Richard N. Gottfried, Democratic/Working Families
What three things do you most want to get done in the state legislature during the next two years?
1. Increase the affordability and accessibility of health care for all New Yorkers. Part of this effort is to Advance the New York Health Act (my single-payer bill) closer to enactment to establish a universal health care system in which being enacted New Yorkers pay for coverage based on income without being subject to skyrocketing premiums and deductibles and restricted provider networks.
2. Protect and strengthen tenants’ rights to their homes and protect and strengthen the rent laws.
3. Remove unnecessary restrictions in New York’s medical marijuana program to make it more accessible to more patients.
Do you think you will be able to work with the opposition party? How?
I have worked with the opposition party or people who disagree with me (including in the executive branch) throughout my career, including on landmark legislation like Child Health Plus, the Hudson River Park Act, and the Compassionate Care Act (NY’s medical marijuana law). Every year in the NYS Legislature, Democrats and Republicans do work together to achieve consensus and reach agreement on the State budget and over a thousand new pieces of legislation enacted every year. Of course, there are many issues on which we disagree, and I believe New York would be a lot better off if we had a working Democratic majority in the State Senate.
What is your favorite TV show, and why?
“West Wing” reruns on Netflix. Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue explains progressive values and complex issues superbly well.
Joseph A. Maffia, Republican/Reform
Services and facilities for Homeless. The 75th Assembly district is in dire need of improved services and facilities for the homeless. The district includes numerous tourist attractions and is one with a significant number of new high end rental and co-operative development without adequate facilities for the homeless.
• Increase funding for shelter programs.
• Increase funding for homeless services such as affordable quality housing, mental health services, childcare, foster care.
• Address deficiencies in existing infrastructure and facilities to improve the quality of life in homeless shelters.
Education: NYC and especially the 75th AD require additional study and funding for new Pre-K, Elementary, middle and high schools. The funding would include creating new and expanding existing schools including additional funding for charter schools. The overall school system needs reform.
Stopping Mayor De Blasio: Mayor De Blasio’s poor performance has set back NYC and our relationship with law enforcement.
My experience while serving on professional standard setting committees, non-profit boards and Community Board 5 has taught me the skills necessary to work across the aisle in order to achieve a common goal and get things accomplished. As the minority party in the assembly, I want to tackle the culture of corruption by pushing for term limits and use my experience to getting bills passed by working across the aisle.
I look forward to working with the majority party to continue lifting the cap on charter schools, increase funding for public schools, cutting personal and corporate taxes and bringing jobs to the district. My professional experience as a CPA would be helpful to streamline the tax code, eliminate waste and red tape and reduction regulation which will all help bring jobs to the district.
Many of the News shows such as PBS News Hour and Meet the Press are my favorite. Perry Mason re-runs has recently caught my eye. I find the drama fascinating and like law and order it is split into two parts – the story is told and then the court case.