What makes you qualified to be an Assembly member?I have a strong passion for public service. I possess the intellectual curiosity to pursue detailed information on important issues and the ability to focus my energy. I have an outgoing personality and a sense of humor combined with a strong desire to get things done.
What are the three most pressing issues in the district?The impact of overdevelopment combined with rising real estate costs are driving people and essential services out, such as: affordable housing and access to affordable food. At the same time, the sense of community is eroded making it less of a neighborhood. The growing population of families is causing a greater need for school seats. Again the cost of real estate is limiting the kinds of schools that can be constructed, so vital parts like a gym or auditorium or outside space is sacrificed. In the park-starved neighborhoods of the Village (East to West), SoHo and Tribeca, open space is at a premium. Increased development brings more people to our communities seeking recreational outlets. In addition, we face large numbers of visitors utilizing our scarce open space.
What is your plan for dealing with gridlock in Albany?On some issues, like reproductive freedom, there is no option but to change the people who oppose basic rights for women’s self- determination. So some of the plan is helping more women get elected. In addition, I believe that compromise, on issues that don’t involve basic principles of fairness and civil rights, is possible and so working across the aisle can and has worked. Maintaining an open dialogue and building relationships can change the ability to get things done.
What book has influenced you the most?“Wilderness Warrior” by Douglas Brinkley.
Jim FourattWhat makes you qualified to be an Assembly member?My over 40 years of community service has given me leadership skills and experience, from the 60’s anti-war movement leadership, co-founder of Yippies, etc. Bring present all four nights of the Stonewall Rebellion and more importantly co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front in 1969 and the 40-year struggle for equal protection under the law. My union activism as an elected rank and file member in Actors Equity. My cultural instigation, well-documented historically by supporting experimentation artists in the pop culture world. My constituent activism on local District 66 issues – founding member, Coalition to Save St Vincents, Occupy the Pipeline (fracking in West Village).
What are the three most pressing issues in the district?Accountability of our elected officials, including transparency on critical issues before rather than after action is taken by city or state government. Small business red lining by banks and the lack of any form of commercial rent control which would protect small business from disappearing. Protection of older residents living in rent regulated apartments from harassment. The privatizing of public space and the impact on infrastructure from developers (NYU expansion, Trinity Square and plans like St John’s proposal and the fallout of the very flawed air rights bill Glick is responsible for passing). Making sure taxes on business an middle class are fair and that corporations and wealthy pay their fair taxed. FAIR is the operative word, and more transparency on both zoning and waterfront issues prior to passage. Finally, a full-service hospital, real affordable housing across the class lines, affordable supermarkets, transportation and schools schools schools. Questioning the idea that public parks should be self funded.
What is your plan for dealing with gridlock in Albany?The only way to deal with the mess in Albany is: to wake up constituents that Albany doesimpact on their daily life by engaging the public on critical issues through town halls and social media before any votes are taken; to unite and collaborate with other elected state legislature members (and yes there are those folk in Albany ) for real ethics and procedural reform that will end the stranglehold of three men in a room having all the power over the legislature; to work with on real solutions to environmental issues; fair taxes for all and home rule which to me is critical to moving forward for New York.
What book has influenced you the most?Three I go back to, to get inspiration: “Conversations with Audre Lord,” Barbara Smith’s “The Truth Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom,” and John C. Culver’s “American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace.” Lord is almost a daily inspiration on how to be true to self and true to change.