Protection Act, Spectrum’s In Focus on Gun Safety, Electric Vehicles

March 1, 2018

I voted this week in favor of needed legislation to increase transparency in elections in New York. The bill requires that all political communications, including internet and digital, disclose the organization or individual paying for the communication:

Democracy Protection Act. The Democracy Protection Act holds paid internet and digital advertising, and all other political communications, to the same disclosure and attribution standards as television and radio communications. Under the act, all political communications by a political committee, including advertisements posted online or to social media, would need to include a “paid for by” statement followed by the name of the political committee making the expenditure. If the advertisement is too small to contain the statement, it must contain a link to another webpage where the information is prominently displayed. I’m a proud cosponsor of this legislation to protect the integrity of our elections – a growing problem as witnessed in last year’s national election.

States for Gun Safety Coalition. Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the new “States for Gun Safety” coalition to combat gun violence earlier this week including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Puerto Rico. In the face of repeated federal inaction, the coalition will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to better share information and tackle this devastating epidemic through a comprehensive, regional approach. The coalition will advance a needed multi-pronged effort that will create a multi-state database to supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes as well as guns transported across state borders and launch the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium that will study the issue across multiple disciplines to better inform policymakers nationwide.

Catch Me Presenting on Spectrum’s In Focus. In my continued advocacy to prevent gun violence, I joined Solomon Syed for this week’s In Focus, which airs on Spectrum News this Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and repeats Sunday at 3:30 p.m. I appreciate Spectrum’s attention to the gun safety legislative work here in New York and the efforts to do more to protect our children and communities.

Gun Violence Research Institute. Gun violence is a public health crisis that claims 33,000 American lives each year. Despite this, the federal government bans research on gun violence and its prevention. Investment in scientific research helped identify ways to reduce motor vehicle deaths, from seat belts to frontal airbags, and saved hundreds of thousands of lives without banning cars. I’m supporting legislation by my colleague Jo Anne Simon that would create a NYS Gun Violence Research Institute in New York State so that we can identify practical solutions to this crisis.

Tesla Pushes for Electric Vehicle Expansion Upstate. There is a growing market for electric vehicles in Upstate New York and Tesla Motors is pushing for an increased presence here in the Capital Region. As noted in the Spotlight, I joined Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle to give Tesla the ability to open more showrooms in New York.

Community Updates & Events

Irish Legislators Society Award. I’m honored to join Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul for this year’s American Irish Legislators Society as this year’s Charles Stewart Parnell Award recipient. The dinner will be held on Monday, March 12th at 7:00 PM at the Hibernian Hall at 375 Ontario Street in Albany. A traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner will be served, along with customary Irish beverages, music, and Irish entertainment. Proceeds from the event and contributions to the Society support charitable and cultural activities, including those of American-Irish organizations around the state. Please call my office if interested buying a dinner ticket.

Net Neutrality Event. Join me and guest speaker Robert Heverly, Associate Professor of Law at Albany Law School to learn what can we do about preserving net neutrality on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 7:00 PM at Bethlehem Town Hall, 445 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY 12054. Prof. Heverly will speak about what net neutrality means, the significance of the recent FCC action, pathways to regain net neutrality including current legal challenges, and local action that can be taken. I will highlight my bill to preserve net neutrality (A. 8882) and how we can permanently enshrine net neutrality in statute. For questions about attending the talk, please contact Jeremy Snyder at 2006@snarton.com.

NYS to Offer Citizen Preparedness Classes at JCC. New York State is offering two-hour training sessions for residents to have the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. Each family participating will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit. Training will be offered at the Sidney Albert JCC at 340 Whitehall Rd in Albany on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 06:15 PM to 08:45 PM. Pre-registration is mandatory.

Albany High Presents Hairspray. The award-winning Albany High School Theatre Ensemble will tackle issues of race and privilege in its upcoming production of the musical “Hairspray.” Performances will be held in the Albany High auditorium 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17, with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, March 18. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $15 for adults.

Community Garden Plots Available. Capital Roots has plots available in 52 community gardens conveniently located throughout Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and southern Saratoga counties. Chances are they have a plot available in your neighborhood! Orientations to reserve a community garden plot are held throughout March and April email gardens1@capitalroots.org to find out about reserving a plot for the upcoming season.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note, or give us a call at (518) 455-4178.

Pat