Common Cause and the Let New York Vote coalition sent our questionnaire to all State Senate candidates running in a primary in 2018.

We asked candidates in seventeen districts across the state for their position on a range of voting rights issues. We also asked candidates for their position on issues young voters identified as important to them.

Below is a list of all primary candidates running to be the Democratic or Republican nominee for their state senate district. You can access the answers from the candidates that replied by clicking on their name.

Our goal is to share this information with voters so they can make an informed decision at the ballot box on Thursday, September 13th.

Senate District 11

DEM: Tony Avella (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: No
Automatic voter registration: No
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: No

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Vote accordingly

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Change affordable housing AMI criteria

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

Stop arrests in court

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

More needs to be done

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Legalize Sports Betting

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Worker harder

DEM: John Liu – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Propose and advocate for legislation.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Reform 421a subsidies to require significant construction of affordable housing.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes; other states already had such a system even before ACA.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

State officials and employees should focus on upholding state laws, not federal laws. The founding fathers intentionally devised a system of division of power (among levels of government).

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes; climate change is real and everyone has the responsibility to leave the planet in no worse shape than they got it, or in better shape.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Minimum wage should be no less than the rate required such that a person working full-time at minimum wage would no longer be living below the poverty line. The minimum wage as set in current law probably falls somewhat short of that standard.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

To start off, the outstanding balance of the CFE judgement should be immediately enacted in the state budget.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Loosen up a bit – may not be the end of the world to just try a quick drag of mary jane.

GOP: Simon Minching – No Response

GOP: Vickie Paladino – No Response

Senate District 13

DEM: Jose Peralta (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I co-sponsor all major voting reform bills and will equally support legislation to synchronize state and federal primary election dates. Confusion surrounding these separate dates undoubtedly plays into voter disengagement and discourages overall democratic participation.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

There are three significant actions the Legislature can take in the next session to protect renters and affordable housing in New York State. Most importantly and most significantly, we must pass legislation I co-sponsor to prohibit the removal of apartments from rent stabilization following a vacancy, and to re-regulate apartments deregulated since 1993 – bringing them back to 2014 rates. Secondly, we must pass legislation I co-sponsor to prohibit rent increases of 20% or more following a vacancy in a rent regulated/stabilized apartment. Lastly, we must pass legislation to repeal and reform the major capital improvement (MCI) rent adjustment and amend existing rental adjustments for individual apartments, to prevent unjust and overinflated adjustments to rent that does not correlate with the completed improvement. A comprehensive push to enact these solutions is the most effective way to combat the housing crisis in New York City and the State as whole.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I cosponsor the NY Health Act, which would establish a universal, state-run, single-payer system, funded by a graduated payroll tax that would substitute the thousands of dollars in premiums paid by working families. I also support the Governor’s proposal to codify the ACA into state law.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The presence of ICE in our courtrooms, in addition to the deportation of immigrants with no criminal background, is unacceptable and runs contrary to our values. New York State, and state government more generally, is the first line of defense against these kinds of activities. I am proud to have co-sponsored and worked on a bill to remove ICE from courts and prohibit arrests of individuals in courthouses without proper judicial warrants (S8925 Alcantara), as has been the case. This practice is intentionally carried out by ICE in order to instill fear in the immigrant community, and fray the trust between local law enforcement/government administration and our immigrant communities – making them less safe and discouraging them from participating in our economy and society. Our goal should be to limit and deter ICE activities and arrests as much as possible at the state level, which is why, in addition, I carry legislation to officially designate New York as a sanctuary state.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

While I am supportive and committed to New York State’s renewable energy goals such as the Renewable Energy Vision (REV) and the Clean Energy Standard (CES), we can do much more. First, we can pass the NYS Climate and Community Protection Act (S7971A), of which I am a co-sponsor. This legislation creates an ambitious framework for transitioning our state’s energy supply to renewable energy, sets ambitious greenhouse gas emission limits, and establishes the New York State Climate Action Council to issue recommendations and provide oversight to ensure that the state’s energy goals are met. As climate change continues to ravage the globe, we must make bold investments in our energy grid to ensure that we both meet and hopefully exceed our renewable energy goals.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

While enacting a $15 minimum wage was an important step towards economic justice for working people, more can and must be done. First, we need to expand the $15 wage phase in statewide, bringing all parts of the state under the same timetable and enact the $15 wage as soon as possible rather than at the currently agreed upon schedule. Second, New York should consider indexing its minimum wage to inflation, in order to more accurately calculate a ‘living wage’, which was the original intent of the minimum wage when created. Third, we must strengthen and empower unions so that workers can collectively bargain with employers for wages, benefits, among other things. Moreover, I support the push to eliminate sub-par wage paid to food service workers, and bring them up to the state minimum wage of $15/hr like they deserve.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

New York spends the most money per pupil than any other state in the union, but in several cases, our schools in disadvantaged communities are neglected while well-to-do school districts receive a lion’s share of the funding. I was a strong supporter of the push to decouple teacher evaluations from standardized test scores, so that teachers can focus on educating our students. I support increased funding for the community schools initiative, and fully funding the Foundation Aid formula to help close the educational equity gap facing our K-12 students.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell my younger, 18 year-old self three things: engage more with people of different backgrounds and beliefs than yourself, never compromise on your values, and be open-minded and continue to help yourself and others grow and evolve.

DEM: Jessia Ramos – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Use every tool available to legislators from the bully pulpit to introducing and sponsoring legislation.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

First, repeal the Urstadt Law and give NYC back the control over regulating rent. We can trust City Government will get it right. In leiu of that, we must abolish MCI’s, preferential rent, vacancy decontrol and vacancy bonus.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes, I believe in single-payer health insurance run by the State as a non-profit.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The state should ban ICE from courts, hospitals, jails and all state properties. Our state government should act as a protector of all people in the state without interference or intimidation from ICE.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. We should be at the fore-front of changing the way we live and interact with our enviorment. We should be looking at and incentiving and/or regulating our bad practices in all aspects of our lives. Whether its from banning single-use plastic bags to construting clean buildings, we need to live diffrently.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

The current minimum wage law is not sufficient at the least. Removing from the conversation the word minimum and replacing with living is the first step. Any person working should not be in poverty. A living wage will hold greedy corporations accountable, raise the standard for others and create more economic wealth for all.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Reducing class sizes, bringing technology into the classrooms, making sure teachers have all the supplies needed for the school year and a robust and active engagement with parents at all socioeconomic levels to ensure buy-in.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Not to let so much social pressure get to me. Understanding the boundaries I have to make to be thoughtful and inclusive yet have time for myself to enjoy life.

