Scarsdale Democrat Amy Paulin, the current representative of the 88th District of the New York State Legislature, and her Republican opponent Thomas Fix of Eastchester spoke at a Zoom forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Tuesday, Oct. 25. answered questions from voters.
In addition to Scarsdale and Edgemont, the newly formed districts include Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Pelham, New Rochelle and parts of White Plains. LWV of New Rochelle and White Plains joined the Scarsdale League to host the forum. Questions were submitted in advance and candidates were not pre-checked.
In an opening statement, Pauline said she had served 11 terms in Congress “working to ensure the integrity of government”, which focused on reform, security and fiscal responsibility. , said more than 300 bills had been passed covering issues such as domestic violence, illegal firearms, human trafficking, senior housing and laws restricting access to vaccines.
Fix has lived in Eastchester all his life and for 30 years was a co-owner of Cornell’s True Value Hardware, where his family has been in business for generations. He has served on the town’s transport and parking advisory board and on the Interlaken Gardens board of directors. Fix calls for a “more centered and common sense approach to government”, citing concerns about “rising crime” and “government overreach”, particularly in schools. “One-party dictatorship is not the answer,” he said.
Moderators asked candidates what their top infrastructure priorities were and how they would benefit District 88.
Mr Fix said the Lake Isle Dam off Eastchester’s California Road is in need of repairs and endangers properties in Eastchester and New Rochelle. admitted.
Pauline agreed that repairing infrastructure in general, and the Lake Isle Dam in particular, was “important.” She also said climate change is making blackouts more frequent and called for a 10-year plan for power companies to improve their resilience. Co-chaired the Storm Response Report with County Administrator George Latimer. The report analyzes the problem and suggests solutions to “storm harden” the county. “We need to do more,” said Pauline.
Candidates are the first in the state’s Equal Rights Amendment, which prohibits discrimination by governments based on an individual’s ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and pregnancy. I was asked for my opinion on the draft. Pregnancy results, and how to vote if elected. Pauline said she would vote in favor of the preliminary bill and would vote in favor of the final bill.
Fix said: It is a government overreach that leads to division rather than unity. Our state rights are already protected. ”
“What is your position on New York State’s 2% property tax cap?” asked Forum Moderator Catherine Deering, former president of the Northeast Westchester League.
Fix said, “I agree 100%. Governments cannot always give their citizens blank checks.”
Paulin says: Eliminate local control. School boards and village committees are limited in what they can do to support their communities. “She said if the cap were to change, she would actually consider supporting it to be 2%.”
Candidates were asked if they supported absentee ballots without reason for all voters.
Pauline replied, “Yes. Thirty-five states have it, and New York is in the minority. Elderly, disabled, and immunocompromised voters should have the option to vote absentee without explanation. COVID The -19 pandemic demonstrated that need.”
“I don’t stand for it,” Fix said. “There may be reasons to expand [absentee ballots] After a while, one-day voting is a tradition that brings us together as a community. He said mailing ballots to every voter and allowing mail-in ballots would increase the potential for corruption. “There are too many loopholes.” But he said he would revisit the issue “in the future.”
The next question was about the bail system. In 2019, New York passed a law eliminating the use of cash bail for most misdemeanors and some nonviolent felonies. Under these reforms, courts must, with their own approval, release a defendant pending a trial unless the court determines that the defendant is at risk of flight to avoid prosecution. must be However, courts may not consider the danger a defendant poses to crime victims or communities.
Fix said, “The whole bail reform package should be abolished and redone. It must be limited. It has done a lot of damage to our community. Crime has increased significantly.”
Pauline said she supports changes to the Bail Reform Act that would improve public safety by giving judicial discretion to the release of defendants. Victims of hate crimes, human trafficking and domestic violence need protection,” she said. “I am the only candidate approved by law enforcement,” she added.
Deering asked, “Which campaign finance reform do you support and how does the campaign reflect that?”
