Alessandra Biaggi Hears Bronx Voters’ Concerns At State Senate Town Hall, As Incumbent Fails To Attend
With her opponent absent, New York State Senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi discussed crucial issues facing the Bronx during a town hall Sunday in the borough.
The event was co-sponsored by Northwest Bronx Indivisible and the nonpartisan New York City chapter of the League of Women Voters.
Biaggi will face incumbent Jeff Klein on Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Democratic primary for the State Senate seat in District 34. The District includes much of the Bronx, as well as all of Pelham and a section of Mount Vernon in Westchester County.
Klein informed the sponsors late Saturday that he would not attend.
Biaggi was questioned by voters and moderator Gary Axelbank during the town hall at the Fieldston Ethical Culture Center, in the borough’s Fieldston neighborhood.
“This race is very personal for me,” Biaggi said. “I came of age in the Bronx. But there are a lot of people here who are hurting. The time is now – we must do better.”
New York State passed the nation’s strictest gun laws after the Sandy Hook school massacre, but audience members still wanted to know what state lawmakers will do to stop gun violence.
“Gun safety is one of the most crucial issues of our time,” Biaggi said. “I applaud Governor (Andrew) Cuomo for passing the SAFE Act in 2013. But we need to allocate money to make the SAFE Act as tough as it was meant to be.”
Biaggi has been endorsed by more than five dozen voter groups. She has also secured the nomination of the Working Families Party, assuring that she will be on the ballot for the general election in November.
Biaggi was Deputy National Operations Director of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. She is an attorney and served nearly a year in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, working in the counsel’s office on health and women’s issues.
Klein was first elected to the State Senate in 2004. He formed and led the Independent Democratic Caucus, an eight-senator block that ceded control of the chamber and its agenda to the Republican Conference. The IDC announced earlier this month that it would disband. Klein is currently the Deputy Democratic Conference leader to State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-District 35), the first woman in state history to lead a conference in Albany.