Senate District 15

GOP: Slawomir Platta – No Response

GOP: Thomas Sullivan – No Response

Senate District 17

DEM: Simcha Felder (I) – No Response

DEM: Blake Morris – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

If elected, I will only vote to spend state/city resources on one primary per year.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Eliminate the vacancy bonus on rent stabilized apartments and end the preferential rent scheme. I would also reimpose rent-regulation on units built prior to 1980 in our cities.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I support the NY Health Act and a single-payer system.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The courts and all state office buildings should be off-limits to ICE agents.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, I believe the state needs to pass the Community and Climate Control Act.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

The $15 an hour increase should be implemented immediately.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

We need to fully fund all public schools equally so that youngsters in all communities are able to receive a high quality education regardless of where they live.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell my younger self that there is no place better to live and enjoy life than New York City.

Senate District 18

DEM: Martin Dilan (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Multiple primary dates cause confusion, deter voter participation and unnecessarily utilize taxpayer dollars. I will continue to push for consolidation of New York’s primary. However, we can all recognize that this issue has become a political football. I believe the most important thing I can do is to continue to push for a Democratic Majority in the State Senate so we can ignore politics and do what is right for New Yorkers.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

The single most significant thing that can be done next year to address the affordable housing crisis is elect a Democratic majority to the State Senate. As Rent Regulations are set to expire, a legislature with Democratic leadership in both houses can truly strengthen and expand rent protections for New Yorkers. Additionally, we must expedite the $200 billion state investment moved in 2017 – an allocation aimed at increasing affordable and supportive housing. Lastly, NYCHA is in dire need of investment and accountability. This is why I urged the Governor to declare a state of emergency at NYCHA and have advocated for $1 billion in capital investments in the last two budget cycles.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Absolutely, I will be supportive of using any tool in the toolbox. I have long argued that families need access to healthcare for two reasons. First and foremost, because healthcare is a right. You don’t have to be a member of a certain political party to know this, you only need to have a heart. Secondly, because it is economically practical to provide affordable access to preventative care, addressing issues before they manifest into larger, more costly concerns.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I believe the State’s role in this is with respect to procedures of local and state agencies that interact with undocumented immigrants. I believe we must pass the Liberty Act that would provide uniform guidance, protecting immigrant New Yorkers and creating a more fair state. Where we don’t have the power to outright stop ICE, we don’t need to help them.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

I believe it is incumbent upon New York to do everything it can to address Climate Change. We certainly cannot count on the Federal Administration to take action. Climate Change is the single greatest threat we face today. New York has taken action establishing greenhouse gas reductions by 2030. However, there is more we can do. We must divest/move away from fossil fuel energy generation while supporting green initiatives. We must invest in transit systems statewide. The State should consider prohibiting the sale of fossil fuel only vehicles in NY in the future. Also, provide greater incentives for purchasing of electric vehicles while deterring the continued use of gas vehicles with greater registration fee scales for polluting vehicles.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

I supported the immediate increase in the minimum wage to $15. If it had been we would have a better idea of the impact of the increase and could possibly better answer this question. Without that, I will say, there is much we can do outside of the minimum wage to help struggling families. Housing and healthcare affordability come to mind. Improving schools in struggling communities so all children have the opportunity to meet their full potential.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Just as each student is different, each school/community is as well. Schools cannot be treated in a cookie cutter fashion. Historically underserved and neglected communities need greater resources to uplift the student population. Additioanally, the expansion of community schools that offer services beyond a typical education is necessary.

As someone who served on the school board to improve educational opportunities for my children and their friends, I know the challenges educators face. We may not be able to reach every student in NY, but we can never say that we did not try to.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

This is not an easy one. I feel lucky to have lived such a rewarding life. As a young Puerto-Rican growing up in Williamsburg and Bushwick, I did not know what the future held for me.

Looking back, when I was 18, who would have known that my friendship with the girl down the block would have become the foundation for all the choices that led me to today? Certainly not myself.

I would tell younger Martin to trust in the wisdom and support of my belated wife Deb. Without her faith in me, I would not be who and where I am today. Deb was my Northstar in the night, a lighthouse in the storm and in every way, my better half.

So young Martin, my advice to you would be to slow down. Make time and cherish the moments you have with your loved ones, especially Deb.

DEM: Julia Salazar – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

As state senator, I will push for legislation to move the September state primary to June to align with the federal primary. Having two primaries suppresses voter turnout and damages our democracy.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

The single most significant thing that can be done – and that I would fight for – is universal rent control. Additionally, we must remove incentives for landlords to evict rent stabilized tenants; the best way to do that is to end vacancy decontrol.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes. Even if the ACA is not repealed, I support the New York Health Act to bring single-payer to New York and hope that New York can pave the way for a national Medicare for all system.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I think the State of New York should play an adversarial role in ICE’s attempt to arrest people. That means the state should affirmatively end any data-sharing arrangements with ICE, end any contracts with detention facilities that jail immigrants, litigate any instances in which ICE violates Constitutional laws – and, also, support the national movement to abolish ICE entirely.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation. We need a Green New Deal to shift as rapidly as possible to a post-fossil fuel economy. While I am running for a state-level office, I believe that addressing climate change will take a grassroots movement and that this movement can be built at all levels of government. I will demand that New York to take immediate action on climate change through infrastructure construction and regulation without waiting for the federal government to take the lead.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

