South Salem, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham hosted a virtual “Coffee and Conversation” gathering today on a video conferencing website, which provided the more than 50 participants an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas and opinions on a wide range of subjects.
“The challenges we are all facing during the coronavirus pandemic make it essential that residents are able to hear from their public officials—and each other—while also knowing more about whatever services they may need,” said Harckham. “This ‘Coffee and Conversation’ achieved this. I truly appreciated hearing from the participants at today’s event, and will make sure to follow-up on any problems or issues that were voiced. People are looking for help and answers to their questions, and this is a good way to hear from them first-hand.”
Harckham has been hosting his monthly “Coffee and Conversation” gatherings since taking office in January 2019. As usual, he began the virtual event, which took place on Zoom, with an update on work in the State Senate. He also reported on the recently enacted 2020-2021 State Budget and problems arising from revenue shortfalls caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Other issues he addressed included absentee voting in upcoming elections, the backlog of unemployment insurance claims and the shutdown of Indian Point’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor.
The topics brought up by the “Coffee and Conversation” participants touched on testing for coronavirus in nursing homes and assisted care facilities; ensuring telephonic care for behavioral health clients; school budget and board elections; support for local transportation; DACA protections; access to online resources; vaccinations; public health safety after businesses are re-opened; grants to municipalities; and resilient infrastructure improvements covered in the new $3 billion environmental bond.
New York State Assemblymember Sandy Galef and Town of Lewisboro Supervisor Peter Parsons joined the participants in the event.
Harckham noted that he will probably host another “Coffee and Conversation” within the next few weeks.
A full video of the “Coffee and Conversation” gathering can be found on Harckham’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/SenatorPeteHarckham).