Kevin Thomas has won a battle, literally. At 36, Kevin had stiff competition and formidable adversaries before being elected to the prestigious New York senate. He contested from the sixth district and his stance against police high-handedness saw the police unions turning against him during the campaign.
Kevin, a native of Ranni in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district, was first elected to the senate in 2018. The term of the New York senate is two years.
Kevin, a lawyer by profession, is spearheading police reforms. He is working on the New York Privacy Act which empowers citizens to have control over the use of private citizens' data by certain agencies.
Kevin Thomas shares his thoughts on a variety of topics in a chat with Manorama:
Q: The 2020 election was a telling in terms of your career as a politician, especially with a million-dollar campaign against you. How would you sum it all up?
I am deeply honoured to be re-elected by the residents of the 6th Senate District. Following a very close election in 2018, I am thrilled to have won with a larger margin this year, and I know that is because of my hard work and fight for this community, Long Island, and all of New York State. Despite the fact that New York City special interest groups invested millions in negative ad campaigns against me, the voters saw through the nasty rhetoric, and my Nassau County colleagues and I were successful in securing our re-elections. I look forward to continuing my efforts to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Long Island and New York State, and I thank the voters for their support.
Q: Your experience as a state senator and chairman of the Committee on Consumer Protection...
I was elected in 2018 to represent the 6th District in Nassau County, becoming the first Indian-American in New York history to serve in the state senate. I currently serve as chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee and sits on the Judiciary, Finance, Banking, Ageing, Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committees. As chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee, I have been the driving force behind several groundbreaking efforts to strengthen consumer protections and safeguards, including the New York Privacy Act, which aims to make New York the national leader in consumer data protection. In the senate, I successfully championed legislation to protect consumers’ private information from exploitation, expand economic opportunities for Long Island families, and combat the growing student loan debt crisis.
Q: How does the senate work in the States?
The New York State Senate is the upper house of the New York State Legislature. Its 63 members represent New York State and its more than 19 million citizens. The job of the senate is to work with the Assembly and the Governor to enact, amend or repeal statutes which make up the body of laws by which we are governed. This involves drafting, discussing and approving bills and resolutions. The Legislature, through its varied functions, serves as a check upon the executive authority of the Governor and helps ensure that the best interests of the State’s citizens are legislatively represented.
Q: Back in Kerala, we are rejoiced over your win. Tell us a bit about your roots...
I was born in Dubai and immigrated to the United States when I was 10 years old with my parents and sister. My parents are from Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. We still have lots of family members living in Kerala and they are incredibly excited about my victory. My parents never forgot nor took for granted the freedom and opportunities the United States gave us. Their experience motivated me to be an active participant in our democracy and to give back through public service. Prior to my election, I served as an attorney and civic leader who spent his career fighting for families across New York State. As an appointee of the US Commission on Civil Rights to the New York State Advisory Committee, I worked tirelessly to advance civil rights and expand opportunities for all New Yorkers. I live in Levittown with my wife, Rincy, my two-year-old daughter Layla, and our dog, Sirius.