New York County executive aims to boost service-conscious candidates
When Pat Ryan campaigned for Congress in 2018, the West Point graduate received invaluable help from national groups dedicated to supporting veterans running for office.
Now, as the leader of Ulster County, Mr. Ryan has formed a political action committee to help non-traditional candidates enter politics. The Democratic executive said in a recent interview that the PAC, called ServeNY, had raised nearly $ 300,000 and would support Democratic candidates in New York. It will provide counseling and financial assistance to veterans as well as first responders and other essential workers.
“People wonder if the motivations of their elected officials are self-interested or disinterested,” he said. “There needs to be more ramps to allow anxious people to get to the office.”
The first PAC approvals will go to Felicia Singh, a special education teacher running for New York City Council in Queens; Sarah Klee Hood, an Air Force veteran running for Syracuse suburban city council in DeWitt; and Anthony Grice, teacher and member of Newburgh City Council, candidate for Orange County Clerk.
The PAC is also a way for Mr. Ryan, from Kingston, New York, to raise his profile and establish a network of allies beyond his base in the Hudson Valley. Further recommendations are expected in the coming weeks, he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is politically vulnerable as he grapples with investigations into allegations he acted inappropriately in his workplace and the Covid-19 policies of his administration. Other Democrats, including US Representative Tom Suozzi from Nassau County, have started traveling around the state in preparation for possible preparation for future elections.
Mr Cuomo has said he is cooperating with investigations and said his administration’s Covid-19 policies are aimed at preserving the capacity of the hospital. The governor denied touching anyone inappropriately and apologized if their behavior at work offended anyone.
Mr Ryan said he was unsure of what his future would hold him and that he was focusing on his job in Ulster County. He just announced a âGreen New Dealâ plan that calls for the purchase of electric vehicles for the county and for up to 1,000 homes a year in inclement weather.
Ulster County is one of the first regions in the country to carry out a guaranteed income pilot project. Mr Ryan said 4,200 people have applied for 100 program slots, which will allow them to receive $ 500 per month for a full year. The program is funded by outside donations and administered by the University of Pennsylvania.
ALWAYS CLOSED: As Mr. Cuomo eases coronavirus restrictions on indoor and outdoor locations around New York City, the State Capitol – where the Democratic governor has his office in Albany – still does not have a scheduled reopening date.
The five-story building is normally packed with workers, visitors, lobbyists, and people from across the state who come to lawmakers on days the State Assembly and Senate are in session.
While the Capitol is open to some employees, the public has been banned since March 2020, when the coronavirus was first confirmed in New York. State lawmakers have passed two budgets since then and acted on laws to legalize recreational marijuana.
The state’s Republican legislative leaders recently wrote a letter to Mr. Cuomo’s General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, saying the Capitol Closure was “outdated and unnecessary.”
The New York Department of General Services has “started the planning process to reopen our buildings safely.”
“It is incumbent on us as state leaders to make the seat of state government more accessible to those who wish to participate in the democratic process,” wrote the leaders, Assembly Will Barclay and Senator Robert Ortt.
In a letter last week, Ms Destito said her department had “started the planning process to reopen our buildings safely,” but she gave no estimated date for the Capitol to reopen.
Mr Cuomo announced that capacity restrictions at restaurants, museums and other indoor venues will be lifted on May 19, but people who have not been vaccinated against the virus will still need to adhere to social distancing requirements.
The New York State Museum remains fully closed with no scheduled reopening date. A spokeswoman for the state’s education ministry, which manages the museum, said it was developing protocols and would release more information this week.
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LAST RESPONSE: The current New York Congressional district lines were drawn subject to federal court proceedings by Judge Roanne Mann, with advice from law professor Nathaniel Persily.
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