The high level convictions of Elected Officials in past years have proven that we must make substantial ethics reforms in New York in order to restore the trust of the people. These reforms must be comprehensive - touching on conflicts of interest, financial disclosure, transparency, accountability, and enforcement. We must remove special interests and self-interest from controlling and influencing government at the expense of the people. Our legislators must put our communities and the individuals they represent first.
I am advocating the following reforms as a starting point:
- Banning or severely limiting outside employment (or self-employment) income of legislators without increasing salaries. Most outside income is currently earned in professions and industries that inherently breed conflicts of interests.
- Closing the LLC loophole which allows donors to greatly surpass campaign contribution limits.
- Independent redistricting that will end political gerrymandering and encourage competitive elections.
- Increased penalties for violations of ethics rules by public officials.
- Forfeiture of pensions and benefits for any public official convicted of corruption.
- The expansion and enforcement of the prohibition of campaign contributions for personal use.
- Increased resources to JCOPE, the Board of Elections and law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute corruption and ethics violations.
- Stricter disclosure laws including but not limited to:
- Mandatory disclosure and recusal on any conflict of interest that presents a direct or indirect pecuniary interest for a legislator.
- Disclosure of referral sources from lobbyists, attorneys or other professionals.
- Disclosure of referrals to lobbyists, attorneys or other professionals.
- Create an ethical obligation for Public Officials to report violations of NYS ethics rules and suspected public corruption.
TRAFFIC & SAFETY
Transportation & Traffic Safety
As a leader in the Parkside Community Association and Scajaquada Corridor Coalition I have been a constant advocate for improving transportation and traffic safety. Our aging and outdated infrastructure throughout Western New York necessitates that we confront these issues proactively.
As a NYS Senator I would advocate for:
- Replacing and improving aging infrastructure.
- Increasing multi-modal transportation and smart growth in our communities.
- Implementing traffic calming redesigns which improve safety for all roadway users including pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles.
- Improving rail hazardous substance safety measures and increasing quiet zones.
- Expanding NFTA metro.
- Support ridesharing initiatives.
- Reducing environmental impact related to transportation.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & SMALL BUSINESSES
Small businesses are the driving force of our economy and a large source of organic, sustainable growth in our communities. They make up nearly 98% of all businesses in the U.S. and account for 63% of net new jobs. It is small businesses that provide our communities with good paying jobs and stable economic development. We must make it easier to start and succeed in business.
NYS must support small businesses—especially in upstate New York:
- Support and incentivize localized procurement and “shop local” initiatives.
- Reduce the tax burden on small businesses.
- Streamline regulatory process and intra-government agency communication.
- Create small business roundtables throughout the district to facilitate communication on initiatives to help our businesses.
- Support innovative and effective work force development programs.
- Support innovative and effective entrepreneurial programs.
After speaking with parents and educators across the district, it is apparent that improving education for our children is a top priority for all of our district residents. While my husband and I have not yet been blessed with children, and we have not personally experienced these troubles, I have heard from parents of the many struggles their children face in our overly tested and crowded classrooms. As our senator, I will fight for the very best in funding and resources for the families of this district.
As NYS Senator I would advocate for:
- The establishment of community schools in more of our neighborhoods. These schools provide important services to students and their families, leading to greater success.
- Reduced class sizes, which have been proven to have a positive impact on classroom results. Studies have shown that smaller class sizes produce better results than increasing the hours of the school day or extending the school year.
- Advocate for permanent fixes to New York’s failed educational assessments and teacher evaluations. Linking school funding to test scores does nothing to help struggling schools which face a widely different set of challenges than high performing schools.
- Opposition to the tuition tax credit bill and school voucher plans that would divert hundreds of millions of dollars from already underfunded public schools. These policies will result in a tax loophole that won’t benefit the average taxpayer and do nothing to strengthen our educational system.
While cleaning up Albany has been a pillar of my campaign, we also need to make sure we are cleaning up things here at home as well. It is uncomfortable for us to admit that the beach closings and contaminants in our waterways that we experience on a regular basis are in large part from human sewage. This is not a problem we can afford to sit on any longer and I am offering a plan with real solutions. That is why I proposed my CleanNYWater initiative which proposes:
- Recommending an amendment to the New York State Smart Growth law to mandate analysis on sewer infrastructure.
- Creating short term sites such as retention ponds and additional basins to keep excess sewage out of our drinking water.
- Developing a financial mechanism for communities struggling with CSO issues to assist in financing investment in new sewer systems.