All New Yorkers have a right to comprehensive, affordable accessible healthcare. Workers and small businesses are feeling the squeeze of rising health insurance costs while access to comprehensive health care becomes increasingly difficult in our communities.
- The New York Health Act must be enacted into law.
- Making comprehensive healthcare available to everyone in our district will spur economic growth.
- Rural healthcare networks must be supported and strengthened. A single maternity ward serving a district as large as the state of Connecticut is simply unacceptable.
- Infrastructure needs of medical facilities as well as human resources must be well funded so that we have 21st century healthcare in the 51st District.
- We need stronger, more widely available mental health services to help solve the problems of opioid addiction, suicide, and gun violence.
- We must continue to strongly support Planned Parenthood to ensure our citizens have access to reproductive health, including cancer screenings for all adults.
The New York State Senate has become “the place where bills go to die.” Corruption is at the heart of the problem — whether it is because of the sleazy behavior of individuals, corporate contributions that influence legislation, or a culture of extreme partisanship.
- The New York State Senate Ethics Committee must be re-energized and meet regularly.
- Strong campaign finance legislation must be enacted to put an end to outsized corporate influence.
- No legislator should receive their full salary plus state pension while serving in office.
- We must pass laws to stem the flow of “dark money” that organizations like Reclaim New York use to disrupt the functions of local government.
- The senate must be transparent about the slush fund of billions of dollars that is kept out of the state budget but used in senate districts to curry votes.
- As a trained mediator, I will work to end partisan bickering so that the senate works for the people of New York State.
The 51st district is one of the most beautiful areas of New York State. While the scenery is lush, the places where people live and work have empty storefronts, limited services, spotty cell phone service and the emptiness that comes when the children of a community move out of the area. Here’s what we can do better:
- Relieve small businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers of burdensome health insurance costs that discourage them from starting businesses in those empty storefronts.
- Coordinate with public and private sector enterprises to bring high speed internet and cell service to every community in the 51st district.
- Provide grants to farmers to encourage them to update production methods so they can market their products to urban communities within New York State.
- New York must pass additional legislation to ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin.
- Impose a Business Employee Surcharge on annual personal incomes in excess of $1 million dollars and on corporate profits to fund education and training through BOCES and community colleges.
- Publicize and increase incentives for public/private partnerships using Empire Development.
- Increase education outreach to encourage 21st century techniques in all areas of farming.
Many of our K-12 central schools throughout the 51st district face financial challenges as rural populations shrink. Schools are the hearts of our rural communities. Closing local schools and consolidating them into larger districts cuts off the very lifeblood of a community.
- We must provide support to our school districts to help them share resources sensibly.
- Empower teachers to explore and implement creative and engaging classroom instruction and not stifle innovation with teacher evaluation systems like the APPR.
- Provide funding for vital enrichment programs such as Creating Rural Opportunities Partnership and arts in education.
- Strengthen successful programs in academic support, youth development, and family engagement that deepen students’ life experiences.
- Rely on the knowledge and advice of educators and administrators when making improvements in school technology and infrastructure.
- Work with communities to protect local schools so that students don’t need to travel far from home to get a good education.
- Work to improve and enhance the Excelsior Scholarship so all students in New York State can attain higher education.
While progress has been made in the fight for the rights of all people, many New Yorkers are at risk of losing these protections because of the actions by the federal government. At-risk communities in the 51st district must be protected.
- Support a woman’s right to choose, and when elected, will work to codify that right into New York State law.
- Protect the Marriage Equality Act.
- Pass the senate bill that prohibits individuals convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing firearms.
- Support a statewide ban on conversion therapy of gay and transgender minors by mental health care professionals.
- Fight for accessible and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.
Green energy is the future, but, until we get there, we must support public and private efforts to develop sustainable energy projects.
- Expand NYSERDA grants to farmers and businesses to develop affordable, sustainable energy.
- Work with downstate legislators to create a coherent plan for reasonable land usage in the New York City Watershed.
- Draft legislation to permanently ban fracking in our state.
- Embrace and develop renewable energy sources.
- Control the development of natural gas infrastructure and increase oversight of its transport through our communities.
The time for bandaids is past.
We need real solutions.
Joyce St. George