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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • BA, Public Justice, State University of New York, Oswego
  • JD, University of Buffalo

Professional Experience

  • BA, Public Justice, State University of New York, Oswego
  • JD, University of Buffalo
  • Adjunct Instructor, Employment Law, Cornell University, 2008-present
  • Former Partner, Blitman and King
  • Co-Owner, Equal=Grounds, Coffee House, present

Political Experience

  • BA, Public Justice, State University of New York, Oswego
  • JD, University of Buffalo
  • Adjunct Instructor, Employment Law, Cornell University, 2008-present
  • Former Partner, Blitman and King
  • Co-Owner, Equal=Grounds, Coffee House, present
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 2010-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 138, 2018
  • Minority Leader, Monroe County Legislature, 2007-2010
  • Member, Assistant Minority Leader, Monroe County Legislature, 2006-2007

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Agriculture Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Local Governments Committee, New York State Assembly

Chair, Subcommittee on Emerging Workforce, New York State Assembly, present

Former Member, Labor Committee, New York State Assembly, 2004-2009

Current Legislative Committees

Chair, Aging Committee

Member, Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee

Member, Education Committee

Member, Labor Committee

Member, Transportation Committee

Policy Positions

New York State Legislative Election 2018 Political Courage Test

Education

1. Do you support adopting federal education standards in New York ?
- No

2. Should immigrants unlawfully present in the United States who graduate from New York high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
- Yes

3. Should students' standardized test scores be used to evaluate teacher performance?
- No

4. Do you support state funding for charter schools?
- No

5. Other or expanded principles
- I have a long standing commitment to supporting public schools and public education.

Legislative Priorities

In the following area, please explain in a total of 100 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.
- My top three priorities are fighting corruption in Albany, ensuring all Monroe County families have access to quality, affordable health care and growing our economy by investing in workforce development programs that connect workers to jobs in new and emerging industries.

Gun

1. Should teachers be allowed to bring guns into the classroom?
- No

2. Should a license be required for gun ownership?
- Yes

3. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

4. Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
- Yes

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Health

1. Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

3. Should the state government increase funding for treatment facilities to combat opioid abuse?
- Yes

4. Do you support legislation that grants citizens the right to choose to die through euthanasia?
- No Answer

5. Do you support eliminating religious exemptions for vaccinations?
- Yes

6. Do you support Medicaid expansion through New York 's health care programs?
- Yes

Social

1. Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in New York 's anti-discrimination laws?
- Yes

2. Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in New York 's anti-discrimination laws?
- Yes

3. Do you support greater efforts by New York state government in closing the pay gap between men and women?
- Yes

4. Should New York permit localities to adopt "Sanctuary City" immigration policies?
- Yes

5. Other or expanded principles
- As a gay man I have supported and fought social justice in all forms.

Environment & Energy

1. Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- I have voted for funding to help protect the environment.

3. Do you support state government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Yes

4. Do you support increasing state funding for clean drinking water initiatives?
- Yes

Abortion & Reproductive

1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

2. Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
- Yes

3. Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
- No

4. Other or expanded principles
- I believe that abortion should be safe and legal and have voted to codify Roe V Wade into law in New York.

Campaign Finance & Government Reform

1. Do you support any limits on campaign contributions to state candidates?
- Yes

2. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Yes

3. Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
- Yes

4. Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
- No

5. Other or expanded principles
- I have voted for campaign finance laws that include greater disclosure, public financing and limited the about of LLC money in campaigns with full disclosure.

Crime & Public Safety

1. Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
- No

2. Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
- No Answer

3. Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
- No

4. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

5. Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
- Yes

6. Do you support replacing the cash bail system with a supervised release system for misdemeanor charges?
- Yes

Economic

1. Do you support an increase of the minimum wage of New York ?
- Yes

2. Do you support state government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

3. Do you support lowering state taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

4. Do you support reducing state government regulations on the private sector?
- No Answer

5. Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
- Yes

6. Do you support requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits?
- No

7. Other or expanded principles
- I voted for the increase in minimum wage and have worked on other benefit increases for employees including paid family leave, the first in the nation.

Budget, Spending, & Tax

Budget Stabilization:

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing New York 's budget.

1. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

2. Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions?
- No

3. Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees?
- No

4. Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients?
- No

5. An income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- Yes

Articles

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of $12 Million Affordable Housing Development in Rochester

Sep. 24, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a newly constructed $12 million affordable housing development in downtown Rochester. Charlotte Square on the Loop is the first residential development in Rochester's Inner Loop East Transformation project, the city's effort to convert the 1950's era below-grade Inner Loop highway into a vibrant, walkable, safe, and at-grade residential and commercial community. The development has 50 affordable and supportive apartments. "As Rochester's downtown expands, it is critical that we continue to create new affordable housing to ensure all residents can share in these revitalization efforts," Governor Cuomo said. "Affordable housing is integral to the growth of our downtown neighborhoods, and with Charlotte Square on the Loop, we are modernizing downtown with the removal of the highway and building a new neighborhood for all to enjoy." "Being here today in Rochester at Charlotte Square on the Loop is a reminder of the importance of our statewide investment in affordable and supportive housing," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Here in New York, communities like the City of Rochester are reimagining their transportation infrastructure to strengthen neighborhoods for the future. The Inner Loop East project presents a great opportunity to boost development in a key part of downtown. We are committed to transforming the lives of all New Yorkers with expanded access to high-quality housing in the Finger Lakes and across the state." The Governor's commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Finger Lakes economy is reflected in "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State's investment in Charlotte Square on the Loop complements the initiative by creating affordable housing opportunities for vulnerable populations. Since 2011, HCR has financed the creation or preservation of 6,645 affordable multifamily homes in the Finger Lakes Region including more than 2,400 in Rochester. Charlotte Square on the Loop has 50 affordable apartments in a single, four-story building. Most of the apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Eight of the apartments will be set aside for Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach to house formerly incarcerated individuals who are in recovery and graduating from transitional housing. Spiritus Christi will provide supportive services for these individuals with funding provided by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), through Governor Cuomo's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. The building includes a community room, fitness center, patios and balconies, on-site management office, secure interior bicycle storage, playground, on-site parking for residents, and bulk storage incorporated into the units. The development is located on a new parcel created by the City of Rochester's $25 million Inner Loop East Transformation, which is converting a below-grade beltway into six development parcels and making major improvements in traffic safety and walkability in the surrounding area. As the first Inner Loop residential development project, Charlotte Square on the Loop is the third phase in Home Leasing's mixed income redevelopment of Charlotte Street in downtown Rochester. On the adjacent site to the west is Charlotte Square at the East End, a 72 market-rate and moderate-income apartment community, and Charlotte Square Townhomes, a community of newly constructed townhomes for sale. Home Leasing anticipates breaking ground on a fourth phase, Union Square, on Site 3 of the Inner Loop in December to offer additional affordable housing options. New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided federal and state Low-Income Housing Credits that generated $8.7 million in equity and an additional $2 million in subsidy. Other sources include a $750,000 permanent loan from the Community Preservation Corporation financed through their partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The City of Rochester is providing $300,000. Key Community Development Corporation is the tax credit investor. Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Charlotte Square on the Loop continues our commitment to moving the Finger Lakes forward with new housing, infrastructure, and commercial activity. This development is improving the quality of life for residents in downtown Rochester and providing an affordable home for 50 households. We will continue to build, preserve and protect affordable housing in Rochester and across the Finger Lakes region to ensure further progress." Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, "People leaving periods of incarceration face a number of daunting challenges as they transition back into the community -being able to find adequate and affordable housing shouldn't be one of them. Charlotte Square will provide the stable housing and supportive services that formerly incarcerated individuals can rely on to start a new, more productive chapter in life." State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said, "There are exciting residential and commercial development projects happening in downtown Rochester. The state pension fund is one of the investors helping to make these projects happen. As trustee of the state pension fund, securing sound investments for the more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries is my priority. We are pleased to partner with Community Preservation Corporation and others to invest in this project and help secure affordable housing in Rochester's Inner Loop East Transformation project." Senator Joseph Robach said, "Downtown Rochester is experiencing a rebirth with new jobs and opportunities for people in our region. The state-of-the-art, affordable apartments at Charlotte Square will not only meet a need for residents in the city of Rochester and people looking to relocate downtown, they will also provide exceptional services and amenities to those who will call this new development home." Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, "As the blueprints were drafted, the developers of Charlotte Square were committed to building a truly sustainable living community. Not only is the building LEED Gold certified, it is the heart of redevelopment of our downtown, and will brighten the lives of those who live here. Charlotte Square transforms the East End into a residential community that provides our families with an affordable and unique city-living experience. Designed to promote a social, active and modern lifestyle, Charlotte Square will serve as a beacon to sustainability." Assembly Member David Gantt said, "Charlotte Square on the Loop is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together. This development is a step forward in providing all of Rochester's hardworking families with the affordable housing they need and deserve." County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "As County Executive, it has always been a priority to build stronger families, and this investment brings more affordable options to help keep Monroe County residents self-sufficient. These homes are a great start of a vibrant neighborhood and East End community, and I applaud my colleagues with City of Rochester and the State of New York for working to bring these resources to Monroe County." Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, "Home Leasing recognized the potential of the Inner Loop East Transformation from early on, so it is no surprise that they are the first to cross the finish line with a completed project here. Thanks to our partnerships with the New York State government and the private sector, we are rebuilding our city and bringing jobs and opportunity to our residents. I want to thank New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Nelson Leenhouts and his team at Home Leasing for their investments in the city of Rochester and for helping us advance our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens." Home Leasing Chairman & CEO Bret Garwood Nelson Leenhouts said, "Home Leasing is extremely excited to continue to bring a wide range of housing options to downtown Rochester with the completion of Charlotte Square on the Loop. We are very grateful for the collaboration with New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the City of Rochester, our lenders and investors to help realize the vision for the Inner Loop Transformation as an inclusive and diverse community." Executive Director of Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach Jim Smith said, "When the Spiritus Christi residents move into Charlotte on the Loop, they will no longer be homeless, incarcerated or an ex-offender, they will be a member of the community, treated with all the same dignity and respect as all residents, because that is the beautiful way Home Leasing carries out their mission, "To improve the lives of its residents." KeyBank Rochester Market President Phil Muscato said, "We at KeyBank are committed to helping our community thrive by supporting important initiatives like Charlotte Square on the Loop that fuel economic growth, create pathways to home ownership, and build communities of opportunity," said We thank our partners in this project for working together to create opportunities for accessible and affordable housing and for helping to transform this part of our great City." New York State Association for Affordable Housing President and CEO of Jolie Milstein said, "Charlotte Square on the Loop is an example of the very best kind of affordable housing development. It provides accessible homes to a wide-range of families, including support programs for the formerly homeless, in a desirable neighborhood in Rochester. As our industry and our government partners continue work to solve our housing crisis, it is critically important that we find opportunities to create similar projects in communities across New York State." CPC Mortgage Officer Miriam Zinter said, "At CPC we believe that housing can be a catalyst for creating strong, vibrant communities. We're proud to invest in Charlotte Square on the Loop, a project that will reknit the fabric of long-separated neighborhoods, provide affordable homes to dozens of Rochester families, and anchor the revitalization of our city center. My thanks to our partners at Home Leasing, HCR Commissioner Visnauskas, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and to Comptroller DiNapoli and the State's Common Retirement Fund." Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. The region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