Pauline said the campaign finance reforms will take effect next term. “I take the voice of money out of the equation. However, most of my contributions come from the people I represent. I don’t give money in my campaign accounts to other candidates.”
Fix said he has a grassroots campaign funded by small donations. “I’m not a fan of government-subsidized campaigns,” he said. “Candidates must raise their own funds.”
“What state legislation, if any, would you propose to address climate change?” asked Dear.
“We should work to produce more efficient energy and reduce pollution,” Fix said. In addition to solar and wind, he said nuclear energy must be activated. “Fossil fuels aren’t going away any time soon, so we need to be more efficient.”
Pauline urged her voters to vote on the Green Bonds Act for better infrastructure. During her five years as Energy Chair, many bills were passed to promote alternative energy and address the challenges of climate change. “We must always think about waste reduction and recycling,” she said.
The next topic was measures to support persons with disabilities.
“This is a huge problem,” Pauline said. Home care workers are essential but underpaid. “You can’t attract the right people” unless you address their needs.
“I am in favor of measures to raise wages,” Fix said, adding that he was grateful for his mother’s devoted caregivers. proposed that it can be certified.
Candidates were asked to comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of a state law restricting firearm permits to individuals who can prove they need to carry a firearm for “good cause” or for employment. They were asked what they proposed enacting in place of the old law.
New York has very strict checks on gun ownership, Fix said. “All the concealed careers I know of are very responsible,” he said. “I’m not trying to limit the rights of American citizens… [we should] Find illegal gun owners. Owners may need to have a refresher course on gun safety when renewing their permit. ”
“There is no statewide course on gun ownership,” Pauline said. “I don’t think voters want to sit next to an armed person in public.” In the wake of the SCOTUS decision, New York enacted new laws restricting access to guns, but a federal judge Overturned, the judgment was appealed. Pauline said she will continue to explore ways to protect New Yorkers from gun violence, including measures such as a 30-day waiting period and secure storage requirements.
A forum moderator asked what steps New York should take to deal with the increase in asylum seekers.
Pauline said immigration policy, or lack thereof, was a failure of the federal government. “They all want to work…we have to make sure federal authorities do the right thing. [asylum seekers] Treated humanely and able to work. It noted that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent asylum seekers to northern cities and towns.
Fix said no part of New York should be a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. “If they broke the law and came here, they should be sent back to their countries. Told. “It would be wise to allow them to work until they are scrutinized.”
Deering asked candidates about the role of state governments in closing the gender pay gap.
Fix doesn’t think there’s a big gender pay gap, but he said it’s “going too far for the state government” to try to fix it anyway.
Pauline said states have a role to play in ending discrimination based on gender. She pointed out that some mostly female workers, like home health care, are underrepresented and underpaid.
Candidates were asked, “What is the greatest threat to democracy and what do you propose to do about it?”
Pauline said the biggest threat “is to limit people’s participation in government. Election reform that ensures everyone can vote is very important.” She said voter registration should be allowed closer to Election Day.
The biggest threat, Fix said, is “broader attacks on the U.S. Constitution, including attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and attacks on the cancel culture that makes people afraid to speak their minds. Our constitution is undermined by career politicians.”
In a closing statement, Fix said the 2022 election is important. You need a fresh new perspective to bring things back to the center. He vowed to work in the best interests of the citizens of the 88th District and “against partisan politics and the far left.” Quality of life is declining in New York. ”
“In my role, when the office was on call 24/7, I had a great opportunity to help people during COVID,” Paulin said. Also, “choice is an ongoing issue” and public safety is always important. More work is needed to reform the bail system.
Pauline said opposition parties were against abortion in all cases, but said Fix didn’t necessarily take the extreme views of some of her own parties. He believes abortion is permissible in cases of rape, birth defects, or to save the life of the mother.
Early voting will take place through November 6 at the locations listed on the Westchester County Electoral Commission website. Voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, will take place only at voters’ designated polling places.