Close to 400 people, including prominent community leaders and elected officials, packed into Torah Emes Hall in Flatbush on Wednesday, February 13 to attend the inauguration of Senator Simcha Felder who was elected in a decisive victory in the 17th Senate District race.
Led by Master of Ceremonies Nachum Segal, the event began with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance performed by 19-year-old Evan Dweck, who initially met Senator Felder through the Special Children’s Center.
The overflow crowd heard remarks from Rabbi Nosson Scherman, the general editor of Artscroll/Mesorah Publications. Rabbi Scherman shared his personal reflections about the Senator, beginning from the time he was Simcha’s principal at the Yeshiva Karlin Stolin of Borough Park.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Leon Ruchelsman, a long-time friend of the Senator, performed the swearing-in ceremony.
New York City Comptroller John Liu; Assemblyman Dov Hikind; Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein; and Councilman David Greenfield also addressed those assembled.
In his address to the audience, Senator Felder reviewed his many prior legislative achievements, and spoke enthusiastically and emphatically about his plans going forward.
“More must be done to help ease the yeshiva and parochial school tuition crisis, whether through tax credits or vouchers,” the Senator said. “It is impossible for families to survive under the present conditions.”
Senator Felder also committed himself to addressing school transportation costs and concerns facing families. “We can’t allow over a million school children to be held hostage by the unions who are more concerned about their own pockets than about the safety of our children,” he said. “Privatizing school bus service will save parents and the City loads of money.”
Among Senator Felder’s legislative priorities is sponsoring City Council Speaker Quinn’s Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit legislation. Currently, the City only provides a child care tax credit to middle-class families earning less than $30,000 a year. This legislation will give families earning up to $150,000 a tax credit toward their child care costs.
“These are but a few of the initiatives I intend to pursue,” the Senator concluded. “I look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of all New Yorkers.”