As a Democrat, I want government to work for all the people.
The context of my campaign is called #ReconnectNY. The 38th District is a regional bridge in the Hudson valley between Upstate New York and New York City. Four core contexts form the basis of the policies that I will fight for in the New York State Senate, Competition, Literacy, Values, and Gratitude.
COMPETITION – I will support economic policies that promote fair competition. Fair competition is the best way to promote creativity and innovation and lower costs for consumers. I am opposed to monopolies and oligopolies because they are anti-competitive and are bad for markets, workers, competitors, consumers. It means policies that are open to new market entrants that favor equal opportunity but not equal outcomes. Regulations must serve society, not erect barriers to entry. Give Labor shares of the business so that labor can also be
owners of capital. I want to discourage stock share buybacks. Competitive markets help reduce unjust inequality and promote entrepreneurial activity.
LITERACY – I believe policies and reforms in the following areas that will promote and empower our citizens with the tools to be critical thinkers and mindful of making better decisions for themselves in every aspect of their daily life:
Financial Literacy: I want to promote financial intelligence in High School by teaching Home Economics and Shop Class again; Credit and Money Management; Insurance. We want to encourage savings, investment, trades, and vocations.
Tax Literacy: I am not inclined to support tax increases. There must be an honest, value-oriented conversation with the people to have them understand what they are getting for their tax dollars and gain their consent before any tax increase. In the alternative, when services must be reduced, a similar conversation must be had with the people. We must always be in an accountable conversation where we can answer “what is the value that we are getting for our tax dollars”.
Civic Literacy: I want to empower immigrants in our state to learn English and American Civics through low-cost courses through the SUNY/CUNY and Community College System We all benefit by being multilingual and cognizant of how our government works. Similarly, I will support the re-establishment of the requirement for our high school kids to learn and be proficient in a foreign language upon graduation.
Food Literacy: I support reforming Medical School Education and Licensing requirements to make Physicians learn clinical, therapeutic, and metabolic nutrition in their practices.
Also we should establish programs to teach our kids about the food we eat and where it comes from. We should be teaching cooking and food preparation again in school.
I support expanding farmer’s markets to the supermarket by requiring
supermarkets to dedicate space where consumers can purchase locally grown produce, dairy, and meats from New York or locally sourced within a 300-mile radius of the store. It will strengthen and help family farms in New York and connect New Yorkers upstate and downstate.
Diabetes: I will work to bring down the costs of this terrible disease through nutrition and exercise. As a survivor of a heart attack and Type 2 Diabetes in remission now for 5.5 years and savings of over $24K in prescription drug costs, I do not need anymore. We can be replicate this creating millions in savings in Medicaid and for Health Insurers in our state. Our district is blessed to have doctors and facilities that can be demonstration projects.
Heart disease: I will support insurance coverage of Coronary Arterial
Calcification scans so that people can actually find out if, where, and how much plaque they have in their arteries. It is a far superior test that averages $100 in cost yet is not currently covered by insurance.
Health Insurance: While I support the concept of universal coverage for all New Yorkers, it is critical that whatever reforms we make that we also have competitive and accountable mechanisms built into the system. Otherwise, healthcare will be stale and abused. I will introduce into the debate a discussion where we create a “single risk
pool” and require insurance companies to compete for access to that pool by offering plans and coverage people need and put the bargaining power back in the hands of the consumer side of health care. It is time to allow health and wellness to compete against sickness. We need to add Mental health to the core complement of services offered under any insurance plan.
Physical Health Tax Credits: I support a tax incentive to use gyms. The sales of mattresses should be tax-free as sleep, like food, is essential to everyone’s health.
GRATITUDE - This means having an accountable relationship with we have as a community as opposed to what we want to achieve. This means reporting and disclosing always the good, the bad, and the ugly of any policy initiative or law.
VALUES - I support a tax incentive for citizens to adopt shelter dogs
and cats from statewide county animal shelters or accredited pet shelters in the state.
Environment: New York State must be a leader in environmental conservation. I will always prioritize ensuring our water is safe to drink, our air is clean, and we are aggressively combating climate change before it is too late. We should promote environmental literacy in schools and incentivize citizens to make the transition to environmentally smart products.
Criminal Justice: I will monitor the newly implemented bail reform law to prevent abuse and work with our police and courts to prevent abuse of this system. Judges should have the discretion to impose bail I do not believe in private prisons. True criminal justice must have four components in most cases. They are Retribution, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation, and Redemption. I will be looking at the Penal code and Criminal Procedure Law to make reforms to create improvements.
Reducing Drinking and Driving: We have too many DWIs in our region. I will propose a new requirement for all first time Driver’s licensees to attend a mandatory Mothers Against Drunk Driving class or attend an actual DWI arraignment and judicial proceeding in the courts to help educate and deter DWI. I will also propose that the penalties and warnings for DWIs be conspicuously posted at bars and where alcoholic beverages are served and taxi services are presented.
Estate Reform: I will propose legislation to bar Court-appointed guardians who are not related to their wards from being beneficiaries of their wills.
Gun Safety: I support the right of our law-abiding citizens to protect themselves with a firearm. I support gun safety education for all gun owners. I also support all efforts to prevent mentally ill or criminal convicts from being able to get guns.
Marijuana: I support the full legalization and regulation of Marijuana. All vices should be controlled and regulated by the government instead of organized crime. Revenue should be used for healthcare, addiction treatment, and research on addiction.
Ethics and Term Limits: We spend too much time and money on politics instead of governance. We need to have a robust discussion and dialogue about this issue. I propose amending the State Constitution to change the terms of office of the State Senate and State Assembly from Two Years to Four Years, provided that no one may serve more than three Four Year terms in each House for a maximum of Twelve Years in each House. I also propose amending the State Constitution to impose a term limit of 3 Four Year terms in the Office of Governor.
Public Financing of Elections: In principle, I support this idea, and we should examine how we can make it easier for citizens to participate and run for office. Competition will lead to better ideas and proposals and level the playing field for candidates who are not independently wealthy.
Taking on Hate in New York: Given the horrific events of December 2019 in Monsey and the ongoing problem of Anti-Semitism, Racism, White Nationalism, that is plaguing our state and nation. We have to tackle this problem with a 360-degree approach. We must forcefully punish hate crimes and call it what it is, Domestic Terrorism. The goal of those who hate is to terrorize their victims and destroy them. We need to train law enforcement and coordinate local, state, and federal law enforcement to take action against individuals and groups that promote hatred. The State Senate and Assembly should conduct joint public hearings across the states to shed light on this problem so that it can legislate more effective legislation to combat hate crimes. We must educate our youth and the public in memory of the victims of hate and make “never again” be our rallying cry. It means looking at our school curriculum and making sure our kids know the history of hatred and racism and learn how we can fight it in our communities. There must be adequate funding for security at houses of worship and coordination with local law enforcement for regular patrolling and community interaction. We must publicly honor those who fight against hatred and celebrate their courage to empower others to do the same. The fight against hatred begins at home, at our houses of worship, and all public places.
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