$15/hour minimum wage is not sufficient for working class New Yorkers to maintain a dignified life in this city. I support two policies that would do more to ensure that New Yorkers are able to earn a living wage. First, vigorous support of labor unions. By extending the right to collective bargaining to all workers, including domestic workers and independent contractors, people in New York will have much greater access to real living wages. As State Senator I would find ways for the government to support union organizing drives at major employers to raise union density in New York more generally. I’d also fight to repeal the restrictive Taylor Law, which limits public sector unions’ ability to collectively bargain.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The problem with current K-12 education is that some students receive very high quality education while most do not. Therefore, resources need to be allocated to ensure that everyone has high quality public education available to them. One direct way to help is to add more teachers to public schools so that class sizes can shrink and more individualized support for students can increase. Another is to increase the amount of financial resources available to our schools by reforming New York State’s Foundation Aid formula. Working-class, majority-minority school districts are entitled to millions more in funding than they are currently receiving. Finally, resources should be allocated towards providing social services such as counseling in schools to support our children. In order for this to happen, we must the charter cap, so that our school system remains publicly governed and controlled by all of us.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell my 18-year-old self that the world is much more vulnerable to change – both good and bad – than you realize. That just because the adults around you do things a certain way it doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be done. Specifically, I would tell my 18-year-old self to trust the feeling of justice that is inside of me, but that feels unsafe to bring out because so many people seem comfortable accepting things as they are. And most of all, I would tell my 18-year-old self that it’s okay to fight for big things, because the way things change is not from the work of one person – but from many, many people working together. So that you don’t, as an individual, have to figure out every last detail in the world to be able to make meaningful change; you have to be in touch with your sense of justice and work together with as many people as possible to bring that sense into reality.

Senate District 20

DEM: Jesse Hamilton (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Once Democrats are in the majority in the Senate we will unify the State and Federal Primary Election dates.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We must strengthen rent laws by repealing vacancy decontrol, repealing the vacancy bonus, and ending preferential rents. We must also identify revenue streams that will subsidize the creation of affordable housing for both low-income and working- and middle-class families.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I support universal healthcare and a Medicare for All program in NYS.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

We must stand up to Trump’s racist and xenophobic policies. That is why I funded a $10 million program for legal aid to provide legal assistance to immigrant families.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, we should. Climate change and rising sea levels will be devastating to NYC and it’s suburbs which serve as the economic engine for our state.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

We should ensure that the minimum wage is indexed to inflation.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The state must comply with the Campsign For Fiscal Equity decision and fully fund our urban and rural schools that have systematically been shortchanged for years.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Always fight for what you believe in and always help those less fortunate. If you do those things you will live a life you can be proud of and leave the world a better place.

DEM: Zellnor Myrie – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

New York is among the worst states when it comes to voting rights. If elected, I would support legislation to hold the federal and state primaries on the same day. I also support automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration programs.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

With our rent laws up for renewal next year, New York finally has a chance to strengthen our rent regulations and tenant protections. If elected, I would end vacancy decontrol, which gives landlords an incentive to push out long-term residents and then hike up the rent. I would also close the “preferential rent” loophole, which has forced too many tenants to face unexpected and sudden rent increases. And I would repeal the Urstadt Law, so that after decades of landlord-friendly policies, New York City can finally strengthen its own rent regulations and tenant protections.

Increasing homeownership is also crucial to combating the displacement of Central Brooklyn’s communities by big real estate developers. I will champion measures that make it possible for working people to go from renting to owning their own homes. For example, New York must adopt policies that will support the construction of housing units for working people, such as funding community development financial institutions and increasing subsidies for mission-aligned construction projects.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Regardless of the status of the ACA, I support a single-payer state-run health insurance program.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

As the son of immigrants, this issue is very personal for me. ICE has no place in our courts, hospitals, or schools. Our state government should be working to make sure New York is a sanctuary for immigrants like my parents. That is why, as Central Brooklyn’s State Senator, I will fight for the Liberty Act, which would make New York a true sanctuary state. I also support the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented immigrants with the same access to tuition assistance for public universities that their classmates receive.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

We are not doing enough to address the impending crisis that climate change will fundamentally alter our coastline and have drastic environmental consequences across the State. Our planet’s climate is clearly changing, leading to greater seasonal variation and more extreme weather patterns. The time to act on climate change was decades ago, so we needed bold action yesterday. That’s why I support the OFF Act to move New York completely off fossil fuels by 2030.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

A $15 minimum wage is a good start but is far from a living wage. We should increase the minimum wage even more in the next legislative session and explore tying the minimum wage to the rate of inflation. We need to ensure that working people can support their families on a 40-hour work week.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The first thing that New York should do to ensure a quality public school education is comply with the court order to fully fund our NYC public schools. New York ranks 49th in the United States on equity of education spending. Too often, New York leaves low-income communities and students of color behind. The State owes New York City public schools $1.4 billion dollars but has yet to comply with the court order mandating that funding. The schools in my district alone are owed $36 million. If elected, I will fight to hold the state accountable and demand full and fair funding.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell myself to not to worry too much about being a “cool kid”. It was so easy back in high school to get really wrapped up in what people think about you, but if I would have known how little it would matter in a few years I wouldn’t have paid it any attention. Eventually, you grow up and move on with your life and none of that stuff even matters. I’m so happy with where I am in my life and everything I was worrying about when I was 18 just seems so distant from where I am at now.

Senate District 22

DEM: Andrew Gounardes (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I would introduce legislation to make one primary day for both state and congressional primaries because it is absurd in many ways including how it disturbs turnout and costs the state millions of dollars.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Foremost, we must repeal the Urstadt Law which allows upstate politicians who are in the pockets of the real estate lobby to have more control over our rent laws than NYC does. I strongly support rent regulation and believe we need to both preserve and build more affordable units. I’m interested in the outcome of the city’s pilot program to legalize basement apartments as a way to increase affordable housing. I also support using existing vacant land as sites for future development and building over rail yards and lines. Furthermore, I support using tax based incentive programs to create more affordable housing, but believe that the city and state should require more units of affordable housing per development and we also need to crack down on rent fraud, especially in the J-51 program, where many landlords are not stabilizing their units although they’re required do so.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes. I support universal healthcare and believe we need to pass the New York Health Act.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

We must do everything in our power to keep ICE agents out of our courthouses. Having ICE in our courthouses is a threat to justice and everyone’s public safety. No one in our community should be afraid to report crimes or seek justice in criminal, family, or civil court. Additionally the State should increase funding for the Immigrant Legal Defense Project to ensure all immigrants have access to representation. It is a discredit to our entire justice system that children are being forced to represent themselves in court. Lastly, I support the Liberty Act, which would limit the scope of local agencies’ ability to engage in information collection and sharing with immigration enforcement. This is a critical privacy measure that makes our communities safer by protecting the information of victims and witnesses of crime.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, New York is still behind on adopting resiliency and recovery measure that will safeguard against the effects of climate change like rising sea levels and increasing volatile weather- we are still not prepared for the next Superstorm Sandy. I’d like to see New York transform to a renewable energy based economy. For that to happen, I strongly support mass investment into research and adoption of alternative energy sources like solar and wind. This isn’t just good for the environment, this is good for our economy as well- not doing so is both dangerous and foolish.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Minimum wage laws are not enough, which is why I support a living wage, which is adjusted for inflation and market projections- so no one who works full-time has to live in poverty

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

One of my top two priorities when I get to Albany is to introduce an amendment to make New York the first state in the nation to constitutionally guarantee free, quality education from pre-kindergarten through college for every student so that funding for these vital initiatives will always be available and not subject to the political whims of Albany.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Do more to understand the world through other people’s eyes. Read more books, talk to more people, and travel to more places to see and experience how other people live down the street, across the city, and around the globe.

