The real champions
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Forget the Capitals and the Warriors. We know who the real champions are: our volunteers and donors.

In the first week of petitioning, Alessandra’s all-volunteer army knocked on more than 5,000 doors in District 34, collecting over 1,200 verified signatures. Seven volunteers accomplished the #100doors challenge to win Biaggi merch. Not to be outdone, Alessandra hit 100 doors herself in a single day. What’s more, our phone-bankers made over 1,000 calls to voters!

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who has helped kick off our petition drive. If you haven't already, join our volunteer corps to help Alessandra go way over the top in her fight to get on the ballot! 

We also need your donations now to keep HQ and our volunteers stocked with supplies. The finish line is in sight, and with your continued support we can win this race. Each dollar goes a long way!

Alessandra Biaggi
April 11, 2018: "The days of Albany’s party machinery are over."

It was a jam-packed, watershed week.

My opponent agreed to relinquish his stranglehold on the New York State Senate Democrats by calling an end to the IDC’s party of eight.

These “Democrats” were caucusing with the Republicans and preventing progressive legislation from reaching the Senate floor.

Now, the rogue Democrats say they will reunite with the true Democrats under the leadership of Andrea Stewart-Cousins -- who had been pushed aside into the role of minority leader.

It seems very straightforward. The media has drilled down on the previous false promises and reassurances from the IDC. The IDC members hope this is the end of the story.

It’s not.

That’s why I joined with the other IDC challengers at Foley Square in Manhattan for the Make NY True Blue rally. The days of Albany’s party machinery are over. 

The writing is on the wall. New York voters are no longer buying the IDC sham. They are marching forward to reform our government. The movement toward transparency and equity for all state residents has changed the balance of power.

On Sunday I was among the huge crowd that filled the White Plains Presbyterian Church to hear Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speak. He emphasized that, as Americans and New Yorkers, we are “battling for our future.”

And he added: “We have to model smart progressive government starting at the state level.” That is one of my campaign’s focal points.

Until next week …

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April 2, 2018: "The NY State Budget was passed, but it came up short on issues I believe are key to our state."

This weekend, I finally got the feeling spring was in the air. (Yes, despite Monday's snow!) The holidays of Passover and Easter were celebrated, and I was filled with hope for new beginnings and a recommitment to fighting for justice for all people.

The New York State budget was passed, but it came up short on issues I believe are key to our state. There was no resolution for Dreamers, early voting, bail reform, healthcare for all, nor gender equality.

Oh, and there was that little issue of Andrea Stewart-Cousins being excluded from closed door negotiations.

The current landscape in Albany got coverage in the New York Times (March 28). An article (that got plenty of comments) outlined why Democratic challengers are standing up to incumbent members of the IDC, which just happens to be led by my opponent. I’m quoted, so please check it out!

A sign of our current political state of affairs is how quickly the news cycle moves.

Just last weekend, the March for Our Lives took place across the country. I walked in solidarity with pupils from Prospect Elementary School, where I had been a student. I was so inspired by the courage and maturity of the kids. They are braver than many of our politicians.

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Five days later, I was the keynote speaker at Bronx Community College at an event about Intersectionality and Identity. The conversation dug deep into the nexus of gender identity, race, class, and politics. I shared with students thoughts about my education, and the barriers I had personally encountered. I shared how I ultimately made the decision to change any “no” I heard from people, to an affirmative “yes” in my mind. I discussed why it is important for everyone to have a seat at the table. And if that means inviting yourself -- so be it!

I told the young people, who shared their frustrations with me, that one of my strongly held beliefs is that if our state and our nation are to move forward, we must collectively replace the “you or me” mindset to “you and me.”

April is going to be jam packed. NW Bronx Indivisible and the League of Women Voters are sponsoring a Candidate Town Hall on April 22nd, to introduce the New York State Senate District 34 candidates. Follow this link to sign up for a free ticket.

Until next week…

 

March 26, 2018: "I also want to see every day of every month stand for women’s history, achievements, and concerns."

It’s been another busy week of events, fundraisers, and talking to voters.

We are reaching the end of March, and Women’s History Month. Unfortunately, it’s ironic that recognizing women and some of the latest news are in major disconnect mode.

