I know this email finds many of you still without power, with another storm on the horizon.
It is inexcusable that our electric companies have not made the necessary improvements or investments needed to get our towns, villages, and cities up and running after a major storm. Or that this aging infrastructure constantly leaves residents without power, even in minor storms (or for no apparent reason whatsoever).
We need to get through this current crisis, but afterwards, our elected officials, community leaders and residents need to come together to hold the leadership of these utility companies accountable for their lack of preparedness, as well as their failure to communicate honestly with their customers about the status of the repair work.
The Time for “Thoughts and Prayers” is Over
Over the past few weeks, our nation—and our communities—have been shaken by the Parkland shooting. Like you, I am angry at the indiscriminate access to guns that murder innocent children.
We can no longer let “thoughts and prayers” and photo-ops replace real action. Americans are demanding more.
On March 14th, in New Castle, we will hold our fifth Town Hall meeting of this campaign. There we will discuss gun safety and the U.S. Constitution—and what we can do within our communities to help stop this scourge of gun violence. We are at a critical moment and we will not be derailed or sidelined. We will not take “no” for an answer.
Reading about this deadly assault while teaching in a suburban New York high school ninth grade class—no different than one in Florida—I felt the anger of a parent, a teacher, a human being well up inside me. Almost 20 years since Columbine and these school shootings continue to happen, with greater and greater frequency.
It is time we called out the people whose negligence and fear have made it impossible for our nation to address gun violence as the crisis it is. And to vote them out of office.
Those who refuse to discuss gun safety in any meaningful way—those who extend a prayer for those killed, yet silence those who work to ensure it never happens again— must accept blame for the continued senseless massacres in our schools, houses of worship, and other community centers across the country. Those who refuse to pass legislation to limit access to guns, who will not institute safety precautions to ensure weapons cannot be used to slaughter innocent children in mere seconds—who will not even allow for the collection of data related to gun tragedies so that we can treat it as the health crisis it is—are cowards. They are concerned more with the money and influence of the NRA than they are for the lives of those they represent.
The heroes are the survivors of gun violence, including mothers, fathers, and children who have lost loved ones in these tragedies, but who find the strength to fight back. To ensure those who died will not die in vain.
Americans have been waking up to a government filled with those unwilling to put people first, but we can change that. In November we will defeat these cowards one by one at the polls, and we will protect our families and our schools from violence that should have been stopped decades ago.
A Look Back at this Past Week
The week was filled with vigils for Parkland. I joined regional mayors in Peekskill at an event hosted by that city’s mayor, Andre Rainey. I attended an event in New Castle where Moms Demand Action presented ways to fight for gun safety and protect our children. I went to a Working Families Party rally in Brooklyn, where candidates stood up, one after another, reminding us that there are alternatives this coming November… and that in 2018, we have a real opportunity to change things in the New York State Senate.
Some more highlights from this week:
- I spent time with George Latimer, Kitley Covill and others in our community who are working to improve the lives of women, LGBTQ residents, and others in the 40th District (and beyond) who feel they are not always welcome. I met with the Cortlandt Democratic Committee, where we were joined by Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, two outstanding political leaders who are working hard to solve very difficult issues in their communities, including the impending closing of Indian Point.
- I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Mental Health, and we had a frank discussion on the lack of services and the lack of funds to seriously address this “elephant in the room.”
- I taped a television interview in Putnam, where I discuss why I entered this Senate race and outlined my views on issues affecting all of us in District 40. You can view the video here.
- I attended the Yorktown Democratic Committee meeting, where a room filled with new and seasoned district leaders discussed the important concerns of the town and its residents. It was humbling to be in a room of people who did so much to change the course of their town in the 2017 elections and bring a sense of normalcy and decency back to our county.
A Look Ahead
As always, thank you for engaging in our campaign, even in these troubled times… even when so many of you are still without power and as we face down another impending storm.
These are the moments when strong communities are most valued, and neighbors are friends you can count on.
Please join us at the New Castle Town Hall on Wednesday, March 14, and visit our Events page for more upcoming events and meetings. I especially hope you will consider joining us on March 19th for my birthday fundraiser, taking place in Yorktown.
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. We build a stronger campaign every day and I look forward to working with you from one end of this district to the other.