Issues: Constituents Corner

Rev. Carl Clarke of Open Arms International Ministries Delivers Invocation

Reverend Carl Clarke of Open Arms International Ministries and Ms. Carol Lodman joined Senator David Valesky in Albany. Rev. Clarke was in the Senate Chamber to deliver the day's invocation.

March 6, 2012
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Senator John Bonacic meets with the Orange County 4-H

Representatives from the Orange County 4-H met with Senator John Bonacic at the 77th Annual 4-H Capital Days Program’s Legislative Breakfast in Albany today.  Pictured (from L-R) Senator John Bonacic, Emmett Anderson, Grace Roeder, Christian (Ian) Lewis and Jerome Christie, 4-H Youth Development Issue Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension. The 4-H Capital Days program seeks to help 4-H participants achieve a better understanding of New York State public policy, to provide an opportunity for delegates to share their 4-H stories with their legislators, to create awareness of career opportunities within New York State Government as well as to meet and exchange experiences with delegates from other counties.

March 6, 2012
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Senator John Bonacic Meets with Sullivan County 4-H

Representatives from the Sullivan County 4-H met with Senator John Bonacic at the 77th Annual 4-H Capital Days Program’s Legislative Breakfast in Albany today.  Pictured (from L-R) Senator John Bonacic, Rebecca Robinson, Nicholas Castellano and Marylin Russel, 4-H Community Educator, Cornell University Cooperative Extension. The 4-H Capital Days program seeks to help 4-H participants achieve a better understanding of New York State public policy, to provide an opportunity for delegates to share their 4-H stories with their legislators, to create awareness of career opportunities within New York State Government as well as to meet and exchange experiences with delegates from other counties.

March 6, 2012
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Senator Martins Marches in Mineola St. Patrick's Day Parade

Senator Jack M. Martins took part in the St. Patrick's Day Parade by marching with his friends from his hometown of Mineola. The parade began at the Nassau County courthouse on Old Country Road; it proceeded north on County Seat Drive, turning left on Old Country Road and then north on Mineola Boulevard to Jericho Turnpike; the parade then headed east on Jericho Turnpike to Willis Avenue, where it ended.

Numerous organizations as well as schools took part in the parade, which brought out the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. The Grand Marshal was Betty McLoughlin, the past president of the Irish American Society.

Pictured with Senator Martins are John DaVanzo and Assemblyman Ed Ra.

March 6, 2012
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SQUADRON: SENATE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE CORPORATIONS OVER PEOPLE IN POLITICS

In Wake of GOP Committee Vote Against Campaign Finance Reform, Squadron Pushes Bill Forward with Petition for Chamber Consideration

Squadron-Lancman Legislation Would Make NY National Leader in Fight Against Citizens United

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Rory Lancman pushed back against Senate Republican efforts to stall their campaign finance reform legislation, with Senator Squadron initiating a petition for chamber consideration to move the bill forward. The legislation would make New York a national leader in the fight against the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and give people, rather than corporations, a stronger voice in the political process.

The "Corporate Political Activity Accountability to Shareholders Act" (S101/A696A) would require shareholder approval for corporate political contributions, public disclosure of the contributions, and justification of the business rationale for making them.

This afternoon, the Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee voted to prevent the legislation from moving out of committee. Senator Squadron has now begun circulating a petition for chamber consideration of the bill, which would bring the bill to the Senate floor if 38 signatures are collected from Senators.  

“As we look on in horror at the impact of Citizens United, New York has an opportunity to actually do something about it. Yet today, the Senate Republicans chose corporate interests over the interests of real people,” said Senator Squadron. “Make no mistake: unlimited corporate contributions are a threat to our democratic process. By reining in unchecked political influence and bringing desperately-needed transparency to the process, our bill would be a key step toward countering the flood of corporate influence that washes away the voice of regular people. I urge my colleagues to stand up for people over corporations in our politics and join the effort to move this bill to the floor."  

March 5, 2012
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Senator John Bonacic Meets with Members of NYSSMA

Representatives from the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) met with Senator John Bonacic for the Joseph R. Sugar NYSSMA Day in Albany today to discuss education funding and its effect on music programs. 

March 5, 2012
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BONACIC and RABBITT HOST “LOCAL GOVERNMENT DAY” IN ALBANY

Local Officials from 42nd Senate District and 97th Assembly District Meet in Albany for Informational Forum 

March 2, 2012
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Your Voice with Senator Ranzenhofer - March 1

An update from the State Capitol for residents of the 61st Senate District in another edition of Your Voice with Senator Ranzenhofer.

March 2, 2012
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Finger Lakes Region Can Take Pride in Accomplishments of Coaches Coughlin and Boeheim

Throughout my life, I have been very proud to have been born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region.  Growing up here and educated in our local schools, I have always held a deeply-felt pride in our community. That pride only intensified after graduating high school, and attending two outstanding universities right here in our region- Cornell and Syracuse.

March 2, 2012
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Details emerge on possible redistricting amendment

An editorial by The Empire talks about the discussed ammendment to the constitution that would bring about change to the redistricting process. Michael Gianaris and other critics, however, point out that the proposed ammendment would still allow legislatures to have final say, which defeats the purpose of redistricting reform.

The Times-Union’s Casey Seiler has a piece up today about the emerging details of a possible deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for a constitutional amendment to change the state’s redistricting process.

 

March 2, 2012
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Details emerge on possible constitutional change

Times Union reports on negotiations between the Governor, Assembly, and Senate for a possible constitutional ammendment that would create an independent redistricting body. Many believe the new ammendment will not keep legislatures from influencing the redistricting process, including Senator Gianaris, who believes that "if the final product still leaves the Legislature with the final say, we’ve achieved nothing.”

