(Thanks to Marie-Anne for taking notes)
Call to order 7 pm
Assembly Member Billy Jones joined us from Albany where the legislature is in session. He briefed us on the budget process. Conference committees are discussing each item in the budget submitted by the Governor on January 15. He then addressed questions related to the even-year elections and northern border security. Even-year elections will encourage a higher turnout. BUT local elections often fall on odd years allowing the voters to focus more on local candidates – who will appear on the bottom of the ballot. Billy did not support the legislation because it may impact emphasis on local issues. The even-year ballots will be bigger and more confusing to voters.
He was quoted in NYT about Northern Border. Migrants flying into Canada and smuggled to the border, told to walk across and many tragedies have occurred. The federal government must provide more border security.
After Billy departed the call, Steven Holden, Democratic candidate for Congress, NY21, introduced himself. Steve is originally from Oklahoma, is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served 4 combat tours, 2 in Afghanistan and 2 in Iraq. He ran for Congress in 2022 (NY24) and lost to Claudia Tenney. Steve is originally from Oklahoma but graduated from Syracuse University and served at Ft. Drum. His wife is a 5th generation New Yorker. He answered questions related to redistricting and his campaign team.
Steve could also use our help with petitioning. He emphasizes “Getting team blue over the finish line because we want to govern for everyone…Team truth and team democracy” His campaign website is: believeinsteve.org.
Next up was Deputy Highway Superintendent Chris Sorrell who announced that he is running for Highway Superintendent in November to complete an unexpired term.
Everyone was encouraged to attend the February 25, 4pm event in Elizabethtown to meet candidates and pick up petitions.
The committee also recognized Dmitry Feld, who passed away on January 10. Dmitry was an exemplary community leader, both here and in Ukraine. We can honor his memory by doing a little more to help others and make our communities better.
We agreed to send endorsement letters to Amy Quinn, Billy Jones and Chris Sorrell.
Next JWDC Zoom meeting will be March 11, 7pm.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05.
Reminder to communicate with elected representatives: Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542, Kirsten Gillibrand: (202) 224-4451, Elise Stefanik: (202) 225-4611, Dan Stec: (518) 743-0968, Billy Jones: (518) 562-1986