DEM: Ross Barkan – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I will stand up to the Republican state senators — who have no intention to support changes that increase voter turnout — and demand we return to a less confusing system when the primaries are on the same day. This is an easy fix that will do wonders in promoting democracy in our state.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We must renew and strengthen the rent regulations up for renewal in Albany next year. Repealing vacancy decontrol is a start. We need to move to a system of universal rent control where every low income renter in this city has a right to renew a lease and not get chased out of their home because rents are far too high. Housing needs to be a human right.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I am absolutely in favor of passing Assembly Member Gottfried’s New York Health Act that would ensure comprehensive health care for every New Yorker. This bill dies on the Senate floor because Republicans do not believe in healthcare for all. We need single-payer healthcare in New York.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

On the federal level, ICE needs to be abolished. Locally, we can stop cooperating with federal authorities, stop sharing NYPD fingerprints of immigrants with the feds, and get ICE out of the courthouses. We can legislate ICE out of the courthouses and we will. I also support driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants and vastly increased funding for legal services.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

It is essential New York acts as a leader to fight climate change. I have a five-part platform that addresses what I know New York needs to do save our environment, which includes divesting from fossil fuel companies, restricting dangerous overdevelopment, passing the Climate and Community Protection Act, and instituting a carbon tax.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Every single New Yorker must have the ability to live a healthy, fulfilling life, no matter who they are. We need more than a high minimum wage. We need a guaranteed access to housing and healthcare. These are human rights, not privileges. New York must do better.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Put simply, our education resources are improperly allocated, and more money must be secured for struggling schools in communities of color. New York City has the most segregated school system in the country, and the schools populated by communities of color do not get sufficient funding to do the incredibly challenging but absolutely essential work of teaching, mentoring, and guiding young people to adulthood.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Stand for something. Fight for the working class and poor. Have beliefs. Be yourself.

Senate District 23

DEM: Diane Savino (I) – No Response

DEM: Brandon Stradford – No Response

DEM: Jasmine Robinson – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

If elected, I will support any legislation that will combined both primaries for Congressional and State.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Passing legislation that will protect renters and home owners. I also believe repealing the Urstadt law will remove restrictions which prevents affordable rents.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes I believe everyone is entitled to affordable healthcare.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The State should protect the immigrants at interviews for green cards. Arresting undocumented immigrants at these interviews seems like entrapment.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

As a Staten Island resident, I witnessed the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. I support the Climate and Community Protection Act. Many communities in district 23 are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. It is imperative that the Climate and Community Protection Act is passed so we can implement stronger protections in case there is another Superstorm Sandy.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Fifteen dollars is not a sustainable wage. Most industries are suffering because they are cannot increase their payrolls. We need another solution which works for everyone across the board. We need to ensure that our businesses, especially small businesses, can afford the increase.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The State needs to fully fund our public schools. Our public schools need the resources to ensure our children can compete for a better tomorrow.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

You are on the right path. Continue being a leader and not a follower.

Senate District 30

DEM: Brian Benjamin (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Support legislation to move the primaries to the same day in June.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Protect rent regulated housing by ending g vacancy do you control, luxury the control, the predatory use of preferential rent, and unfair major capital improvements. We must also negotiate a rent freeze for rent stabilized and rent controlled

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The state has a responsibilities to defend all of its residents. New York State is a state built on the hard work of immigrants, and we must continue to support and nurture our immigrant communities if we want to continue our success .

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes – climate change is the greatest threat to our nation and our planet . New York can and should continue to lead the way in finding alternatives to fossil fuels.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

This is a great start, but we must also make sure that all New Yorkers have access to healthcare, food security, and decent affordable housing. this is a great start, but we must also make sure that all New Yorkers have access to healthcare, food security, and decent affordable housing

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Following the CFE ruling.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Work hard and stay focused!

DEM: Lashawn Henry – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I will propose legislature that will coordinate the congressional date with the state primary day to avoid confusion and all the extra cost that is associated with it

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Expand the supply of affordable housing by increasing subsidies and tax incentives to encourage developers to build.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Personally, I’m in favor of a single payer plan. However, we could expand the Medicare plan to provide universal coverage,

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The state should not provide any information to ICE regarding non documented persons who have been arrested.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Especially since under the current administration is abandoning its role and duty to protect us and future generations.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

No, this is not sufficent. The wages need to periodically increase based on the CPI plus so people can move up from basic income.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The charter schools need to be part of the answer. They need to be financed at the same rate as public schools. More flexibility on where students can enroll.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would have focused on Financial literacy education and investing in real estate creating generational wealth and also focus on technological skills and program to provide opportunities for my community

Senate District 31

DEM: Robert Jackson – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Help elect a real Democratic majority that is serious about enacting voting reforms including consolidation of primaries. It’s time for politicians to realize elections shouldn’t be designed to make it easier for themselves to retain power, but rather easier for voters to participate.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Have a progressive Democratic majority that will repeal vacancy decontrol.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes. Health care is a right, not a privilege. I will work hard to pass the NY Health Act.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

We should pass the Liberty Act making NY a sanctuary state. Unfortunately, this has been blocked from coming to a vote by the IDC-GOP alliance.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. With President Trump and his administration not only failing to lead, but totally denying the existence of climate change, strong local action to protect our environment is especially important. New York should be a leader in the conversion to renewable sources and the reduction in greenhouse emissions. This should include aggressively facilitating the siting of new wind energy projects; substantially increasing the use of solar power; and developing a long-term strategy to manage the effects of climate change. And we must pass the Climate and Community Protection Act which would mandate a NY State-wide shift to all-renewable energy by 2050, provide support for impacted communities and worker re-training, and raise funds for the needed investment from polluter fees. This has twice passed the Assembly, but been blocked by the GOP-IDC coalition in the Senate.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