Governor Cuomo Announces $6.4 Million Grant from Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to Improve Genesee Valley Greenway, Niagara Shoreline Trail

Aug. 21, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $6.4 million in grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, in addition to $4 million in state funding, which will support ongoing improvements to the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park and the Niagara Shoreline Trail in Western New York. The projects will help make key connections to the Empire State Trail. The not-for-profit Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, created after the 2014 death of Wilson, the former owner of the Buffalo Bills and a co-founder of the American Football League. "This support from the Wilson Foundation, coupled with new state funding, will help repair, enhance and expand recreational opportunities on these multi-use paths in two beautiful parts of western New York, which Ralph Wilson loved so much," Governor Cuomo said. "His legacy will strengthen tourism, increase safety for bicyclists and hikers, and further revitalize communities that are better connected." "As an avid bicyclist, I know how important this significant funding will be as we continue our efforts to improve connections to the Empire State Trail," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We are fortunate that Ralph Wilson's spirit lives on through generous philanthropic efforts. In celebrating his legacy, we are grateful to the Foundation's commitment towards our regional trail systems. These investments will expand recreational opportunities, and boost the tourism industry and economy of Western New York." Both the Genesee Valley and Niagara projects will also strengthen significant connections to the Empire State Trail, a statewide project announced in January 2017 by Governor Cuomo. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, the Empire State Trail will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. Plans for the Genesee Valley Greenway, a 90-mile former canal towpath and railway bed in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties that has been a State Parks multi-use trail since 2011, call for $6.5 million in improvements. Projects for the Genesee Valley Greenway being funded include:-Complete resurfacing, infrastructure improvements and signage on 17 miles of trail from Rochester to the village of Avon in Livingston County.-Disability access improvements at Greenway Bridge at Mt. Morris in Livingston County near Letchworth State Park.-Partial resurfacing, as well as parking lot improvements, infrastructure and signage, between York Landing and the Abbey of the Genesee near the hamlet of Piffard in Livingston County.-Creation of a strategic plan to identify further improvements along the rest of the Greenway, which passes through 16 towns in the five counties as it follows the corridor of the former Genesee Valley Canal and Pennsylvania Road.-The Wilson Foundation is providing $2.5 million for the work, while State Parks is providing $2.5 million, and the New York State Transportation Department is providing $1.54 million. The Greenway connects to the Empire State Trail at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, and is used for snowmobiling, hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The Wilson Foundation also has awarded an additional $2.5 million dependent on the state locating matching funds to be used to support further Greenway improvements identified in the strategic plan. Administered by State Parks and the not-for-profit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, the Greenway trail runs from Rochester to Hinsdale in Cattagaugus County. Along the way, the Greenway passes the village of Cuba in Allegany County, a center of the state's dairy industry that once billed itself as the Cheese Capital of the World. Near Buffalo, four projects totaling $4.1 million are planned for the Niagara Shoreline Trail, including:-One mile of new trail south of the village of Lewiston.-A study on how to close gaps in the shoreline trail from Lewistown to Lake Ontario, and to evaluate how to repair an impassable section of the Niagara Gorge Trail known as the Talus Slope.-Creation of a public outreach effort on implementation of construction on additional new trail sections in Lewiston.-The Niagara Shoreline Trail will connect to the Empire State Trail in Niagara Falls. The Wilson Foundation is providing a grant of $1.4 million to support this work, with another $2.7 million provided by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, State Department of Transportation, the New York Power Authority, the Niagara River Greenway and the town of Lewiston. New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "This work being announced today will bring more people to western New York to use these trails, strengthening the local recreational economy, as well as adding even more vitality to Governor Cuomo's visionary Empire State Trail. Ralph Wilson cared deeply about this region, and his impact in our state through these trails will continue to benefit people for many years to come." New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Building a 21st century transportation system that improves quality of life and promotes tourism and economic development is a core mission of the New York State Department of Transportation, which is why we are proud to be a part of Governor Cuomo's historic Empire State Trail initiative. The Genesee Valley Greenway State Park and the Niagara Shoreline Trail are natural treasures and these projects will make it easier for New Yorkers and visitors to our state to experience all that they have to offer." NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones said, "As part of the 2007 relicensing of the Niagara Power Project, the New York Power Authority committed more than $450 million over 50 years to the Niagara River Greenway. This funding will help develop and enhance a linear system of state and local parks and conservation areas linked by a network of trails from the northern mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario along the Niagara River to the City of Buffalo at Lake Erie. Working with partners like the Wilson Foundation and the Governor's office, we can more quickly fill in the gaps of those trails and broaden the vision of connecting trails for hikers and bicyclists across the State." Empire State Trail Executive Director Andy Beers said, "This gift from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation will help make both the Genesee Valley Greenway and the Niagara Shoreline Trail into even better attractions on the Empire State Trail. Their generous grant will provide Western New York with a trail system that will draw visitors and promote economic development." Senator Patrick Gallivan said, "New York is blessed with some of the most beautiful parks and trails in the country. Thanks to the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and its partnership with New York State, residents will be able to enjoy the Genesee Valley Greenway and Niagara Shoreline Trail for years to come. By connecting communities and citizens along the Empire State Trail, we will increase recreational opportunities and support economic development across the state." Senator Mike Ranzenhofer said, "I am pleased to see funds going to the Empire State Trail. Improving our Upstate infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for our community is always a top priority." Assembly Member Joseph M. Giglio said, "I am happy that these Empire State Trail connections will be completed, and that both the Niagara Shoreline Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail will receive infrastructure and access improvements. The enhancements to these trails will benefit individuals and communities across Western New York. I commend the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for their willingness to invest in the wellbeing of our communities throughout the region." Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for making these improvements possible. I believe that when the project is complete, it will create a safe, continuous multi-use trail that will be accessible to persons of all ages and abilities. This improved and fully continuous trail will offer and encourage more residents to engage in healthy physical activity; and with its connection to the Empire State Trail, attract more tourists to local communities and businesses." Livingston County Board of Supervisors Chairman David LeFeber said, "These investments in the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail are much appreciated by the residents of Livingston County. The Greenway has a rich history and is well utilized by residents and visitors alike as people look to get outdoors and stay active in the Finger Lakes region. These improvements augment the capital infrastructure work taking place at the County's Al Lorenz Park, which adjoins the Greenway Trail in Mount Morris and includes several miles of new trails for outdoors enthusiasts to enjoy. " Mount Morris Village Mayor Frank Provo said, "The Village and Town of Mount Morris, along with the Villages and Towns of Geneseo and Perry have created the Letchworth Gateway Villages to promote our area as an outdoor tourist destination. This is great news to know additional improvements are coming to the Greenway to help us in promoting the Genesee Valley as a great place for outdoor adventures." Wilson Foundation President and CEO David O. Egner said, "The Genesee Valley Greenway is an incredible natural greenway that connects communities from Monroe to Cattaraugus Counties and has the potential to link two beautiful State Parks together in western New York. We're proud to support this important connection to the Empire State Trail, which will further improve the recreational, transportation and economic development opportunities for the many communities along the 90-mile State Park." Director of Tourism and Marketing for the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce Elissa Russell said, "Continued investment in the development of our parks serve to enhance the quality of life in the region and contributes to the economic health of the region and its ability to attract and retain businesses. Continuously recognized as one of the healthiest counties in New York State, it is Livingston County's intent to promote the use of parks recreation and those activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle. The completion of this project will have a profoundly positive and lasting effect for the both the visitors and residents of Livingston County." President of Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway Joan Schumaker said, "What thrilling news! Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and Governor Cuomo for this major commitment to improving the historic Genesee Valley Greenway, one of the state's longest multi-use trails. An upgraded trail surface and infrastructure improvements are just what is needed for the Greenway to attain the standard of the Empire State Trail, attract additional trail visitors, contribute to economic activity in Greenway towns and villages, and encourage area residents of all ages and abilities to become regular Greenway users. We look forward to working together with all involved on this truly transformative project." Co-Founder of Genesee River Wilds Allen Kerkeslager said, "One of our own group's major goals is to promoting appreciation for the Genesee sand New York State officials have begun to take on a greater role in achieving this goal." Common Ground Health CEO Wade S. Norwood said, "As the health impact assessment of the Greenway documented, this gorgeous trail is already a shot in the arm for community wellness. Now, with these critical new upgrades, folks of all abilities will be able to access the Greenway for walking, biking and other activities proven to reduce chronic illness and improve mental health. We applaud the leadership and commitment of Governor Cuomo, the Wilson Foundation, the Genesee Transportation Council, Monroe County, State Parks and Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway for making these enhancements possible." Genesee Transportation Council Director James Stack said, "GTC was pleased to participate in the celebration of Ralph Wilson's 100th birthday in Buffalo this past October when the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a very significant investment in the health of Western New York by supporting opportunities for a more active lifestyle, especially among our youth. We are thrilled that the Rochester area is benefitting from the Foundation's generosity. Today's announcement will expand a recently-approved project to resurface a portion of the Genesee Valley Greenway that is consistent with our Regional Trails Initiative to promote active transportation. Additionally, the Genesee Valley Greenway was the subject of a recent study, in partnership with Common Ground Health, to assess the influence that health impacts can have on transportation planning. I am pleased to see many of the recommendations being incorporated into this project." The Wilson Foundation grants will be made to the National Heritage Trust, which will support trail work to be done by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. In September 2018, the Wilson Foundation launched a $200 million initiative to support parks and trails in western New York and southeastern Michigan, with funds to be split evenly between the regions. Half of New York's share was earmarked for rebuilding LaSalle Park in Buffalo, which is planned to be renamed Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, with the rest to be used for regional projects. That same month, the foundation provided a $6.5 million grant for the Empire State Trail initiative in western New York for gateways, signage, kiosks, bike racks and other amenities between Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester. That work also included 7.4 miles of Niagara Shoreline Trail to connect Niagara Falls to Tonawanda, as well as a new gateway and trail improvements at Devil's Hole State Park. The goal is to have the shoreline trail ultimately connect to the shorelines of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The Foundation's continued funding builds on New York State's $23 million investment to improve the Empire State Trail from Buffalo to Rochester, and to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in the Niagara Gorge. About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.'s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires in January 2035. This structure reflects Wilson's desire for the foundation's impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit http://www.ralphcwilsonjrfoundation.org/. State Parks oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 74 million people last year. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Governor Cuomo Announces New Home of Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center at Monroe Community College

