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

AB Gun March.jpg

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.

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