Share on WeChat
https://www.powervoter.us/neil_breslin
Copy the link and open WeChat to share.
 Share on WeChat
Copy the link and open WeChat to share.
 Share on WeChat
Scan QRCode using WeChat,and then click the icon at the top-right corner of your screen.
 Share on WeChat
Scan QRCode using WeChat,and then click the icon at the top-right corner of your screen.
Biography

Personal

Political Experience

Current Legislative Committees

Professional Experience

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

Additional Information

Policy Positions

New York State Legislative Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Education

1. Do you support national education standards?
- No

2. Should the state universities of New York be permitted to set their own tuition rates?
- Yes

3. Should illegal immigrants who graduate from New York high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
- Yes

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

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
- Yes

7. Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
- Yes

8. Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
- Yes

Legislative Priorities

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.
- 1. Continued reform of the health insurance industry to ensure that insurance is affordable and accessible for all residents of New York State.2. Reform of government including campaign finance reform.

Environment and Energy

1. Do you support state funding for improvements to New York's energy infrastructure?
- Yes

2. Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
- Yes

3. Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
- Yes

4. Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
- No

5. Do you support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops?
- Yes

6. Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
- Yes

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Budget, Spending, and Tax

State Spending

Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

1. Education (higher)
- Slightly Increase

2. Education (K-12)
- Slightly Increase

3. Environment
- Maintain Status

4. Health care
- Slightly Increase

5. Law enforcement
- Maintain Status

6. Transportation and highway infrastructure
- Maintain Status

7. Welfare
- Maintain Status

8. Other or expanded categories
- No Answer

State Taxes

Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

1. Other or expanded categories
- No Answer

2. Alcohol taxes
- Maintain Status

3. Cigarette taxes
- Maintain Status

4. Corporate taxes
- Maintain Status

5. Gasoline taxes
- Maintain Status

6. Property taxes
- Greatly Decrease

7. Sales taxes
- Maintain Status

8. Income taxes (low-income families)
- Maintain Status

9. Income taxes (middle-income families)
- Maintain Status

10. Income taxes (high-income families)
- Slightly Increase

Budget Stabilization

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

1. Issuing the early release of certain non-violent offenders
- Yes

2. Increasing tuition rates at public universities
- No

3. Instituting mandatory furloughs and layoffs for state employees
- No

4. Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
- Yes

5. Privatizing certain government services
- No

6. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

7. Tapping into New York's "rainy day" fund
- No

8. Allowing grocery stores to purchase licenses to sell wine
- No

Gun

1. Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
- Yes

2. Do you support requiring semiautomatic pistols made or sold in New York to microstamp bullet casings?
- Yes

3. Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
- No

4. Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?
- Yes

5. Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
- Yes

6. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Health

1. Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
- Yes

2. Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

4. Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
- Yes

5. Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
- Yes

6. Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
- Yes

7. Do you support legalizing physician-assisted suicide in New York?
- No

8. Do you support a "presumed consent" organ donation policy?
- Yes

9. Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?
- Yes

Social

1. Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?
- Yes

2. Should New York allow same-sex couples to form civil unions?
- Yes

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

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

5. Do you support state funding for stem cell research?
- Yes

6. Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?
- Yes

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

8. Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
- No

Abortion and Reproductive

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

2. Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
- Yes

3. Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
- Yes

4. Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
- No

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
- Pro-choice

7. Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
- No

8. Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
- No

9. Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
- No

Economic

1. Do you support legalizing mixed martial arts competitions in New York?
- No

2. Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
- Yes

3. Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
- Yes

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

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
- Yes

7. Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
- Yes

8. Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
- Yes

Campaign Finance and Government Reform

Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government?

1. Individual
- Yes

2. Political Action Committee
- Yes

3. Corporate
- Yes

4. Political Party
- Yes

5. Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
- Yes

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

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Crime and Public Safety

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

2. Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
- Yes

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

4. Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
- No

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

6. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

7. Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?
- Yes

Articles

Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator Center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Nov. 8