While I worked hard to pass the minimum wage increase, unfortunately it was watered down by the GOP-IDC coalition. Here are four things we can do now to improve it: the law should include indexing to ensure that working families won’t fall behind again; it should get rid of the “sub­minimum” wage for tipped workers, so all workers can benefit; upstate workers should not have to wait nine years in some cases to see their hourly wage increase to $15; and it should give localities the right to raise their minimum wage without state approval.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

We must finally fully fund our public schools, and it’s shameful IDC members walked out of the Senate Chamber when they could have voted to do it. While improving education isn’t only about money, money is an important factor. It takes money to reduce class size, hire more teachers and guidance counselors, make sure that our children and teachers have the supplies and resources they need, create more community schools and do a better job identifying, educating and supporting students with special needs like dyslexia.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Young people can bring the change we need. We see it now in the push for common sense gun control. We saw it in the recognition of marriage equality. And we’ve seen it through history. So stay involved. Keep working. Never give up. You are the hope for the future.

DEM: Marisol Alcantara (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I support creating a single primary date for our federal, state, and local elections

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We need to maintain the rent stabilization laws without any further rollbacks, end vacancy decontrol and fix the preferential rent loophole.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I am a cosponsor of the New York Health Act and support creating a single payer system in New York.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I am the Senate sponsor of the Protect Our Courts Act, which would ban ICE from arresting people in our Courts

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, New York needs to do more to combat climate change and protect our residents from the dangers of higher sea levels and more intense climate. For this reason, I am a proud cosponsor of the Climate and Community Protection Act.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

We need to examine whether some of the sub-minimum wages that exist, and are used to lower worker wages. I support legislation to make car wash workers into minimum wage employees. We also need to finally give farmworkers equal labor rights.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Equity in our education system can be achieved by minimizing disparities in per pupil spending around the state and within school districts. In addition, as a State we must continue to combat generations of neglect by increasing funding for after-school program in historically disenfranchised communities of color.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would advise my 18 year old self to be willing to take more risks to see what the world offers

DEM: Thomas Leon – No Response

DEM: Tirso Pina – No Response

Senate District 34

DEM: Jeffery Klein (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I will work with both the both the Assembly and the Governor’s office as well as the needs of our federal representatives to work on negotiating a singular primary day. It is important we streamline and simplify our voting process in order to improve voter turn out.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We must continue to support and build affordable housing units – this is why I have always been an advocate for middle income housing units(such as the Mitchell-Lama program) and supporting NYCHA. It is important we provide affordable housing options for all New Yorkers, especially in light of increased housing costs.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes, I am currently a co-sponsor of single payer. It is also important we continue to enact policies at both a local and state level that help provide health care to those in need. This is why I have also fought to support my local health programs like the Urban Health Program.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

We as state representatives must ensure there are programs in place to protect our immigrant communities, such as ensuring there is funding for our immigrant legal aid groups to make sure we can help prevent deportations and help immigrants apply for citizenship. This is why I fought to secure $15 million for legal aid groups and continue to assist those in need at my office because we as leaders need to stand up to current negative federal policies.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. That is why we need to enact serious legislation that will address climate change. As we have seen with the increase in storms like Super Storm Sandy and the influx of winter storms, our state – and our country – must do more to protect the environment we have.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Hard working New Yorkers deserve to make a living wage, which is why I fought to secure the historic $15 minimum wage in New York. We need to do more by passing legislation that makes life more affordable, as I have done in the past through the implementation of Paid Family Leave and childcare subsidies. We cannot stop there and we must continue to enact legislation that assist those most in need.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

This year I fought to deliver a $1 billion increase to education funding totaling $26.7 billion so that our teachers and schools will have the resources they need to set students on paths to success. We must also provide greater resources to districts that are our high needs districts – those districts that teach a large amount of ELL and special education students, districts that have experienced significant enrollment increases, and districts that have a high number of families that are low income and/or have many students with reduced/free lunch programs.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Look at any roadblocks or failures as a learning experience.

DEM: Alessandra Biaggi – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

New York’s voting laws are purposefully disenfranchising to protect incumbents and make it harder for us to hold our elected officials accountability. New York is the only state that is holding separate state and federal primary elections this year. I strongly support consolidating the primaries.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

For a generation we’ve seen our rent laws weakened and affordable apartments disappear. It’s going to take a progressive Democratic majority—free of the real estate lobby’s corrosive influence—to repeal vacancy decontrol and give New York City control of its rent laws again. Housing justice is one of the most important issues facing this community. It is unacceptable in a state as wealthy as New York that people, especially older New Yorkers, experience homelessness, are at risk of homelessness, or even are rent-burdened, meaning that they spend more than 30% of their income a year on rent. I am proud to have the endorsement of Tenants PAC, the largest tenant political force in the state advocating for stronger rent laws and the protection of our dwindling affordable housing stock. In my district, more than a quarter of residents spend more than 50% of their annual income on rent. We must close loopholes — including vacancy decontrol, the eviction bonus loophole, and preferent rent increases — that allow landlords to raise the rent in rent-stabilized units and contribute to the loss of these units. We also need to repeal the Urstadt Law to give New York City more control over its rent restrictions. I also support measures like the Home Stability Support Initiative which which would create a new statewide rent supplement to help families experiencing homelessness, and assist those at risk of losing their homes due to eviction, domestic violence, or dangerous living conditions.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I strongly support the New York Health Act, which would create a single-payer healthcare system in New York and reduce health care costs for 98% of New Yorkers.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

