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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • JD, City University of New York Law School, 1987
  • BA, Public Affairs, George Washington University, 1982

Professional Experience

  • JD, City University of New York Law School, 1987
  • BA, Public Affairs, George Washington University, 1982
  • Public Interest Lawyer, Daniel J. O'Donnell, Esquire, 1994-2002
  • Public Defender, New York Legal Aid Society, 1987-1995

Political Experience

  • JD, City University of New York Law School, 1987
  • BA, Public Affairs, George Washington University, 1982
  • Public Interest Lawyer, Daniel J. O'Donnell, Esquire, 1994-2002
  • Public Defender, New York Legal Aid Society, 1987-1995
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 2002-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 69, 2018
  • Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2000
  • Candidate, New York State Senate, District 30, 1998

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Chair, Correction Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Chair, Ethics and Guidance Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Chair, Subcommittee on Criminal Procedure, New York State Assembly

Member, Task Force on Puerto Rican/Hispanic, New York State Assembly

Chair, Housing and Land Use Committee, Community Board 9, 1996-2001

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Codes Committee

Member, Education Committee

Member, Environmental Conservation Committee

Member, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force

Chair, Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, City University of New York Law School, 1987
  • BA, Public Affairs, George Washington University, 1982
  • Public Interest Lawyer, Daniel J. O'Donnell, Esquire, 1994-2002
  • Public Defender, New York Legal Aid Society, 1987-1995
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 2002-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 69, 2018
  • Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2000
  • Candidate, New York State Senate, District 30, 1998
  • Founding Member, Citizen Action, New York City Chapter, 2000-present
  • Board Member, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, 1999-present
  • Founding Member, Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, 1996-present
  • Member, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, 1995-present
  • Member, Community Board 9, 1995-2001
  • President, Broadway Democrats, 1996-1997
Policy Positions

New York State Legislative Election 2004 National Political Awareness Test

Legislative Priorities

Please explain in a total of 75 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.
- No Answer

Campaign Finance and Government Reform

1. Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
- Yes

2. Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
- Yes

3. Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
- Yes

4. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

5. Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in New York are closed?
- Yes

6. Should New York recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
- Yes

7. Should New York restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
- No

Abortion

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.

1. Abortions should always be legal.
- X

2. Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
- No Answer

3. Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
- No Answer

4. Abortions should always be illegal.
- No Answer

5. Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
- No Answer

6. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

7. Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
- No Answer

8. Authorize pharmacists and nurses to dispense emergency contraception (?morning-after? pill).
- No Answer

Crime

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.

1. Support the death penalty in New York.
- No Answer

2. Allow prosecutors to try an accused terrorist based solely on the testimony of an accomplice.
- No Answer

3. Let prosecutors get a single warrant to tap every telephone used by a suspected terrorist.
- No Answer

4. Prevent judges from tossing terror evidence out of court if the authorities seized it in good faith under a warrant that later proved defective.
- No Answer

5. Give prosecutors the right to obtain state tax information about suspected terrorists.
- No Answer

6. Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
- No Answer

7. Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
- X

8. Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
- No Answer

9. Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
- X

10. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

11. End parole for repeat violent offenders.
- No Answer

12. Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
- X

Education

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

1. Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
- No Answer

2. Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
- No Answer

3. Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
- X

4. Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
- No Answer

5. Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
- No Answer

6. Increase funding for Head Start programs.
- X

7. Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
- X

8. Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
- X

9. Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
- No Answer

10. Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
- X

11. Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
- X

12. Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
- No Answer

13. Support national standards and testing of public school students.
- No Answer

14. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Employment and Affirmative Action

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.

1. Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today?s job market.
- X

2. Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
- X

3. Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
- No Answer

4. Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
- X

5. Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
- X

6. Increase the state minimum wage.
- X

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Gun

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

1. Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
- X

2. Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
- No Answer

3. Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
- No Answer

4. Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
- No Answer

5. Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
- X

6. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

7. Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
- X

8. Support current licensing requirements for gun possession.
- X

9. Ban .50-caliber rifles.
- X

Health

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.

1. Require insurance companies to provide mental health services at parity with physical health services.
- X

2. Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
- X

3. Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
- No Answer

4. Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
- X

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Legalize physician assisted suicide in New York.
- No Answer

7. Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
- X

8. Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
- X

9. Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
- No Answer

Campaign Finance and Government Reform

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.

1. Do you support limiting the number of terms for New York governors?
- No

2. Do you support limiting the number of terms for New York state senators and representatives?
- No

Environment and Energy

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

1. Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
- No Answer

2. Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
- X

3. Support funding for open space preservation.
- X

4. Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
- X

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
- No Answer

Budget, Spending, and Tax

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.

1. Should the Assembly adopt a contingency budget when a budget is not approved for the new fiscal year?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- X

3. Education (higher)
- Greatly Increase

4. Education (K-12)
- Greatly Increase

5. Environment
- Slightly Increase

6. Health care
- Greatly Increase

7. Law enforcement
- Maintain Status

8. Transportation and highway infrastructure
- Maintain Status

9. Welfare
- Slightly Increase

10. Other or expanded categories
- No Answer

State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.

1. Other or expanded categories
- No Answer

2. Alcohol taxes
- Maintain Status

3. Cigarette taxes
- Maintain Status

4. Corporate taxes
- Greatly Increase

5. Gasoline taxes
- Maintain Status

6. Property taxes
- Slightly Decrease

7. Sales taxes
- Slightly Decrease

8. Other or expanded principles
- X

9. Capital gains taxes
- Maintain Status

10. Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
- Slightly Decrease

11. Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
- Greatly Increase

12. Should Internet sales be taxed?
- No Answer

13. Estate taxes
- Slightly Increase

14. Vehicle taxes
- Maintain Status

Campaign Finance and Government Reform

Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

1. PAC
- Yes

2. Political Parties
- No

3. Individual
- Yes

4. Corporate
- Yes

Welfare and Poverty

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

1. Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
- No Answer

2. Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
- X

3. Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
- X

4. Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
- No Answer

5. Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
- X

6. Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
- No Answer

7. Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
- No Answer

8. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

9. Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
- No Answer

Education

Education Funding Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education funding.

1. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

2. Funds from affluent school districts should be redirected to meet the needs of poorer districts.
- No Answer

3. Schools should be funded equally by state funds and local property taxes.
- No Answer

4. Schools should be funded primarily by local property taxes.
- No Answer

5. Schools should be funded primarily by state funds.
- X

6. New York should increase the number of video lottery machines to help pay for education.
- No Answer

Employment and Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies? decisions on:

1. Public employment
- Yes

2. State contracting
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

4. State college and university admissions
- Yes

Crime

Drug Law Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drug laws in New York.

1. Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
- X

2. Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
- No Answer

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

4. Strengthen penalties for those convicted of distributing drugs while armed.
- No Answer

5. Strengthen penalties for those convicted of distributing drugs to, or with the aid of, minors.
- No Answer

6. Send first time non-violent drug offenders to rehabilitation treatment centers, not correctional facilities.
- X

7. Expand the degree of judicial discretion in drug law sentencing.
- X

Health

Medicaid Funding Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Medicaid funding.

1. Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
- No Answer

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

3. Funding for Medicaid should come primarily from the state government.
- X

4. Funding for Medicaid should come exclusively from the state government.
- No Answer

5. Funding for Medicaid should come from both the state and county governments.
- X

6. Shift long-term care Medicaid payments currently made by individual counties to the state.
- No Answer

7. Cap every county?s portion of Medicaid payments at present levels.
- No Answer

8. Create a preferred drug list to reduce Medicaid costs.
- No Answer

Speeches