Aug. 19, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center will soon be located on the downtown campus of Monroe Community College located at 321 State Street in the City of Rochester, Monroe County. This moves the center from its originally planned location at Eastman Kodak Business Park to a more central location on the downtown MCC campus. The new "MCC Forward Center" will be more easily accessible to students, residents, and community partners. It will support Eastman Kodak Business Park tenant companies as programs in skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, and industrial technology will be provided at the Center or as on-site contract training, while opening up this opportunity for support to additional businesses located outside of the business park. "Investing in our workforce is essential for continued growth in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region," Governor Cuomo said. "The MCC Forward Center will provide a needed pipeline for in-demand technical manufacturing jobs - and this new location is a logical fit for the region, our partners at Monroe Community College and the businesses that will benefit from access to quality workers trained in the skills needed to succeed in today's economy." "Investing in accessible job training is essential to provide individuals with the skills businesses are looking for as they modernize and grow in the innovation economy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center's new location at Monroe Community College is centrally located for students and residents to take advantage of programs in trades, manufacturing, and technology. It will increase opportunities for good paying jobs in Rochester and beyond, and will continue to strengthen businesses and spur investment in the Upstate economy. New York is leading the way to create a pipeline of talent for our workforce and employers." SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "For communities across the State the SUNY campuses are a hub of academic excellence and provide a pathway from high school to job opportunities and long-term careers. We are pleased that Monroe Community College will serve as the new location for the MCC Forward Center. Together with businesses and organizations, the campus will offer an individualized education to more people in the region." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "As the State's economy continues to evolve, we need to give New Yorkers the necessary skills to compete in an ever-changing job market while giving businesses access to the trained workforce they need to succeed, and this move to MCC's downtown campus will continue to move the Finger Lakes forward." "Education and training are key to the well-being of our region. The Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center will open the door for more individuals seeking meaningful employment and a better quality of life," said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and Monroe Community College President Anne Kress. "Having the Workforce Development Center at our Downtown Campus positions MCC to play a greater role in improving employers' competitiveness and the region's economic vitality. This location also provides students with access to MCC's support services, helping even more individuals and their families build brighter economic futures. We are grateful to County Executive Dinolfo and the County Legislature for their support of the project, and Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development, and SUNY for their funding for this important regional workforce and economic development initiative." Madhuri Kommareddi, Director of Workforce Development for Governor Cuomo, said, "The MCC Forward Center is a leading model for effective workforce development through its meaningful engagement of cross-sector partners, focus on continually evolving training programs to meet employer needs, and coordination with the tremendous economic and academic infrastructure that already exists in the Finger Lakes." The MCC Forward Center will take a multi-faceted approach to creating a 21st century workforce. The comprehensive, $11.4 million workforce development training complex will match in demand workers with the Finger Lakes area high technology companies that deal in energy, biomaterials, functional films and photonics. Photonics is the centerpiece of the regions Finger Lakes Forward economic blueprint. Over the next five years, the MCC Forward Center is expected to train over 2,300 workers and add $90 million in economic benefits to the region in the form of worker salaries and increased supply chain value. Added benefits include available space for long-term expansion while providing substantial savings in operating and staffing costs for MCC. This new, downtown location will be supported by a $5.4 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant as well as a $6 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge grant. The project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2023. Senator Joe Robach said, "It is imperative that we ensure that today's workforce is not only prepared for jobs that are needed now, but for jobs that will be in demand in the future. The MCC Forward Center will provide that much needed training as we continue to build the regional economy." Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "Moving the MCC Workforce Development Training Center to downtown Rochester is a positive step in the right direction and will ensure that residents and businesses are keeping up with the growing demand for high-tech jobs which will continue to attract more and more companies to the region." Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Monroe County's investments in workforce development have been life changing for families across our region, as our award-winning programs have helped hundreds of individuals secure good-paying jobs in growing fields like advanced manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and more. When Monroe County partnered with MCC to build a new Downtown Campus for our community several years ago, we always envisioned the surplus space at MCC Downtown would someday house a collaborative hub for advanced workforce development training. We are thrilled to now be bringing that vision to reality and we thank MCC, SUNY, ESD, and all of our project partners for their continued cooperation and support." City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "This more centralized location for the MCC Forward Center in the heart of the City is a win for both Rochester businesses and the residents that are looking for high tech training for jobs that are in high demand. This is another much needed resource towards the continued growth of the City of Rochester that will also help grow the people who call it home." Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward Today's announcement also complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia, and Canandaigua as destinations in which to grow and invest. Now the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private businesses to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs.

Events

2019

Sep. 14
March with Assemblymember Bronson in the Suffragist City Parade!

Sat 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM EDT

Assemblymember Harry Bronson