As my second legislative session ended, there was a lot we were able to advocate for and deliver to bring positive results to our community and across New York state. For me, one of the top priorities is to focus on the community that has trusted me to serve as their voice at the state Capitol, and this year I was proud to sponsor legislation that seeks to make communities across New York State stronger.
When we look at the quality of life where we call home, one of the most visible pieces of a community is its playgrounds and the spaces where kids play. Too often in New York, ALL children don’t have the opportunity to play with their friends because of inaccessible and outdated playground design. No child should be left out from playing on a playground with their friends and family because the equipment doesn’t accommodate their needs. To help ensure all kids have the ability to play, I introduced legislation that would make a real difference. The Everyone Can Play bill (A.9539) would create a state grant program to help make it easier for local governments to afford to install handicap-accessible aspects to recreation facilities, as well as legislation that would ensure certain handicap-accessible playground equipment in playgrounds within each state park (A.9923).
It was an honor to be joined by Santii Patel, a nine-year old constituent and resident of the Town of Greece, at the press conference announcing my playground legislation. Santii has inspired so many with her work to raise greater awareness on the need for handicap–accessible play equipment and champion for all children to get the chance to play at local playgrounds. While more and more communities are choosing to create handicapped-accessible playgrounds, this type of commitment by our state would be crucial to help reduce the costs of the new equipment for local governments.
Our local heroes deserve the utmost honor for their sacrifices to protect our freedoms and liberties. It was a privilege of mine to be able to recognize a few of our community’s local heroes in the 134th Assembly District through legislation to dedicate state roads in their honor. Pending a signature by the governor, roads across our community will bear the names of those who put others before themselves.
Gary Beikirch of Greece was a man of integrity and honor, who courageously served in Vietnam, was awarded the Medal of Honor, and continued to devote his life to the service of others back home. A portion of Latta Road and New York State Highway Route 18 in the town of Greece will be dedicated after Gary. Jason Hasenauer of Hilton joined the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division after seeing the horrific acts of terrorism on 9/11 and fatefully gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation in 2005. State Route 259 in the town of Parma, between Lake Ontario State Parkway and Dunbar Road will be memorialized “Specialist Jason Hasenauer Memorial Highway” in his honor. Robert Fowler of Spencerport served as a member of the Spencerport Fire Department and served valiantly for over 20 years, keeping our community safe from harm, before ultimately losing his own life in the line of duty. State Route 259 between Lyell Avenue and State Route 31 in the village of Spencerport will be renamed in Robert’s honor. It was such a privilege to be able to memorialize the legacy of our local heroes by dedicating a portion of our state roads in their honor.
While I’m proud of the work we accomplished, I cannot help but think back on the lost opportunities that would help ease the burden on many hard-working families across the state. As a state, we must do more to ensure strong communities; communities that are safe, affordable and make New Yorkers want to stay in our state. During the past six months, the leaders in Albany have neglected some of New Yorkers’ top priorities: the rise in inflation that is consuming every household and raising the cost of living, actual steps to decrease violent crime that makes neighborhoods less safe, and pushing back against expensive government mandates on families and small business that will continue to push residents out of our state. Our residents continue to be ignored and my calls for action by my colleagues are left on deaf ears.
I’m excited to be back home full time serving my neighbors. While my scheduled work in Albany is done for the year, there’s still so much to do in our community. I’m looking forward to hosting evening office hours every month until the end of the year, alternating between the Ogden Farmers’ Library and Parma Library for the remainder of the year. I’ll be posting on my social media pages and calling residents to let them know when my evening office hours will be held, so everyone can take advantage of constituent services.It’s such an honor to be able to represent the residents of the 134th Assembly District! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any questions or concerns. You can contact me at: 585-225-4190 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.