Immigrants and their families are one of the pillars of our vibrant communities and a strong force for economic growth in our state. We must do everything we can to protect immigrants from the ongoing attacks of the Trump administration — we pass the Liberty Act. Under the Liberty Act, New Yorkers would not be questioned about their immigration status when accessing local or state services or benefits, ensuring that they feel safe to seek help or report a crime. The act would also prevent police from stopping or arresting any individuals based on perceived immigration status. Importantly, it also establishes the right to legal representation for New Yorkers facing deportation or other immigration proceedings. Over the past year, immigrants have been arrested and detained by federal ICE agents who had knowledge of their scheduled appearance in court. As of December 2017, over 50 people were arrested this way in New York State, a 900% increase over previous years. This is a national problem, but New York can be a leader of Sanctuary States by reducing cooperation with ICE in courthouses. The Liberty Act provides a method for New York State to work with judges and the Office of Court Administration to keep federal immigration officials out of courts in New York State so nobody is afraid of going to court for fear of ICE. In addition to these measures, I support the DREAM Act and expanding the NYS TAP to cover DACA recipients to make it easier for immigrants and undocumented students to attend college, and the Driver’s Licenses for All bill.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, New York must take stronger measures to address climate change. The New York State Climate and Community Protection Act has passed the State Assembly for 3 years in a row, only to die in the State Senate. My opponent, Senator Klein, says that he supports this legislation, but like so many vital bills it can’t pass as long as Republicans control the Senate. Climate change is an existential threat to our future, with New York City facing catastrophic threats from heat, flooding and extreme weather. We can’t afford more – and worse – hurricanes like Sandy. It’s time for a Green New Deal that will create good union jobs and investments into our communities while averting global catastrophes by rapidly transitioning to 100% renewable energy. The CCPA accomplishes these goals. I strongly support its passage.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

While this measure is an important step in achieving wage equality in New York state, we must continue to build upon this progress by ending the tipped minimum wage in favor of a single minimum wage. The tipped minimum wage is an issue of gender inequality — 70 percent of tipped workers in New York are women. These workers often have to put up with harassment because they rely on tips. We also need to fight to protect the rights of workers to collectively bargain as unions are under attack from the federal government. This includes streamlining the dues and deduction authorization process for public sector unions to provide a uniform process for all individuals who join, and working to establish wage and labor standards for contracted transportation services workers who often face poor pay and bad conditions. Additionally, it is essential to guarantee sick days off for workers who do not have paid time off. New York state must also expand access to child care, including expanding subsidized child care and helping school districts expand to full-day kindergarten programs. Finally, I support passing the New York State Fair Pay Act, which makes it unlawful to pay different wages to employees doing the same job on the basis of sex, race, or national origin.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The most important thing we can do to improve the quality of education is to make sure our public schools receive the funding they are owed under New York State law. District 34 is owed $88 million in public school funding. Fighting for full funding of our schools will be one of my priorities in Albany, because when funding comes up short, it is the schools that are already disadvantaged that bear the brunt of the burden. With that full funding, we should work to ensure that all New York students receive high quality education in STEM fields, including computer science, and have access to arts and physical education. I am also a strong proponent of financial literacy education so that all students — whether or not they attend college — are financially literate.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

There’s never been a moment when it’s been more important to elect progressive leaders at every level of government, here in New York and across the country. I would advise my 18-year-old self to do everything I can to support candidates who are proud to embrace the progressive label, but even more importantly, who fully embrace the progressive cause.

That means not only supporting candidates who’ll advance the cause, volunteering on their behalf, talking to my community members about them, and providing as much operational support as I can. It also means continuing to work closely with, and fully support, all the grassroots groups that are the heart and soul of the progressive movement and vital to its success—and that should be the breeding ground for the elected officials of the future who will lead it. I would advise my 18-year-old self to fully believe in and act upon FDR’s Four Freedoms– freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — clearly define the bedrock principles of progressivism. These principles call us to ensure access to housing, healthcare, education, safety in our communities, self-determination, and more for all. Applied today, I would include ending the politics of exclusion; harnessing the potential power of government for the good of all; and eliminating the outsize influence of money and corporate interests in campaigning and in the formulation of public policies.

GOP: Richard Ribustello – No Response

GOP: Elizabeth English – No Response

Senate District 35

DEM: Andrea Stewart-Cousins (I) – No Response

DEM: Virginia Perez – No Response

Senate District 38

DEM: David Carlucci (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: No
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Supports

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Push for the Governor to align the dates or push for legislation passage if necessary.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

In our area property taxes remain the leading driver of housing costs and indirectly that gets passed on to renters. I support mandate relief and a reevaluation of our property taxing system to lessen the burden on homeowners and renters.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes I would provided we can ensure fiscal solvency.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

New York should continue to stand against this ICE practice and refuse to provide resources to help them in this cause.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes, all states can and should. Climate change will continute to be the largest public health concern our country faces in the years ahead. My district boarders on both sides the Hudson River which is influenced by rising sea levels.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

I was proud to support the increase as a crucial first step I’m supportive of any further efforts that we can address to ensure a living wage.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

The current state funding formula is broken. High needs districts with growing enrollments aren’t always properly accounted for. The formula is also needlessly complicated. Funding increases every year by a billion dollars and yet some district are still falling through the cracks.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

You’re never too young to get involved.

DEM: Julia Goldberg – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I believe we must combine federal and state primaries. New York is the ONLY state that holds two separate primaries. This costs millions of dollars and confuses everyone! We need to change our election laws to make it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to participate in our democracy.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Perhaps counterintuitively, the most significant thing we can do immediately is to pass serious campaign finance reform in New York to curtail the influence of the real estate developers and landlords. When elected officials answer to the people, not their dark-money donors, we can protect rent control and rent regulation, as well as incentivize environmentally-friendly rehabilitation of old buildings and the development of new ones for working and middle class families all over the state.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I support the New York Health Act, a bill already passed by the New York State Assembly, that would guarantee healthcare to every New Yorker, saving individuals, families, and businesses millions of dollars every year and improving community health outcomes for people in every demographic.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

NY State should pass the New York Liberty Act. This would prevent municipal, county, and state resources from being used to aid in ICE enforcement, and prohibit police departments and courts from being involved in anything related to deportations. Everyone living in NY must be safe to use courts, hospitals, schools, and emergency services without fear of repercussions.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

I believe that New York should lead the nation on climate change, sustainability, and environmental justice. I will work to expand our use of renewable energy and promote innovation in green technology. Climate change threatens our communities, which is why we must start by passing the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

This measure is entirely insufficient, since only Westchester, Long Island, and NYC are scheduled to get the full $15/hour minimum wage. Economic justice demands that we raise the minimum wage to $15/hour for every worker in the state over next two years, and peg increases thereafter to the cost of living.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

As a lifelong educator, I will work to ensure that every school district gets the full amount of state funding to which it is entitled. My senate district includes the struggling school districts of Ossining and East Ramapo. I will fight to get these communities the full amount of Foundation Aid they are owed so that all students have access to the teachers, programs, and services they need and deserve. I will also fight for a state monitor with veto power in East Ramapo to ensure that public money is spent appropriately on public school students.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Travel, respect your own talents, take more risks, and keep fighting the power!