Women In Government just put out a “Pulse Poll,” drilling down on Sexual Harassment in State Legislatures. Based on responses from 23 states, the stats show that “54 percent have rules or procedures for legislators and/or staff established by the legislature. 25 percent have state administrative rules/legislation by the executive branch; 21 percent have state law passed by the Legislature.”

Meanwhile, here in District 34, critical budget negotiations began -- and it included a conversation on creating new sexual harassment policies.

But guess what?

There was not one woman at the table to give her insights on what was needed. So much for stakeholders being represented.

On the bright side, an online petition demanding that State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins be included in the talks went viral and got plenty of traction.

Although my concerns are hyperlocal, I am constantly monitoring the national news. During the past week, women’s reproductive rights had several challenges.

The United States Supreme Court listened to arguments in the NIFLA v. Becerra case, which deals with the Reproductive FACT Act. In a nutshell, it’s about “crisis pregnancy centers” which exist primarily to disseminate disinformation about abortion care. This frequently results in delaying access to legitimate health services.

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1510, making it a law that bans abortions for women after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of severe fetal abnormality or a medical emergency.

I want New York state to be at the forefront of protecting women’s health and medical choices. I also want to see every day of every month stand for women’s history, achievements, and concerns. That’s a key part of the agenda for my campaign and my district.

For the record, I strongly support pushing New York to adopt a state ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). This would provide a way to prevent the unequal treatment of women in New York that was grounded in the law of the state constitution. Currently, it’s still in committee.

On a personal note, when sixteen term New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter died on March 16, it gave me pause to consider how much she had accomplished. She served in the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 1986. She was one of the Congresswomen who urged her Senate colleagues to allow Anita Hill to testify about her inappropriate work experiences at the hands of Clarence Thomas. She fought for unions, victims of domestic violence, and to pass the Affordable Care Act.

Slaughter showed how women can be leaders and actively engaged in determining the course of civic life. She spoke truth to power.

What an inspiration.

 

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Until next week…

 

 

March 19, 2018: "To keep all my supporters -- and those who do not yet know me well -- in the loop, I have decided to write a campaign blog with a run-down of my weekly activities."

It’s been wonderful meeting so many of the constituents of District 34!

Although it’s only the middle of March, I have already had a number of incredible experiences.

To keep all my supporters -- and those who do not yet know me well -- in the loop, I have decided to write a campaign blog with a run-down of my weekly activities. I invite readers to email questions that you may have to alessandra@biaggi4ny.com. I hope to address some of them in this ongoing campaign diary.

Key to my efforts in learning about the concerns of the district, is to make sure that communication is flowing both ways.

                                                        *                    *                    *

It seems that every week is destined to be jam packed. I have been talking and listening to a wide range of people. On March 4, I was part of an event with the full slate of candidates who are challenging the incumbent IDC State Senators.

This past weekend, I started the day by taking part in the Throggs Neck St. Patrick's Day Parade! Then it was on to the monthly General Meeting of NYCD16 Indivisible.

I explained to those gathered that I am running against the founder and originator of the IDC, a group of breakaway Democrats who are caucusing with the Republicans in Albany. People are still learning about who and what the IDC is and why they are preventing progressive legislation in Albany. A perfect example is the Reproductive Health Act, still pending throughout ten legislative sessions.

I have been told that I shouldn’t run. That I should, “Sit down and wait my turn.”

But it’s time for someone to stand up and tell Jeff Klein and the IDC that that you can’t say yes to issues while you are on home turf, and then go against your electorate in Albany.

One member of the audience asked me what my strategy was. I told her, “People. I understand the currency of people over money.”

It’s true that Klein has a war chest of money from special interests, but that is not intimidating me.

About an hour after talking to the large gathering of NYCD16, I went to Pelham for a house party in my honor. People are getting their friends together to hear about my goals and the changes that I want to bring to Albany.

It was quite special to have Amy Siskind present as a guest. She has been a mentor, and is now on the national landscape for her work keeping track of how the fabric of our country has changed since Trump took office. She discussed her new book, The List, which recounts every egregious action taken by Trump since his inauguration.

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One of the key points I discussed, was the importance of the hyperlocal race. People think New York is progressive, but it isn’t -- not as long as the Republicans and the IDC run the State Senate.

This is a unique time in our country. I get up every day filled with enthusiasm about the opportunity to make a difference.

Until next week…