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator, or META Center, which is located on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany. The META Center, led by Applied Materials, Inc., is a first-of-its-kind facility aimed at speeding customer prototyping of new materials, process technologies and devices. At the META Center, engineers can evaluate novel chip materials, structures and devices, testing them in a robust pilot manufacturing environment and accelerating their readiness for customer high-volume manufacturing facilities. "With the opening of the META Center, New York State continues to lead the way by attracting industry leading companies like Applied Materials that will grow our high-tech economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This milestone will lead to many new advancements in research and development, attract new businesses to the state, and bring us closer to the technology of tomorrow, today." The partnership between New York State and Applied Materials was announced in November 2018, and began a new strategic alliance between New York State, SUNY and Applied Materials. Under the agreement, Empire State Development will provide a five-year, $250 million capital grant for the SUNY Research Foundation to purchase and install tools in an advanced research and development facility that will further position the Capital Region to be a global materials engineering research hub. Applied Materials will pay more than $100 million in leases to develop the facility, part of their $600 million investment in the campus. Additionally, researchers across the SUNY system will be invited to submit proposals for joint research and development activities with Applied. Applied's research investments of up to $25 million will be matched by SUNY for up to $50 million in total research funding. The new partnership will also result in internships and research opportunities for SUNY students that are available at no other institute of higher education. Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied, and its partners will co-invest $20 million in venture capital for early-stage businesses across Upstate New York, with ESD providing an additional $10 million grant for a total of $30 million to foster new technology and create high-tech jobs. Steve Ghanayem, senior vice president of New Markets and Alliances at Applied Materials, said, "We are excited to open the doors of the META Center and invite the industry to collaborate with us to accelerate innovation, from materials to systems." Om Nalamasu, CTO of Applied Materials and president of Applied Ventures, said, "Applied Materials welcomes innovators from established and emerging fields to work with us at the META Center to speed the commercialization of new technologies for the AI Era." SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "The META Center further establishes SUNY Poly as a world-class hub for advanced technology research and development. We are excited to work with Applied Materials to spur new collaboration opportunities throughout the technology sector and across the SUNY network." ESD Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "New York State is home to a thriving high-tech ecosystem and the opening of the META Center will keep us at the forefront of technology innovation. The partnership we've developed with NY CREATES, SUNY and Applied Materials will create the building blocks to bring new business, research, jobs and educational opportunities to the state for years to come." Dr. Douglas Grose, Future President of NY CREATES, said, "As we reach this milestone with Applied Materials and in partnership with Empire State Development and SUNY, we are proud to note the significant progress which has already been a hallmark of the META Center in its first year. The rapid ramp up of the Center's capabilities and the growth of related, quality high-tech jobs all point to a strong future, and we look forward to supporting this collaboration's positive impact in the region and across New York State." Dr. Grace Wang, SUNY Poly Interim Vice President, said, "I am thrilled to join Governor Cuomo and SUNY in congratulating Applied Materials as they mark the opening of the META Center less than one year after announcing this critical, collaborative materials research and development initiative. As the META Center and efforts such as the research partnership further take shape, SUNY Poly is proud