Senate District 40

DEM: Peter Harckham – No Response

DEM: Robert Kesten – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Legislation, proposed by the AG and passed in the Assembly calls for a one primary date. I will fight to get this bill passed in the State Senate. A number of bills passed by the Assembly seek to improve voter turnout and engagement in the state. I will actively support all this legislation.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

A primary reason for high rents and other inflationary costs is property taxes. NYS must address the State’s tax issues. With too many of the 1% not paying taxes, costs and burdens are placed on everyone else. This results in higher costs, higher taxes and a system that is out of whack. In addition, we must creatively increase clean and sustainable business districts and reduce the preponderance of empty storefronts in our towns, cities and villages. This lack of a commercial base causes taxes to rise. Lastly, construction of affordable housing, senior housing and a diversity of housing (rental units, apartments, shared housing, “tiny” homes and more) need to be built across the region. Lower cost housing, readily available will help hold increases down and give seniors the ability to age in place, young people the opportunity to move in and homeowners the option of affording their current homes.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

We should move to a Medicare for All system. This has been proposed and passed by the NYS Assembly 4 times. If the Federal Government does not allow the system currently approved by the Assembly, a non-profit approach might be needed to facilitate the needed changes in our healthcare model.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

The state has a moral and ethical obligation to protect and defend the human rights of all people. The state senate, along with the Assembly and Executive Branch are responsible for he behavior of law enforcement within our borders and to determine if it is acting in the best interests of our citizens and residents. How federal agents work in our state, should be determined by state policy, providing it does not interfere with actual enforcement of laws that put our citizens and residents in danger. ICE abuses its powers in our state and that should be addressed by state law and in negotiations with our federal representatives.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

New York has always been an environmental leader and can and should continue to lead the country in the fight against climate change. We need our representatives to be bold and outspoken on the issue of climate change – we cannot afford silence or platitudes when the health and safety of our communities and our planet are at risk. NYS needs bold legislation for sustainable energy development that would increase economic development, while also calling for a moratorium on fossil fuel projects and usage. The possibilities for energy development are endless, the talent in our midst real, and the opportunities for the Hudson Valley to lead the way in building a cleaner, safer, energy efficient world a realistic possibility. We cannot let our elected officials delay this objective by decades. We must demand significant action immediately with a goal to be free of fossil fuels within years, not generations.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

For NYC and the Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and other parts of the state, $15 is not a living wage. People working full time should be able to pay their bills, live with dignity and not be dependent on government support. A living minimum wage should be wage that people can live on, not a subsidy supported by the governmental safety net. Each municipality, through a clear and defined set of metrics, should determine a minimum wage that meets that standard. Taxpayers should not be supporting business, by picking up the slack when they pay executives well and workers below the poverty line.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

With property taxes being a major source of school funding, and with education being the single largest item in the state’s budget, it is clear that the state is doing a bad job in meeting its obligation to the students and families in many communities of this state. A total overhaul of how we fund schools and our tax system are needed immediately.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Never do what is easy, always do what you believe is right and never give in to peer pressure. Stand up for what you believe in and build a network of friends you can always count on, especially when you don’t conform to the status quo. Lastly, you must find a way to have fun, life is short, even if at 18 that seems ridiculous.

Senate District 42

DEM: Pramilla Malick – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

legislate and advocate. I will work not just with individual legislators but make sure there are grassroots efforts underway in every single senate district to ensure that the system designed to protect incumbency is overhauled.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

state-wide rent stabilization laws, closing LLC loophole so Real Estate Lobby does not have uncapped influence over elections.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I support the New York Health Act. People cannot afford the basic medication they need to survive. Pharmaceutical companies hike up drug prices under the pretext of “research”. In reality they give millions in salary and bonuses to company executives. It’s time for medicare for all.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

As it is, our state and local prisons are overcrowded and overburdened. We must make sure that state and local prisons are not used for ice detainees.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Our window to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change is fast closing. We need a marshall plan for climate change. we must move to 100% renewable energy (and this must be reflected in a major revision to our states energy policy). I’m calling for an immediate halt to the construction of all fracked-gas infrastructure in NY. We cannot approve any more fossil-fuel pipelines/compressor stations/power plants. We don’t have time for incrementalism, it’s going to take bold and unwavering action to lead us past this crisis.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

I support a $15 statewide minimum wage. We must regulate County IDA’s so grants and tax breaks are prioritized for small businesses. This way we can have a $15 minimum wage without hurting any small local businesses, it just requires billion dollar out-of-state corporations to pay their fair share (this goes hand in hand with campaign finance reform and anti-corruption legislation)

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

We need to find a way to more equitably fund our public schools without overburdening upstate property owners. This is going to require a tax on the rich concentrated in NYC and Westchester. We need to stop subsidizing billion dollar companies and start ensuring all children have access to a quality k-12 education.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

A better world, a better future is not guaranteed. It has to be fought for every day

DEM: Jen Metzger – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

Whatever I can! I will introduce a bill, sponsor a bill, advocate for a bill, vote for a bill. The split primary dates suppress turnout, inhibit competitive elections, and waste money.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

In my district, we have both a lack of affordable housing, and a surplus of empty buildings and foreclosed homes. I support incentives to repurpose and modernize existing structures, which would address multiple issues: providing local jobs; improving energy efficiency of existing building stock; revitalizing areas that currently look abandoned; and providing more affordable housing inventory.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I strongly support the NY Health Act to create a single-payer healthcare system in NY.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

This is an incredibly volatile issue area. It is appropriate for the state to limit the ability of the federal government to detain and deport people who are trying to do the right thing. These efforts must be coupled with clear and complete communication about what exactly is and is not permitted. Far too many Americans believe that a “sanctuary city” is somewhere illegal immigrants can commit crimes at will, which is a triumph of messaging propaganda for the anti-immigrant right.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. Climate change is an existential crisis. Both in local government and with the nonprofit I co-founded and direct, Citizens for Local Power, I have been working for years to build a locally-based clean energy economy as an alternative to our current, destructive fossil fuel dependent energy system.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Everyone deserves a living wage. Indexing the minimum wage to the true cost of living in each area of the state would be a good next step.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Property taxes are an antiquated and unfair way to allocate resources for public education, and property taxes are not connected to the ability to pay. The state needs to pay its fair share. I would support a circuit breaker that caps property taxes at a percentage of income, and making up the lost revenue by increasing the state income tax rate on income above $500,000 per year.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Idealism is necessary, but not sufficient, to change the world.

