable units in mixed buildings - are offensive and harken back to the Jim Crow South and have no place in our city. Finally, we need to invest in NYCHA and strengthen oversight to eliminate the ludicrously long repair backlog."
In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of a local economy, and need to be protected so they can grow and create jobs. What is especially unfortunate is when businesses take on the risk of investing in a community, help stabilize the neighborhood with their hard-earned success, and are then forced out by the same economic displacement which drives gentrification. I believe that commercial renters – especially small businesses -should have similar protections as residential tenants. Specifically, bans on price gouging and a statutory right of lease renewal so long as they pay their rent and do not violate the terms of their lease."
Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.
In addressing non-citizen voting, stated: "I think that we should strengthen voter protection in general. For individuals whom have lived in this country for certain length of time and demonstrated a commitment to becoming a citizen, so long as they are impacted by our laws, we should consider extending voting rights."
Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.
Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district are: "In my community, and throughout Central Brooklyn, we need better and more reliable mass transit; we need serious repairs and upgrades to NYCHA buildings and our schools also need to be structurally improved for our students. We also need to address or crumbling hospital system."
Policing and Criminal Justice↓
Opposes broken windows policing.
Supports the legalization of marijuana.
In addressing whether there is a role for state government in overseeing the conduct of municipal police forces, stated: "The state of police-community relations are at the lowest point since the dark days following the horrible assault on Abner Louima and the killings of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond. The death of Eric Garner and the justified anger that has followed shows just how far we have to go to bring back a cooperative and respectful relationship between the police and the communities they serve. I believe that leaders at all levels of government have a fundamental responsibility to get involved in addressing this problem and I look forward to doing whatever I can to be a part of this solution."
In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "I applaud Mayor de Blasio's efforts to reduce injuries to pedestrians and cyclists through his Vision Zero approach to traffic safety. I believe that educating drivers on the dangers of aggressive or distracted driving and educating pedestrians and cyclists and avoiding dangerous situations are critical first steps, but we should also look toward creating safer bicycle lanes and calming traffic with speed bumps, curb extensions and targeted traffic enforcement in high-injury intersections."
Organizations: New Kings Democrats; 1199SEIU; Communication Workers of America (CWA) District 1; RWDSU; Metal Lathers Local 46; TenantsPAC; UAW; LID Brooklyn; Working Families Party; 32BJ SEIU; Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC
Individuals: Former NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum; Council member Ritchie Torres (D-15); Scott M. Sommer, UAW Area Subregional Director; Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-38); Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-34); Council Member Brad Lander