to act as a magnet for faculty, staff, and students from SUNY Poly and beyond to delve into related 21st century advanced materials R&D while we continue to look forward to a bright future supporting New York State's innovation economy." The META Center will be a world-class hub for materials engineering R&D, prototyping and pilot projects for Applied's existing semiconductor customers as well as new high-tech customers in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, advanced optics, big data, life sciences and autonomous vehicles, among others. The opening of the META Center further solidifies the Capital Region's status as Upstate New York's "Tech Valley" and ensures the SUNY system will remain at the forefront of cutting-edge research, development and innovation in high-tech industries. Applied is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Senator Neil Breslin said, "The fact that the Meta Center is opening right here in the Capital Region is no accident. The Capital Region is home to world-class academic institutions and cutting edge nanotech companies and the ground-breaking collaboration and research and development that will be possible is a perfect fit for the region. This is another great milestone that will result in more jobs and economic growth for the area." Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "The opening of the new META Center marks yet another cutting edge addition to the Tech Valley. Each new STEAM job produces a positive multiplier effect on the surrounding local economy and job market. The growth of SUNY Poly ensures the Capital Region will have a robust tech economy for years to come." Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "The opening of the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center) on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus is welcome news from a technological standpoint and an unprecedented opportunity for SUNY Poly in terms of the economic benefits as well as to our Capital Region due to the other private sector investments that the META Center will be contributing to the campus. This partnership will yield dividends for our Capital Region Tech Valley and will contribute to economic growth in the region, an accomplishment for everyone involved." Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "The grand opening of the Applied Materials META Center at SUNY Poly strengthens the growing "Tech-Valley" ecosystem that has been a boon to the Capital Region. The META Center will provide an engine for advanced research and development and will continue to bring new and exciting businesses to the region which will result in well-paying jobs and economic opportunities." Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Albany is proud to be home to one of the country's truly great research and development institutions at SUNY Poly, and we are excited that the META Center is opening its doors in the Capital City. This significant investment by the state demonstrates Governor Cuomo's commitment to ensuring that New York's 'Tech Valley' will continue its proud tradition of leading the way on innovation for years to come." For nearly two decades, New York State research facilities have been at the center of significant technological advancements and breakthroughs, from developing the machinery and equipment for next-generation wafers to inventing some of the smallest and most advanced computer chips in the world. By hosting industry-leading public-private consortiums, the region's transformation to "Tech Valley" - a global hub for nanotechnology, semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, and industry leading public-private consortiums - has generated billions in economic activity and tens of thousands of jobs throughout the Capital Region. A 2018 report by Georgetown University estimated that more than 60,000 total direct, indirect, induced, and construction jobs upstate are attributable to nanotechnology, driven in large part by the semiconductor industry. The semiconductor industry is a major economic contributor both nationally and within New York State. A recent U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association analysis estimated that each direct semiconductor industry job enables 4.89 jobs in other sectors of the economy, with the U.S. semiconductor industry accounting for roughly a quarter of a million direct U.S. jobs and over a million additional indirect jobs.

