On The Issues

Legislation I have co-sponsored includes:

  • The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
  • The Reproductive Health Act
  • The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act
  • Early Voting
  • Repeal of 50-a to promote police transparency
  • A ban on campaign contributions from LLCs
  • GENDA
  • the Child Victims Act
  • Green Light
  • Gun Safety
  • The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
  • The Reproductive Health Act
  • The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act
  • Early Voting
  • A ban on campaign contributions from LLCs
  • GENDA
  • the Child Victims Act
  • Green Light

and much more.

Committees

As Chair of the Committee on Aging I have also put a lot of energy into promoting the interests of seniors, including support for in-home services, nursing home oversight, and legislation to promote senior entrepreneurship. And as Chair of the Commission on Rural Resources, I have advocated for rural broadband access, young farmer apprenticeship programs, and upstate environmental protection, including banning waste incinerators from being built in the Finger Lakes watershed.

We have held hearings in the district on climate change policy, housing and tenants’ rights, public transportation, and farm worker rights. We have held roundtables and community discussions on rural broadband, after-school programs for youth, and curbing gun violence among urban youth. I have also been part of hearings in Albany on election reform, school funding, sexual harassment, health care, and more.

I will continue to be a strong advocate for bringing legislation up for a vote. Our democracy depends on voters knowing where their elected officials stand on the issues and having a chance to weigh in with their opinions.

Good Quality Jobs

I have been able to deliver to protect jobs and help small businesses during the current pandemic. I wrote and passed legislation to allow Industrial Development Agencies to give grants and loans to small businesses and non-profits to be able to make the changes they need to keep customers and workers safe. This has resulted in numerous Central New York businesses getting the resources they need to be able to stay open.

I have also authored legislation to create a 21st Century Works Progress Administration to give people the work experience and skills they need for the modern workforce while improving our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive unemployment, and we can take a page from our history to put people back to work in an incredibly productive way. I’ve worked with legislators in Massachusetts to introduce a companion bill to create a regional approach to advocate for funding from the Federal Government.

Broadband for All

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a spotlight on what has long been true about broadband: it is absolutely necessary infrastructure for the 21st century. That’s why I chaired the first ever hearing on rural broadband last September. I passed a bill to study a broadband for all approach in New York, wrote legislation to make it easier for municipalities to create public broadband networks, and have worked with my colleagues to pass numerous legislation to improve broadband quality and accessibility while bringing down costs. I will continue to work to do all that we can to ensure everyone has the internet access necessary to run their business, do their schoolwork, and successfully work from home.

Health Care for All

I strongly support the New York Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance for all New Yorkers while saving tens of billions of dollars in health care costs. It has the strong support of health care workers. It would insulate the state from the worst machinations of the GOP in Washington, as they try to destroy Obamacare. It would also return millions of dollars to our cities and counties that have been pushed to bankruptcy by being forced to foot the bill for Medicare costs.

I have participated in countless hours of hearings to improve the bill, and will focus on continuing to create the best bill possible with changing regulations at the Federal level.

Democracy and Ethics Reform

We have done so much to improve voting in New York State. From finally passing early voting, to establishing vote by mail during the pandemic, to expanding the hours for primary voting in Upstate, to passing Automatic Voter Registration, I am thrilled to have been able to play a vital role in making voting more accessible for all New Yorkers.

We also closed the LLC loophole that allowed essentially unlimited campaign donations, and passed a campaign financing system that will get big money out of our system and empower everyday people.

I have also co-sponsored a bill to overhaul how we enforce ethics violations, to make New York a cleaner, better government.

Climate and Community Protection

Climate change is already hurting our state, through flooding and extreme weather events that damage crops and homes and jeopardize the ecosystems we depend upon. I am thrilled that I played large roll in passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act . It will help New York minimize the adverse impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating good jobs and protecting workers whose jobs might be affected, and prioritizing the safety and health of disadvantaged communities.

I have also worked extensively to protect our water resources and fight solution. The first bill I passed was a bill banning incinerators in the finger lakes. In 2020, I passed a bill to finally close the fracking waste loophole, and treat waste from fracking as hazardous. This waste was previously a great threat to our water safety. Because of this work, I was named Environmental Advocate’s 2020 Legislator of year. This is an award I am deeply proud of, and I will continue to work to protect our environment and build New York’s Green Economy.

Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights

New York had not updated its laws on women’s reproductive rights since before the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. I helped pass the Reproductive Health Act, to make sure that New Yorkers have protection in case the Trump Supreme Court overturns Roe. I also helped pass the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, which expands insurance coverage for all FDA-approved forms of contraception, plus contraception counseling and education.

Funding for Public Schools

I have worked hard to deliver more funding to school districts in the 53rd district. New York State has consistently underfunded its neediest school districts. The Foundation Aid system has been hijacked by wealthy, politically powerful school districts, and the schools with greatest needs suffer. It is time to target taxpayer funding for public schools to the places where it will have the greatest impact. Read more here.

I am also thrilled to have been able to lead the fight to establish the regional STEAM school in Central New York. This project will deliver over $70 million to renovate the old Central Tech High School and deliver cutting edge technology in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math to give students the skills they need to thrive in the modern workforce.

Revitalizing Syracuse’s I-81 Corridor

Interstate 81 covers 846 miles from Tennessee to New York, and Syracuse is the only place along its entire route where the highway cuts through the center of a city. The original construction of the viaduct, which was opposed by the city at the time, destroyed the old, vibrant, predominantly African-American 15th Ward. It resulted in fifty years of racial segregation, concentrated poverty, and reduced quality of life in the area. With the end of its useful life approaching, we finally have an opportunity to restore that central corridor in Syracuse as a hub of mixed-use development that can serve long-time residents and welcome new entrepreneurs.

I support the “community grid” option that would keep traffic in the area at street level and create a walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly landscape that is not designed solely to move cars through the city at high speed. I believe, if you design a city for cars, you get cars. If you design it for people, you get people. There are ample alternative routes for through traffic, and there is no substitute for a coherent urban core. Cities around the country are tearing down highways and rejuvenating urban neighborhoods without creating any serious traffic concerns. We can do this; it’s time.

I also have introduced legislation to protect schools from major highways. Right now, too many of our schools, including in Syracuse right near I-81, face major pollution problems from nearby highways that negatively impact the health and learning ability of our students. My legislation would require transportation planners to take schools into account when making major decisions, and engage in better air quality mitigation to protect our kids.