- Why are you running for State Assembly?
- How do you feel about the 2nd Amendment?
- How do you feel about Bail Reform?
- How do you feel about the SAFE Act?
- How do you feel about the legalization of marijuana?
- What issues mean the most to you in politics?
- I don't vote Democrat, why should I vote for you?
- How can we improve Chautauqua Lake?
- How can you help our school districts regarding COVID-19?
- How are you going to address the irresponsible landlord issue in our county?
- How will you address poverty in our area?
- What are your thoughts on the constant criticism of Governor Cuomo?
- What can be done about the drug problems in the area?
- What can you do about tenant laws that protect the tenants and not the landlords?
- What will you do to help the LGBTQ+ community, especially if they are in danger or need resources?
- How will you support working citizens with disabilities ?
To put it simply, I’m working class, I always have been. I’ve lived paycheck-to-paycheck. I’ve had to make the grueling decision of paying my rent or buying groceries. I know what it feels like to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel only for your “check engine” light to come on. Isn’t that a better representation of the American people instead of your standard politician? How can we expect anyone to fight for the little man if they’ve never been the little man? I care about Chautauqua County, this is my home. The people of this county deserve honest, transparent, and respectful representation.
I’m pro-Second Amendment. I grew up in a pro-gun household. My father has hunted my entire life, he still does. We went to shooting ranges often when I was younger.
I remember when I was around 10, my dad sat down with me and carefully showed me one of his rifles. I will never forget what he told me. He said, "Never joke around. And never, ever, point a gun at any person or animal, unless you intend to kill it." I remember I responded, "But dad, I'd never want to kill anything." And he said "Exactly. That's how serious this is."
My father raised me to be a responsible gun-owner. Being a gun-owner requires knowledge and respect. They’re a dangerous tool, and all gun-owners need to honor the seriousness of this. I will be the voice for responsible gun-owners in Albany. This includes advocating for hunters/farmers and providing education for well-trained ownership and self-protection to all.
Bail reform had the best-of intentions. Unfortunately, the execution is poor. The point was to combat poverty -- releasing individuals who couldn’t afford bail. Currently, we're seeing the immediate release of some individuals who should not be released. Bail reform should have concentrated on the Judges of NY State. It should have focused on funding, resources, and information to allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis. Instead, bail reform has completely removed a Judge's discretion. Bail reform needs drastic adjustments.
The SAFE Act was implemented to stop these horrific mass shootings, and we can all agree that’s top priority. I find the SAFE Act to be overly broad. I would like to amend the SAFE Act based on feedback from responsible gun-owners. We should find a good balance between safety, protection, and freedom. We should make it impossible for unstable people to commit mass shootings, but, we should find a way for responsible gun-owners to feel their rights are respected.
I support the legalization of marijuana. We should consider the possible economic benefits. The manufacturing of hemp, specifically. Additionally, discussion of legalization needs to include justice reform. A lot of people are currently incarcerated for the possession/sale of marijuana, and a lot of these inmates happen to be People of Color. If we’re going to legalize marijuana, we also need to expunge the records of those who were jailed for marijuana-related crimes.
I will never vote in favor of any type of legislation that includes the degradation or disenfranchisement of the people. You deserve wonderful work benefits. You deserve extensive and affordable healthcare. You deserve lower taxes. You deserve more job opportunities. You deserve more money. You deserve every chance to succeed. My entire goal is to improve the quality of life for the people of Chautauqua County.
Cleaning and restoring Chautauqua Lake needs to be a multipronged approach, with all efforts working together. We need a serious lake management plan, which includes reducing the nutrient load in our lake, sensible herbicide treatment, and effective weed harvesting. I will advocate for funding in Albany to clean up Chautauqua Lake and ensure all future generations can enjoy it.
It is essential that we adapt to COVID-19 guidelines to provide better state support. With absolute certainty, teachers must be consulted when discussing how schools will operate going forward. We need to start making accommodations so our children can stay safe while learning, and teachers won’t be putting their lives at risk. This is not a situation we can rush into without all the facts. I know our school districts are working hard to prepare, we need to give them as much assistance on the state level as possible.
Providing better care and support for tenants is an important component of my campaign. I will be proposing legislation to address the problematic issues we often see in Chautauqua County. My legislation will include prohibiting owners from living excessively far from their properties, stricter guidelines on building code violations, and time limits for necessary repairs when surroundings are uninhabitable.
When I was working and putting myself through school, I was utilizing government assistance. It helped me put food on the table. Those in our community who utilize this assistance are often shamed, there is a stigma associated with government benefits. Simply put, we all need a helping hand at times. Our area faces an extremely high poverty rate. At the state level, we must provide programs that give people a leg up towards self-sufficiency. I would like to work closely with the community to find solutions, since I have firsthand experience. My plans also include restoring easy access to food markets and receiving additional funding via grant programs.
As your Assemblyperson, will I agree with everything Governor Cuomo does? No. But I certainly won’t let this inhibit me from collaboration, proposing new legislation, or protecting the constituents of Chautauqua County. When constant attack of leadership outweighs progress, the people suffer. We absolutely need to stop putting partisan politics above people. As your Assemblyperson, I would like to be a strong voice in Albany for the citizens of Chautauqua County. I believe my unique blend of ideologies will bring progress. I wish to work with our Governor, to highlight our issues and advocate for a different approach regarding our rural areas.
Can any of us truly say we do not know someone who has struggled with addiction? We have to start by removing the stigma. We need to see the humanity in others. If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with opioid addiction -- please attend a Narcan training class. You will learn how to administer Narcan and they will provide Narcan to take home. My legislation proposal contains strengthening the prosecution for Fentanyl and advocating for more funding regarding outpatient therapies and peer-to-peer support groups. If you have any questions, please reach out to me and I will provide appropriate resources.
I would like to propose legislation that will expedite the eviction process in severe circumstances (extreme property damage, unsuitable cleanliness/hygiene conditions, etc.). Tenants rights do need to be protected, but, in these extreme circumstances there is a need to quickly remove the individuals from the property. We need to assist the responsible landlords who are not at fault and are facing unfortunate circumstances.
Please call 911 if you are facing an emergency. The Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline is available (1-800-724-0461) if you are experiencing a personal crisis. Evergreen Health and the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County are available resources for the LGBTQ+ community. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are facing discrimination or harassment, please contact me. I am here for you. I will listen and help find a solution.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s how easy we transitioned from “working at the office” to “working from home”. These adjustments can be made for working people who need assistance. As your Assemblyperson, I will advocate for those with disabilities, to ensure proper work accommodations while maintaining workplace productivity.