Governor Cuomo Announces New York State's First Farm Meadery License

Oct. 24

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Royal Meadery in Albany County has been issued the first farm meadery license in New York State. Royal Meadery is a craft beverage manufacturer that produces mead from New York State-sourced honey. In December 2018, Governor Cuomo signed legislation establishing a new license for farm meaderies, similar to those already available to farm wineries, breweries, distilleries andcideries, to further support the state's thriving craft beverage industry and stimulate demand for honey produced in the New York State. "This administration continues its commitment to supporting the state's growing craft beverage industry and the economic ripple effects that come with it," Governor Cuomo said. "Creating the farm meadery license not only helps our local craft beverage producers, it creates jobs, promotes tourism and continues to support New York as a leading producer of honey in the Northeast." "Thanks to our tireless efforts to cut red tape, craft beverage manufacturers are thriving like never before in communities across the State," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochulsaid. "We're proud to welcome Royal Meadery as New York's first farm meadery and applaud their success and use of locally-sourced honey. With this latest achievement the craft beverage industry continues to grow, creating job opportunities and boosting tourism in every region." Royal Meadery is owned and operated by Gregory Wilhelm, who turned his passion for beekeeping and brewing into a thriving craft beverage manufacturing business in Albany. Gregory and his wife Kristen have a production facility and tasting room in Delmar, outside of Albany, and are dedicated to producing modern meads with locally produced honey to create a resurgence for the world's oldest fermented beverage. Royal Meadery Owner Gregory Wilhelm said, "We appreciate the recognition of receiving the first farm meadery license. New York has long been recognized for its exceptional honey production. It is only natural that New York leads the way in legislation around mead production. I commend the Governor and legislature in creating an environment which supports farms and the craft beverage industry." Mead, commonly referred to as "honey wine," is an alcoholic beverage that is created by fermenting honey with water, which can be infused with fruits, spices, herbs and flowers. The new legislation, first proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Fiscal Year 2019 Executive Budget, authorizes the production of New York State labeled mead made exclusively with honey produced in the state. The farm meadery license includes a host of privileges, including the ability to sell their products by the glass and by the bottle from their manufacturing facilities or tasting rooms, in addition to any other wine, beer, cider or spirits produced by a New York State farm manufacturer. Farm meaderies may also operate up to five no-fee offsite branch offices with tasting rooms anywhere in the state. These expanded privileges are credited with spurring New York's current craft beverage boom, with 236 farm breweries opening following enactment of the Governor's 2013 Farm Brewery law and 43 farm cideries since creation that license in 2014. The Capital Region alone has grown nearly 250% by adding 85 craft manufacturers since 2012. As with New York manufactured hard cider, New York mead will be sold in both grocery stores as well as liquor and wine stores. The annual cost for the new farm meadery license is $75. State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "The new farm meadery license is another example of how this administration continues to make it easier for entrepreneurs to launch new manufacturing businesses to meet the high demand for New York produced products." State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's support of the craft beverage industry, New York's business owners continue to innovate and produce unique wines, beers, ciders and spirits using New York agricultural products, providing an economic boost to our farmers. With the launch of this first farm meadery, we celebrate the creation of a new license that will not only further grow the craft beverage industry in New York State but will also present new opportunities for our beekeepers and the state's honey production." Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate EricGertler said, "New York State's craft beverage industry is thriving and the expansion to licensing farm meaderies will support both job creation and local agriculture. Congratulations to Royal Meadery for this achievement." Senator Jen Metzger, Chair of Senate Agriculture Committee said, "Today we celebrate the first mead license issued in New York and the tangible momentum for farm meaderyexpansion across the state. I was so pleased to carry legislation in the Senate to make it easier for farm meaderies to thrive and prosper by bringing tax laws in alignment with other farm-brewed and distilled products like wine, beer, and cider. Mead is a delicious and growing segment of the craft beverage sector, and as the top honey producer in the northeast, New York is well poised to be the market leader. Here's to seeing 'honey wine' in more Empire State tasting rooms." Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "Congratulations to the Royal Meadery in Delmar for receiving the first farm meadery license in New York State. I commend Governor Cuomo and the State Liquor Authority for supporting this new segment of the state's craft brewing industry that is sure to benefit state wide agriculture and tourism." Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture said, "The farm meadery license will help boost New York's already booming craft beverage industry. The growth of meaderies will also help promote NYS honey producers and support our efforts to protect pollinators. I'd like to congratulate Royal Meadery on receiving the state's first farm meadery license and look forward to visiting soon. Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "I've been thrilled to champion and pass legislation to support New York State's craft beverage industry, so I'm excited to see local Royal Meadery in Delmar receive the state's first-ever meadery license. Growing the craft beverage industry means growing local jobs, growing small business start-ups and small farms, driving tourism, and stimulating the local economy. I commend the Governor for his leadership on this issue and will continue to work in the state legislature to support New York's agricultural businesses and make it easier for craft beverage producers to do business, especially here in the Capital Region." Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Having the first farm meadery license here in Delmar adds to the unique nature of this community, and today's announcement underscores the importance of agriculture, a healthy bee population and the craft beverage industry for the upstate economy. In 2017 alone, over $47 million worth of agricultural products were sold out of Albany County, and thanks to the Governor's and the State Legislature's leadership, that number is sure to grow as more of these businesses set up shop." Recognizing the value that craft producers have for not just their own businesses, but for the State's entire economy, Governor Cuomo has worked to create new licenses, modernize laws, relax regulations, cut taxes, eliminate fees and launch innovative promotional campaigns to make it easier to start and grow new craft manufacturing businesses. Since the Governor's first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, the number of farm-based licenses has increased by over 179% during, from 282 in October 2012 to 788 today. New York now ranks in the top five in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state ranks first in U.S. for the number of hard cider producers, second in craft distillers, third in breweries, and fourth in the country for the total number of wineries. New York remains the top honey producer in the Northeast, with the total value of honey produced at $9.6 million in 2017, an increase of nearly 80 percent from 2011. To apply for a farm meadery license, please visit: http://www.sla.ny.gov.

