On February 12th, I released a statement (below) in support of revisiting the Governor’s emergency powers granted to him early-on in the pandemic to restore the balance of power in our state government. It’s time.
Among some of the best news this past (in a week where there wasn’t a lot of good news) — the Governor announced new guidance to open up visitation in nursing homes and congregate care settings. This will help reunite families and provide more access to see and visit their loved ones, in particular, elderly residents.
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, scroll down to see prominent black Americans from our local area, and complete my constituent survey to let me know your thoughts and concerns. As always, read on for more community updates!
NOTE (Updated): Please take 3–5 minutes of your time to complete our 2021 Constituent and Budget Priority Survey — your feedback helps inform my legislative work in the State Assembly: bit.ly/109nysurvey
LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND PRESS
- Statement on Handling of Nursing Home Data by the Cuomo Administration. ❗️ New Yorkers here in the Capital Region and all over the state expect their state government to operate on basic, bedrock principles — such as transparency and openness. Although we are still in the throes of pandemic, the emergency is behind us and it is time to restore the balance of power in state government — especially between the State Legislature and the Executive. Please note over 470 executive orders have been issued over the last year and while the most of those were issued under the Governor’s current executive authority, a process is underway to review and reevaluate these to ensure a continuation of services (such as vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing!) while legislating a number of others (such as UI access and food and drink delivery) where appropriate.
- Below is my full statement on this week’s revelations surrounding nursing home data in New York State:
- Washington Avenue Armory — Second Mass-Vaccination Site in the Capital Region to Open. 🚨 Albany’s Washington Avenue Armory will serve as our area’s second local mass-vaccination site beginning March 3rd. Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard from scores of Capital Region residents frustrated they’re unable to schedule a vaccine appointment locally and/or those who are unable to travel long distances in order to receive their dose. A second mass-vaccination site will help alleviate this burden and reduce the anxiety too many NYers are experiencing.
- Nursing Homes to Receive Guidance for Reopening, Reuniting of Loved Ones. 🚨 73% of seniors and others in congregate care settings have now been vaccinated in New York State, and visitation restrictions will be eased to allow the resumption of safe but more regular, in-person visitation between families and their loved ones.
- Capital Region National Grid Unveils 100% EV Backhoe. 🚧 Joined National Grid this week for the unveiling of their 100% electric backhoe they’ll begin utilizing in daily operations. Investments like this will reduce the largest contributor’s share of New York’s total greenhouse gas emissions — our transportation sector (36%).
- Albany County Launches Vaccine Pre-Registration Tool. 💉🚨Great work by Dan McCoy, Albany County Executive, in launching Albany County’s new pre-registration tool today for scheduling COVID-19 vaccines. Go online to pre-register here: https://alb.518c19.com
- TIMES UNION: Capital Region Lawmakers Urge Statewide Pre-Registration Tool. I was joined by Assemblymembers John McDonald and Carrie Woerner in urging the state to create a pre-registration tool for New Yorkers to utilize when scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Similar to Albany County’s pre-registration tool, it would help to reduce the anxiety felt around scheduling these appointments and remove the need to travel long distances to receive the vaccine doses themselves. Access to a severely limited federal supply of vaccines continues to frustrate so many — and often those who are the most tech savvy are able to get at the front of the line. Similar to Albany County’s pre-registration tool, it would help to reduce the anxiety felt around scheduling these appointments and remove the need to travel long distances to receive the vaccine doses themselves.
- TU’S Churchill: For Axe-Throwing Businesses, a Crackdown that Cuts. Small businesses throughout New York State and the local Capital Region have prioritized public health and safety while trying to maintain their bottom lines amidst a pandemic-economy — we cannot just leave business owners to face such an uncertain future. I have been advocating for these businesses, their owners, and employees throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so. Small business has borne the brunt of so much of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, which has serious employment ripple effects throughout our communities.
- New York to Receive $50B in $1.9T Federal Stimulus. An unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented recovery, and I commend President Biden for investing in our future with a stimulus package that pales in comparison, for example, to President Obama’s stimulus package in 2009, — revitalizing our economy creating jobs in the process.
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN THE 109TH DISTRICT
- 📜 This Black History Month we continue to highlight prominent black Americans who called the Capital Region home. Meet Dr. Thomas Elkins this week; an abolitionist, inventor, and one of the first black doctors to practice in Albany. ⤵
COMMUNITY EVENTS, RESOURCES
- Nominate an Outstanding Woman in the 109th District: Now Accepting Applications. 👇 Know of any outstanding women in the 109th District working to make our community a better place to live and work? Nominate them for the 2021 Women of Distinction Awards by 2/26!
- 📧 Reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 455–4178 to request a nomination form.
- Free Homeowner/Foreclosure Prevention Webinar and Resources. Attend HomeSave’s Foreclosure Information Seminar on Wednesday, February 24 at 5:30 pm. Mortgage delinquency rates are at record highs — three times higher than in January 2009, the height of the great recession. Many homeowners loans are in forbearance. This does not mean that mortgage payments are forgiven, merely delayed. If you’re behind on your mortgage or in a forbearance, act now. At this orientation you’ll learn about the foreclosure process, your options, and what assistance is available to you.
- COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act Resources: The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York has released resources for tenants, renters, and homeowners to use that are a result of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act passed by the state legislature shortly before the New Year. You can reach LASNNY at (833) 628–0087 for an intake call. A hardship waiver is available that can help to prevent displacement, you can download these documents by clicking here.
- Paid Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect: Available Starting This Year: 📣 Beginning this year (effective January 1st, 2021), most workers in #NYS are now able to access and use Paid Sick Leave when needed regardless of part-time status or occupation — I’m proud that New York again leads on this issue nationally and will join the 140+ countries around the globe who already provide some form of paid sick leave to workers.
- Empire State Trail Opens to the Public: New York’s 750-mile Empire State Trail opened to the public at the beginning of January. As a longtime supporter of this project, I’m thrilled that multi-use trails (or greenways) continue to grow in New York State as well as our outdoor tourism market. Greenways help provide #Upstate communities and Main Streets with increased revenue, foot traffic, and more — the need for which has only grown since the outbreak of #COVID19. I look forward to partnering with NY State Parks & Historic Sites, Parks & Trails New York, and more as we look to capitalize even further on this achievement! Map: empiretrail.ny.gov/map
PODCAST: The Fahy Files: What Makes the NY Capital Work (Or Not!) — Connecting in a Time of Chaos
- To highlight some of the individuals in the Capital Region who exemplify what it means to remain connected within our community and cope with the chaos of the past year, I’ve launched a new series of my podcast The Fahy Files, ‘Connecting in a Time of Chaos’.
For more on my work in the state legislature, please visit my official Assembly website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium to stay updated in 2021 and beyond! As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns during this time at email@example.com or (518) 455–4178.