Senate District 53

DEM: David Valesky (I) – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I have advocated for this and will continue to lend my voice to this issue.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We must continue to fight for low income housing for all incomes.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

We must ensure that we build low income housing across New York

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

We do have very strong measures in place but I would like to see those measures improved through the CCPA.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

We should continue to try and make sure that the wage continues to be indexed to inflation.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

We must continue to give schools the ability to make decisions on how to spend resources.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

To always remain a good and positive citizen

DEM: Rachel May – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Supports
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I’d advocate for a date in July, after the end of the legislative session. Combined with same-day registration and reduced strictures on changing party affiliation before the primary, voter participation should increase.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

Reduce the influence of real estate developers over elected officials, by reforming campaign finance rules.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I strongly favor the New York Health Act or similar health care for all legislation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I hope that sanctuary state legislation could forestall such behavior.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. We should set hard targets for GHG emission reductions, promote actions to reduce urban heat island effects, and ensure a just transition to clean energy. I support the Climate and Community Protection Act.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Workers upstate are not promised $15 an hour. I would extend the proposed minimum statewide, and then tie it to inflation n the future.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

Any statewide formula needs to account for discrepancies in school readiness, need for ESL and support for high-needs students, which will result in allocating significantly higher funds to the poorest districts. We should also invest in early learning (0-3 year olds), where the ROI is enormous.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Be brave. Don’t listen to the naysayers – you can do far more than you or they think you can. And be sure to seek out the help you need to do what you want to do.

Senate District 58

DEM: Amanda Kirchgessner – No Response

DEM: Michael Lausell – No Response

Senate District 63

DEM: Shaqurah Zachery – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: Will Prioritize
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I will argue that the importance of voter participation is directly tied into making the Democratic process a simple and accessible one. That by having a single primary day voters are more inclined to participate in and have a voice in the process.

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

We can begin to look at rent stabilization and increasing the resources available for homeownership amd subsidies. Housing is one of the most fundamental needs for the human being to function and the more security we can provide for our people the greater amount of growth we will actualize in our communities.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

I would support state-run non-profit health insurance because it is our obligation as a society to provide for the health and wellness of our citizens.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I would hope that the State would offer more protection to individuals that are being subjected to immigration issues while availing themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court. It is in the Court’s interest to have people who are being called into court to actually appear; however, if there is a fear that by making the required appearance that peoope are subjecting themselves to the agency of Immigration, the Courts are going to experience people not showing up out of fear, which is disruptive to the judicial process.

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Absolutely we should take a strong stance on protecting our environment and the people that live in the environment.

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

Workers in New York deserve ongoing advocacy for competitive wage compensation. While $15 an hour is a start there is certainly more that we can do to continue to address the need for our people to have incomes that will improve the overall quality of life. I have met so many people through my travels that have talked about the inability to make ends meet and they are working jobs that pay 12-15 an hour, so we absolutely have to continue to advocate for a living wage that truly meets the realistic needs of our citizens. I think education in the area of financial literacy and budgeting is also a key component that needs to be added to the discussion.

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

We need more initiatives in place with financial resources to build foundational skills in our students. Utilizing resources to shift our educational system away from one that is so test driven to one that is mastery driven is one way to ensure quality education for our students.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Stay focused on who you intrinsically are as a human being. Remember to always follow your dreams and passions. Plan and build your life in a way where you are able to live out your passion and the rest of it will all fall in place. You have a purpose in the world, find it and live it.

DEM: Timothy Kennedy – Responded >

Which of these voting reforms would you prioritize for passage at the start of the 2019 legislative session? Which of these voting reforms have you supported in the past?

Early voting: Will Prioritize
Restoration of voting rights for people on parole: No
Automatic voter registration: Will Prioritize
Moving the deadline to change party enrollment closer to the primary date: Will Prioritize
Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds: Will Prioritize
Same day voter registration: Will Prioritize

New York voters may only vote absentee by mail if they meet specific criteria including: if they are absent from their county of residence on Election Day (or if they are a resident of New York City they are absent from the city), unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability, if they are a caregiver of a person with an illness or disability, a resident of Veterans Hospital, or detained in jail awaiting a Grand Jury deliberation or confined for an offense other than a felony. Check the statement you agree with:

All New Yorkers should have the option to vote absentee by mail.

What will you do to ensure that going forward, New York has one primary day for both congressional and state legislative primaries?

I support efforts to combine the congressional and state primaries to the same day in June, and have supported a bill advanced by Senate Democrats to that effect

What’s the most significant thing that can be done in the next legislative session to address skyroceting housing costs and rents in our state?

I support efforts to expand available affordable housing, through affordable tax credits and state money for the development of housing with rents priced to residents making less than the area median income. I also believe the state should continue to work to raise wages so people bring home more money, including raising the minimum wage.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, would you favor a state-run, non-profit health insurance to provide affordable healthcare? If not, what solutions would you propose to those currently covered by the ACA?

Yes, and I cosponsor the New York Health Act, which will provide a basic level of health insurance for all New Yorkers.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have started arresting undocumented immigrants at interviews for green cards. Here in New York, agents have conducted arrests at criminal courts when immigrants appear for crimes and infractions unrelated to immigration activities. What role do you believe the state should play in this situation?

I do not believe the state should share information unless it relates to a violent felony, terrorism, or murder

Do you believe New York should be taking stronger measures to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. I believe climate change is a threat to society and New York must do all it can to fight back

New York State’s minimum wage has been increasing since 2016, with a gradual phase-in promising up to $15 an hour in some parts of the state by the end of the year. Is this measure sufficient or should more be done to guarantee a living wage for each working New Yorker?

More should be done to ensure a living wage, including implementing a full $15 minimum wage Upstate

How can financial resources best be allocated to ensure a quality education at K-12 public schools?

More money should be allocated for public schools. When distributing money, emphasis should be placed on schools with high poverty, and the community school model should be fully funded and expanded so that quality education is offered to all students.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Don’t ever start smoking and follow your dream of serving the people of Western New York

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