Governor Cuomo Announces Results of Landmark Air Quality Study in Albany's South End

Oct. 21

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the findings of a state-of-the-art air quality study in Albany's South End community and new State-led actions to help address air pollution in the area. Directed by Governor Cuomo, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation launched a study in 2017 to assess potential emission sources - including trains and vehicle traffic - that impact air quality in this Environmental Justice community. In addition, the Governor announced mitigation measures that DEC is implementing in coordination with the State Department of Transportation, the City of Albany and the Albany Housing Authority; these measures include rerouting trucks, reclassifying roads, minimizing residents' exposure to indoor air pollution, among other efforts. "New York is taking aggressive action to tackle air quality and other environmental health issues impacting residents across the state, and Albany's South End is no exception," Governor Cuomo said. "In the short term this innovative new study gives us the facts we need to implement new measures to reduce community exposure to truck pollutants, and in the long term it will serve as a model for other communities across the state as we advance our efforts to create a cleaner, greener New York for all." "This first-ever community driven scientific study address the important issue of air quality in Albany's South End neighborhood," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As a result of the study, the state plans to partner with local stakeholders to address concerns and reduce the negative impact emissions have on air quality in the area. We want to reduce contaminants to help improve public health for local residents and promote a cleaner and greener environment." DEC designed the study as a model that can be replicated in other communities across the state. During the study, DEC worked closely with the community over 15 months to collect street-level measurements of air quality at strategic locations and performed more than a year of continuous monitoring to account for meteorological and source activity variability. A video featuring DEC researchers and partners conducting the study is available here. Conducted during 2017 and 2018, the study included an estimated 260 hours of backpack air monitoring, during which DEC researchers walked 780 miles over 6,480 hours using portable monitors. Researchers took a total of 8,570 photos of vehicles traveling through the area, gathered 70,000 hours of monitoring data and collected benzene samples at more than 100 locations. In addition, the State Department of Transportation collected 4,400 hours of traffic data. The study found that more particulate matter is coming from local traffic rather than activities at the Port of Albany and that emissions from locomotives and port shipping transport are minimal in comparison to local traffic. The study then transitioned to focus on local traffic pollutants. DEC analyzed DOT's traffic data during periods of the day when vehicle volumes were higher on South Pearl Street, and reviewed data from community monitors which showed trucks are responsible for the majority of traffic pollutants at Ezra Prentice Homes. Overall, data shows that traffic pollutants are relatively uniform throughout the South End, except for Ezra Prentice, and that trucks are contributing the most to traffic pollutants while traveling to and from businesses and other operations located south of Ezra Prentice. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Through Governor Cuomo's leadership and an investment of $500,000 from the State's Environmental Protection Fund, DEC executed a first-of-its-kind study to protect public health in Albany's South End neighborhood. By partnering with local residents, this study is providing a better understanding of air quality in this neighborhood and will help guide future initiatives to protect air quality in Environmental Justice communities across the State." The study evaluated pollutants, including benzene and diesel emissions, and collected unprecedented levels of detail about particulate pollutants primarily associated with mobile sources in the community and further evaluated the vehicle types associated with higher emissions. Particulate pollutants associated with mobile sources continue to be monitored at Ezra Prentice. As part of the study, middle and high school students from the Science and Technology Entry Program at the University of Albany collected air quality measurements with DEC scientists. The study has already resulted in the City of Albany directing its Department of General Services to prohibit city vehicles from using South Pearl Street, except for regularly scheduled solid waste pickup and street cleaning. Key Study Findings The Ezra Prentice community is disproportionately impacted by truck pollutants. The study found truck pollutants on South Pearl Street at Ezra Prentice homes are higher compared to the rest of the Albany South End community. Portable air monitoring also found higher concentrations on the east side of South Pearl Street and closer to the road. Traffic pollutant concentrations are relatively similar in the rest of the complex and drop to background levels approximately 250 feet from the road. While total traffic volume at Ezra Prentice and a comparison road (Southern Boulevard in Albany) are similar, Ezra Prentice has approximately six times the truck volume. Benzene sampling found higher levels near operations that store and transfer gasoline and petroleum products, and the community monitor shows Port activities contribute to local benzene concentrations. Benzene concentrations are slightly higher at the monitor near Albany County Health Department compared to other DEC network monitors in urban areas. Benzene concentrations are lower at Ezra Prentice, compared to the Albany monitor, because the Albany monitor is more frequently downwind of gasoline and petroleum terminals. DOH Health Outcome Review The State Department of Health conducted a Health Outcome Review to address health concerns in the Ezra Prentice community. The review focused on outcomes related to air pollution and evaluated emergency department and hospitalization data from 2005 through 2015. Rates of respiratory and other health outcomes in the South End were compared to those in a City neighborhood with similar demographics. Rates of respiratory outcomes including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute bronchitis and asthma, as well as hypertension and diabetes, were higher in South End compared to the Arbor Hill/West Hill neighborhood. While differences in the health outcome rates are suggestive of exposure differences between the two communities, they cannot prove cause and effect because individual level risk factors were not taken into account. However, these results support taking actions to reduce air pollution in the Ezra Prentice neighborhood. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Clean air should not be determined by zip code and steps must be taken, especially in our most vulnerable neighborhoods, to reduce the harmful emissions created by increased traffic and industry. At Governor Cuomo's direction, this thorough air-quality study conducted in Albany's South End will help inform efforts to address air pollution and improve the health and quality of life for residents." New Actions to Reduce Air Pollution and Exposure As a result of the study and directed by Governor Cuomo, state agencies are undertaking new actions to reduce community exposure to truck pollutants in coordination with local officials: -DEC and DOT are making $20 million available from the Volkswagen settlement and other resources to fund clean trucks statewide, with a focus on environmental justice communities like the South End. DEC is also working with identified truck fleets to evaluate ways fleets can reduce emissions. DEC has allocated an additional $52.4 million for future projects to replace transit, school and paratransit buses statewide.-DEC is conducting enforcement checks and imposing fines on trucks with high emissions on South Pearl Street.-DEC is conducting frequent leak detection inspections at gasoline and petroleum handling facilities using new state-of-the-art equipment, followed by enforcement, as appropriate. DEC has required one gasoline and petroleum terminal in Rensselaer to repair leaks identified using that equipment.-DOT, in coordination with the City of Albany, has reclassified four roads within the Port of Albany to create the potential for trucks to be rerouted away from the area near Ezra Prentice.-DOT is committed to providing technical support to the City of Albany, including direct engineering assistance, in support of the city's continued assessment of South Pearl Street and potential alternative routes for truck traffic.-The Mayor's Office is helping coordinate the voluntary rerouting of frequent truck traffic by several commercial entities with a presence in and near the South End. Traffic monitoring demonstrates that these efforts have reduced truck and bus traffic by 30 percent on South Pearl Street-The Mayor's Office directed the City of Albany Department of General Services to prohibit its vehicles from using South Pearl Street other than for regularly scheduled solid waste pickup and street cleaning. DGS has acquired a street cleaning vacuum to use along the South Pearl Street corridor daily to help reduce particle resuspension. Mayor Kathy Sheehan also assisted the State's efforts by facilitating meetings between DEC and local transportation companies to help provide additional data.-DEC continues to monitor traffic-related pollutants at Ezra Prentice while evaluating ways to adapt and transfer knowledge gained from this study to other near-road and Environmental Justice communities across the state to mitigate traffic pollutants.-The Albany Housing Authority is minimizing residents' indoor exposure to traffic pollutants. AHA is providing professionally installed window air conditioners where appropriate, as early as this year, beginning with residences closest to South Pearl Street and moving outward. AHA is evaluating other strategies for reducing pollution from entering the apartments, such as the effectiveness of central air conditioning. AHA will increase door-to-door advocacy with healthcare partners to increase awareness and education related to indoor air quality.-DEC, the Mayor's Office and AHA are leading a workgroup to develop mitigation strategies and ensure implementation of overall approaches. The workgroup will evaluate the effectiveness of roadside barriers such as green walls where appropriate. DEC's year-long study, supported by $500,000 from the State's Environmental Protection Fund, is in addition to previous efforts in the South End. DEC launched an air screening study in 2014, air quality monitoring for hydrogen sulfide in 2015 - 2017 and added an air toxics monitor in the community to the existing monitoring network in 2015. DEC has also conducted increased vehicle and facility inspections in the community as part of its Operation Eco-Quality. In April 2017, the Capital District Transportation Committee researched and analyzed truck traffic patterns along South Pearl Street at Ezra Prentice homes. The results were used to develop potential strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of truck traffic on the residents in the study area. Senator Neil Breslin said, "I am pleased to see the actions taken by Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation as well as input from local residents, to identify problems and find solutions in reference to the air quality and truck pollutants in the Ezra Prentice community. Strategically rerouting trucks from the neighborhood has already provided dividends by reducing truck and bus traffic by 30 percent. The continued monitoring of air and traffic pollutants in the Ezra Prentice neighborhood will lead to better air quality and reduce pollution." Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "The South End Air Quality Study results include proactive next steps that will build upon the state, local, and community partnership that has led this process. I am confident that the community engagement that spurred the study will continue as these action items are implemented. The health and safety of our residents is paramount and I will continue to work ensure that the necessary protections are in place." Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, "Residents in Albany's South End neighborhood have endured lower air quality and pollution for years as a result of local traffic and truck emissions. I commend the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Governor for initiating this study and for taking meaningful steps working with the City of Albany to address this environmental justice issue. The host of actions announced by the state to redirect truck routes, local traffic routes, and otherwise based off the study's findings show a commitment to rectifying what has become an environmental justice issue over the last few years for many South End residents." Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "I've been fighting for the residents of Ezra Prentice since I called for the 2014 moratorium on Global Partners' expansion plans at the Port of Albany, which helped bring attention to air quality in this neighborhood. Everyone, no matter their zip code, deserves clean air, and the alarming findings in this study show that more needs to be done to uphold that fundamental right. I commend the Governor, the DEC and the DOH for conducting this comprehensive analysis that will lay the groundwork for real change in the South End." Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Since taking office, I have worked closely with Council Members, community members, and local businesses to identify solutions that will improve the health and well-being of the residents of Albany's South End. This air quality study has helped us identify further action we can take together to address important quality of life issues for those living in effected neighborhoods. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for undertaking this innovative study."

Voter Guide

View