WORKING TOGETHER, A Guest Viewpoint in the Press & Sun

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, 123rd AD

As we enter the new year, I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to serve this community and to all the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with. The last couple of years have not been easy, as we have navigated COVID together. There have been plenty of disagreements, frustrations, and disappointments to go around, but we are persevering. The pandemic has helped me appreciate how much better we do in times of crisis when we work together.

Regardless of your point of view, we have shared an experience that has so far taken the lives of nearly 500 Broome County residents and over 900,000 fellow Americans. The pandemic revealed problems that had been building for years like the lack of accessible childcare, affordable housing, and home health care. In the year ahead, we’ll need to work together to make the investments needed to build up these necessities.

We will also have to address the unmet educational, medical, psychological and other needs that have built up during these two years. The year ahead will require targeted federal and state resources, local coordination, dialogue and understanding. In the meantime, it’s good to know that while COVID shut down so much, the work of building our local economy went on with many positive developments.

Working together we accomplished a lot. Binghamton University opened a state-of-the-art Nursing School to help address the nursing shortage. The Oakdale Mall and Huron Campus were both sold to companies planning to make major investments. Imperium3 and Ubiquity Solar announced manufacturing plans, while Endicott received a new $10M grant for downtown. The historic Carnegie Library was also completely renovated to become SUNY Broome’s Culinary & Event Center. I’m proud of the role I was able to play working with so many dedicated professionals who also believe in the future of our community.

I truly hope that as we approach this political season we can improve the quality of our political dialogue. It’s hard to debate issues and policies on the merits when misinformation and fear are used as distractions. No one benefits, least of all the community, when this happens. As we have proven locally, people from different political persuasions can work together to achieve results. And when disagreements do occur, they can be discussed without making it personal.

Since moving to this community to attend college many years ago, I have always been impressed with the local spirit of cooperation; by the celebration of our history and our heritage. It’s this spirit that has gotten us through good times and bad. I am grateful to those who have come together to help us get through this difficult time. The sacrifices that are being made have not gone unnoticed and will be remembered for years to come.