Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon's statement upon announcing her re-election campaign

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May 31, 2016

 

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon's statement upon announcing her re-election campaign

 

Two years ago, we were here on these same steps with Nydia on my right and Joan on my left, surrounded by a small, diverse group of volunteers and supporters.  We promised that the number of people behind us would grow, and grow it did, as we took our campaign from one end of this district to the other and back again.

I am very proud to say that our numbers have increased and today I am joined by so many more supporters, including city-wide and local elected officials and members of the communities we all represent.

Some of us were once opponents or have supported different candidates in the past, but we quickly put aside those differences and have worked together on issues of concern to our constituents: parks, supermarkets, cleaning up the Gowanus Canal, advocating for small businesses, mass transit and transportation, and the schools that educate our children.  It is as it should be.

Every day, I wake up grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of the 52nd AD. Thank you for putting your trust in me.

Since my election, I have passed 7 bills and 2 have been signed by Governor Cuomo.  Some, like the LICH Act and closing the LLC Loophole await Senate action.  Throughout my term, I have fought and advocated for:

raising the minimum wage;

 paid family leave;

increased funding for our schools;

 campaign finance and election reform - Like closing the LLC Loophole and instituting early voting - because we should be making it easier for more people to vote, not fewer, and not harder;

to restore the B71 bus and by ensuring proper funding to get our mass transit system back on track, improve our roads and bridges and provide for fair and equitable tolling policies;

reducing gun violence - earning me a special place in the hearts of the NRA.

for social justice reform and environmental justice; and

to increase awareness of and improve educational outcomes for our children with dyslexia, far too many of whom struggle without the adults in their lives understanding why they struggle or how to address their needs. We aim to make a difference in that picture throughout New York State. 

We still have a way to go on these issues and many more.  We still need to raise the age of criminal liability (like 47 other states have done) so we are not sending teenagers to adult prisons upstate; and secure affordable housing and enforce tenant protections.

We are here in Downtown Brooklyn and all around us we see the effects of development done without a plan and without community participation and now we all find ourselves struggling with the effects of dramatic increases in residential development without the open space, infrastructure or number of school seats we need.

That's why I have taken the lead in highlighting these challenges and advocated that we hit a "pause button" before developing more housing without thought for the lives to be lived in those residences. And that we use that opportunity to fashion a whole new way of working and planning together for a common purpose - living and working together in the Borough we love in the greatest City in the world. We can do this and we must do this. Thank you.