The COVID-19 crisis continues to be the most disruptive and pressing issue facing New Yorkers today. Statewide, New York Democrats took a science-backed, data-based approach to combatting the COVID-19 crisis, instituting a robust testing system, expansive vaccine distribution plan, mandatory quarantines for out-of-state travelers, and a micro-cluster tracking strategy to limit infections from the source. Federally, New York Congressional Democrats led the way in passing COVID relief bills, which helped millions of Americans survive during a time of economic distress, and continue to push for additional aid for families and working people across New York, and America. Additionally, New York Democrats continues to fight for federal dollars to help navigate New Yorkers out of this crisis, a fight that was stonewalled by the GOP.
Criminal Justice Reform
New York Democrats raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years-old, and have enacted new programs for intervention-based treatment for non-violent young adults. In New York, we appointed the nation's first and only special prosecutor in matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement officers, and in 2019, we led efforts to end cash bail – because no one should remain behind bars because they lack the resources to post bail.
Reducing Gun Violence
Gun violence and mass shooting events have become an all to common occurrence in America. New York Democrats have lead the way in implementing common-sense action and reforms, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increasing penalties for people who use illegal guns, setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and establishing the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.
Fair and Open Elections
New Yorkers led efforts throughout history to ensure everyone has the right to vote. Now, at a time when Republicans in the federal government are doing everything they can to disenfranchise voters, New York Democrats have led the charge to open the doors to our democracy. In 2019, New York Democrats established early voting, instituted voter preregistration, synchronized our primary elections, and fought to make it easier to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic. New York Democrats will continue this work to eliminate antiquated election laws and ensure that every vote counts.
Guaranteeing LGBTQ Rights
In 2011, New York became the largest state in the nation to pass Marriage Equality, ensuring that same-sex couples are treated equally, and with dignity under the law. New York Democrats have also taken decisive action to enact new protections for transgender New Yorkers, even as Republicans in the state Legislature attempted to stonewall progress.
Fair and Livable Wages for All
As Republicans provide giveaways to hedge fund billionaires, New York Democrats have stood side by side with workers, enacting the country's first statewide $15 minimum wage to ensure millions of workers across all industries make a livable wage, Paid Family Leave which protects those providing care for an infant or sick loved one, and wage theft enforcement, which has returned millions of dollars in stolen wages to tens of thousands of workers, and much more!
Protecting Taxpayers from the GOP Tax Scam
New York already sends $48 billion more to Washington each year than we get back. Now Republicans want to increase that by another $14 billion. This hits millions of New Yorkers with higher taxes, averaging $3,200 per family. The plan also boots nearly 850,000 people off their health insurance. New York Democrats are hitting back, taking bold action to ease the blow to our middle-class families by restructuring the tax code, and bringing leaders from several states together to file suit against the Republicans' politically motivated attack on taxpayers.
A Legacy of Women’s Rights
New York is the birthplace of the women's rights movement. We stand on the shoulders of giants like Shirley Chisholm and Bella Abzug, Geraldine Ferraro, and Mary Burnett Talbot – and we will never back down. New York Democrats have led the fight to codify Roe V. Wade into state law, end sexual harassment in the workforce, keep guns out of the hands of those guilty of domestic violence, ensure access to affordable contraception, and much more.
Environment and Climate Leadership
No other State in the country has taken stronger action to combat climate change, and ensure clean air and water for all residents, than New York. New York Democrats enacted a groundbreaking fracking ban, and have have set a bold agenda to ensure that 50% of all electricity consumed by 2030 comes from renewable sources. We are also on the path to building the nation's largest offshore wind farm, and creating good jobs while fighting climate change through a growing solar energy industry.
Military, Veterans and Military Families
We welcome Military Members from all generations as well as Veterans and Military Families. New York State has a wide variety of programs in support of Veterans that can be accessed through the New York State Division of Veterans Services. Under Democratic leadership, NYS has been at the forefront of expanding State benefits to Veterans. In 2019, NYS passed The Restoration of Honor Act, giving LGBTQ veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the right to apply to have their veterans' benefits restored. The bill also restores benefits eligibility for veterans who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder. While military discharge decisions can only be formally changed by the federal government, The Restoration of Honor Act allows these veterans to apply to claim their New York State benefits.