Mr. Smith -- and Mr. Serrano -- Go to Washington
I had the opportunity to travel with Minority Leader Malcolm Smith to our nation’s capital this week.
With just two seats needed to re-capture the State Senate, we received a warm welcome from leaders in Washington.
Joe Bruno beware.
Because now is the time when policy and politics collide. When common sense tasks like environmental protection and real campaign finance reform are not likely to happen without a shift in power.
Under the leadership of Senator Smith, we are putting together a formidable slate of candidates for 2008.
We showed our playbook to the likes of Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel and the New York Congressional Delegation. They were all ears.
But forget, for the moment, their strategic and financial support. What’s really going to win the next election is ideas -- and the other side has just plain run out.
If they are the party of backroom deals, we are the party of advocates and experts: Senator Liz Krueger on affordable housing; Senator Tom Duane on gay marriage; Senator Eric Adams on law enforcement. Among countless other examples.
As Ranking Member of the Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development Committee, I am committed to harnessing the power of the arts industry to kickstart the Upstate economy. The model for such efforts is New York City, where the arts have an economic impact of $21.2 billion, and generate $904 million in tax revenue.
Democrats are also the new party of fiscal responsibility, with smart budgets that spend money where it matters, by restructuring our healthcare system and investing in the neediest school districts.
Our “Green Apple Initiative” -- to reduce particulate matter in the air, improve water quality and halt suburban sprawl -- will amount to massive long-term savings, while stimulating economic growth through green technology.
Look at voter registration in the state. Look at ideological trends around the country. Look at the overwhelming support for legislative and campaign finance reform. Simply put, the Republican-controlled Senate is a relic. And 2008 will prove it.
Senator José M. Serrano represents the 28th Senate District, which is comprised of parts of the South Bronx, Highbridge, University Heights, East Harlem, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island. He was first elected to the State Senate in 2004.
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