A possible constitutional change to New York’s redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state’s political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to the plan if the Assembly and Senate fail to pass it after two tries.

[...]

March 2, 2012
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Veto the map, Gov. Cuomo

Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News that calls out the current redistricting proposal for being blatantly partisan and urges Governor Cuomo to veto any redistricting bill proposed by the legislature.

About two years ago, I felt the same way as most New Yorkers — our state government was dysfunctional, self-serving and an embarrassment. Along with a group of like-minded reformers, I decided to do something about it, forming New York Uprising, an advocacy effort to change the way legislative and congressional district lines are drawn.

 

Our goal, simply, was to return power to the people.

 

March 2, 2012
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Senator Kennedy Honors L. Nathan Hare, Community Action Organization for Dedicated Service to WNY

As African American History Month comes to a close, Senator Tim Kennedy honored a local man who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for men and women throughout Western New York and New York State. Kennedy sponsored a resolution honoring L. Nathan Hare for his dedicated service to Western New York. Hare leads the Community Action Organization of Erie County, an organization that works every day to prevent and combat poverty in our community. 

March 1, 2012
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Senator John Bonacic Meets with Monticello Native

Senator John Bonacic met with Monticello native, Bobbijo McCauley, a fourth year graphic design student at FIT during SUNY’s Discovery Expo in Albany. Bobbijo and Senator Bonacic discussed Bobbijo’s project which was on display as well as her internship with MTV’s on-air design department.

February 29, 2012
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Don't make bad deal for bad maps

Newsday reports that a compromise suggested to the Governor that would validate the proposed redistricting maps, in exchange for promises to reform the process by 2022, would not fix the current redistricting problems and should not be considered.

Several observers of the once-in-a-decade redistricting of the State Senate and Assembly, including former Attorney General Robert Abrams and the nonpartisan good-government group Citizens Union, called on the governor yesterday to compromise on the new lines in exchange for a state constitutional amendment taking this process out of the hands of the legislature -- for the next round, in 2022.

February 29, 2012
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A farce, by any other name

An editorial written by Times Union highlights the degree to which New York's redistricing process is flawed, pointing to the fact that the proposed lines were so partisan, court judges were forced to intervene.

There may not be enough bad words in a thesaurus to fully describe the state Legislature’s handling of redistricting. But a court decision on Monday to take over the drafting of congressional lines in New York speaks volumes about how badly this state’s self-interested lawmakers have failed (see: completely, utterly, dismally).

 

February 29, 2012
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SQUADRON ANNOUNCES SWIMMING POOL AT BBP THIS SUMMER

Squadron, Colleagues Secured Pool As Part of Agreement to Complete Park, Reduce Housing

BROOKLYN -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron welcomed the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation's board of directors' approval of the design and installation of a pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer. Senator Squadron and Assemblymember Millman, supported by Councilmembers Levin and Lander, secured the pool for at least five summers as part of their August 2011 agreement to move the park forward and reduce housing. 

"We were so pleased to secure this pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park - and this summer, families can dive right in! Brooklyn Bridge Park has already made waves, and this pool is certain to make a splash," said Senator Squadron. "A pool and other active recreation are critical to the long-term success of Brooklyn Bridge Park for the next five summers and beyond. I look forward to working with BBPC and my colleagues to make this and other active recreation permanent parts of the park."

February 29, 2012
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Cuomo must demand a permanent gerrymandering ban — or else

NY Daily News wrote and article about redistricting, saying that the Governor should enact reform that would put an end to gerrymandering.

Gov. Cuomo holds the ultimate weapon in the battle against gerrymandering — his threatened veto of district maps drawn in ridiculously partisan fashion by the Legislature.

 

He must void the absurd boundaries drawn by the Assembly and Senate and turn map -making over to the courts — except in the unlikely event that lawmakers radically alter their work and establish long-term reforms.

 

As things stand, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ Republicans conspired in drawing districts with grossly uneven populations that maximize incumbent protection.

February 29, 2012
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SQUADRON, HSS SECURE CLOTHING DONATIONS FOR LES FIRE VICTIMS

Family Still In Need of Donations

NEW YORK -- Yesterday evening, State Senator Daniel Squadron's office and Henry Street Settlement presented the victims of last week's fire at 388 Pearl Street with a donation of three large bags of clothing. Senator Squadron's office worked with Henry Street Settlement and the Smith Houses Tenant Association to secure the clothing donation and ensure that it got to the victims of the fire.

February 29, 2012
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SQUADRON, ELECTEDS TO CITY: WHY WERE NYPD PUBLIC HOUSING OFFICERS REDEPLOYED TO OWS, OTHER NON-NYCHA OPERATIONS?

Electeds: NYCHA Pays Over $70 Million to NYPD For Dedicated Officers, Should Be Compensated When Officers Taken Away

NEW YORK – State Senator Daniel Squadron and his East Village colleagues in government have asked the City to provide clarity on the dedicated New York Police Department officers that are assigned to public housing developments but have recently been redeployed to other unrelated operations, such as Occupy Wall Street.

In 1994, the New York City Housing Authority and the City reached a memorandum of understanding that requires NYCHA to pay the NYPD for ongoing law enforcement services for NYCHA residents through "Police Service Areas" (PSAs). Currently, NYCHA pays over $70 million a year to the NYPD for these “special police services,” making it the only residential landlord in the City that is required to pay for police protection.

However, both NYCHA and PSA officers report that the dedicated officers have been regularly redeployed to non-NYCHA operations, taking critical protection away from public housing developments that need it most.

February 27, 2012
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