As Democrats, it is our responsibility to offer protection for the most needy, the poor, the elderly, our children and handicapped people in all communities throughout New York State.
It is for this reason that I am surprised that our Democratic Governor has proposed budget cuts of 2 billion dollars to the State’s budget and that these cuts will directly and definitely hurt our most needy communities.
This proposal by Governor David Paterson includes cuts to programs and services for the elderly, cuts to our children’s education, increases in college tuitions, cuts to health care services, hospital closings, cuts to Medicaid, cuts to programs and services for the disabled, cuts to mental health services, and salary reductions to health care workers such as home-attendants, nurses and maintenance workers.
As Democrats, we are expected to fight for these services for our communities, and that is why I cannot, I should not, and I will not give my vote to my Democratic colleagues in the State Senate to approve these cuts proposed by Governor Paterson because these cuts will directly affect you, the residents of my community.
I am not suggesting that we ignore the fiscal realities of New York City, New York State and the United States of America. However, every time there is a fiscal issue, we cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of the Hispanic communities, the African-American communities, and the neediest communities of the State.
We have always blamed the Republicans for proposing cuts that abuse our communities. Yet, now that we, Democrats, are in the majority in the State legislature and we have a Democrat in the Governor’s office, how can we continue to direct cuts to our communities and our people when we can confront the economic crisis in other ways. We cannot use the economic crisis as an excuse to continue to harm our communities while protecting the rich.
There is an immense pressure to decide the issue of leadership in the State Senate so that the Democrats would have the majority of the votes to approve these proposed detrimental cuts.
I have always been a Democrat. I am still a Democrat. And I will always be a Democrat.
As a Democrat, I have fought and will continue to fight for more and better services for our senior citizens, low income and affordable housing, and rent control, to protect the needy and the immigrants, along with helping our streets and roads to be safe, I have been the only Democrat, who, in defense of our children’s education, has asked publicly for the resignation of New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein and New York City Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. I have fought for and will continue to bring affordable housing services to my Senatorial District.
I am also a Minister and a Pastor of an Evangelical Church in the Bronx, as such, I do not support the matrimony of homosexual couples, nor will I support abortion on demand. Although my Democratic party is fighting to bring homosexual marriage to the State of New York, I am a Democrat who believes in the sanctity of life and the sacredness of marriage.
I cannot join my Democratic colleagues in the Senate to support the budget cuts proposed by Governor David Paterson – even though he is a Democrat like me – that directly hurt the needy people in our communities, nor will I support any agenda that includes homosexual marriage in the State of New York.
I pray and hope that you, as my constituent, will understand my positions. Rest assured, that as your State Senator, I will continue to be the strongest advocate for housing, rent control, health care, education, senior services and the overall improvement of our community.
May God bless you and may the new year bring you health and prosperity.
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