Campaign Finance Reform
Government works best when it works for all of us. To end the culture of corruption plaguing New York and to create an even playing field, Jen supports publicly-funded elections. She supports lowering the limits for campaign contributions and eliminating the LLC loophole. She supports laws that limits on all contributions and a requirement that any money flowing into a campaign can be identified at the source, including PAC money.
Children and Families
As a working mother of a toddler, Jen knows all too well how difficult and expensive childcare has become. For many in our community, in order to start a family, one parent must leave the workforce entirely because the cost of childcare is more than their take-home pay. Jen is committed to partnering with private sector employees to find solutions to our childcare problem and to streamline the bureaucracy so that families that qualify for childcare subsidies actually receive those subsidies.
Jen also supports the Child Victims Act. For years, Jen has fielded calls in her office from people in their 40’s and 50’s who are only just now finding the strength to confront their abusers. New York’s statute of limitations on child molestation, abuse, and incest cases is far too short given the nature of this abuse. Jen stands with these victims, and is committed to changing this law, so that those who suffered at the hands of their abusers can finally get some closure.
As an attorney deeply committed to social justice, Jen understands the problems with our criminal justice system, and the need to fix it. But she does not just talk about making change; she has spent the better part of a decade volunteering in Rochester City Court’s Teen Court to help improve the lives of adolescents charged with minor offenses, and to prevent their future involvement with the courts. Decades of failed policies have taught us that the “War on Drugs” and broken windows policing have harmed low income neighborhoods and People of Color without improving the safety of our community. Jen believes we need to stop criminalizing poverty and start working together to lift each other up. She supports an end to cash bail for nonviolent crimes and expansion of discovery in criminal cases, which will help free the innocent, and increase the likelihood of faster resolution of cases for all. She supports finding ways to support our mentally ill and drug addicted friends, family members and neighbors through the medical system rather than the penal system.
Environment and Climate Change
Climate change is the single greatest threat to our world. We are already living through the economic ramifications of climate change with higher energy costs, billions of dollars in damage to our state from storms, and lost profits when businesses are shut down in a storm's aftermath. We must take immediate action to slow the progress of climate change and, where possible, take steps to help draw it down.
Jen supports investment in green energy and is committed to powering our region through at least 50% renewable energy sources by 2030. Monroe and Ontario Counties are already ahead of other parts of the state thanks to our hydroelectric plants, wind and solar farms. But we can do better! Jen supports efforts to reduce waste and she is committed to working with communities across the state to get a handle on our garbage problem—finding 21st century solutions to dealing with our trash in a way that least impacts the environment and neighbors is of paramount importance, both to our community, and to the state as a whole. Jen supports efforts to sustainably improve our infrastructure and public transit systems with investment in modern trains and zero emission vehicles. Jen also supports efforts to combat harmful algae blooms in the great natural resource that is our Finger Lakes Region.
Jen is proud to receive the Gun Sense Candidate Distinction from Moms Demand Action. As a Gun Sense Candidate, Jen believes in gun violence prevention and gun safety, a position that respects the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners. Jen supports criminal background checks on all gun sales to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous, violent people. She supports banning bump stocks and other devices that allow people to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons. She supports funding gun violence prevention research; promoting responsible gun storage and ownership; stopping strawman purchases and gun trafficking. Jen understands and respects the Second Amendment, and knows responsible gun ownership is important to everyone in the 55th District. By working together with responsible gun owners, Jen knows we can create laws that work for everyone.
Jen has pledged to co-sponsor the New York Health Act. The New York Health Act would provide coverage for all New Yorkers with no out of pocket cost. This bill would effectively create a Medicare-for-All system for New York State residents which would increase efficiency, lower the cost of delivering care, and increase access to medical treatment for everyone. It would also lower property taxes by completely removing Medicaid from the county budgets.
The New York Health Act would also help businesses by lowering the cost of workers' compensation insurance. It would allow workers shackled to jobs solely for the healthcare benefits to follow their dreams, open new businesses, and create new jobs. This bill would allow doctors to hire more clinical staff so they could spend more time treating patients and less time billing insurance companies.
This bill, which covers medical, dental, vision and mental health treatment, would also help coordinate care for people suffering from opioid addiction, an issue very close to Jen's heart. By funding health care publicly, the New York Health Act would grant increased flexibility and funds to local providers and county health departments to address emerging crises. In particular, we can efficiently and effectively help those affected by the opioid epidemic while identifying and intervening on behalf of those at risk.
To learn more about the New York Health Act, visit: https://www.nyhcampaign.org/
New York's crumbling roads and bridges are a major problem, especially in Upstate New York with its snowy winters. Deep potholes and aging bridges are a safety hazard. We need to address our infrastructure needs now, before tragedy strikes. Further, investment in infrastructure brings much needed jobs to our region and helps our local economies flourish. A modern public transit system will help connect this region to other parts of the state, making it easier to travel for business and pleasure, reduce carbon emissions and help alleviate traffic. Heavy traffic in places like Rt 96 in Victor, Rt 31 in Pittsford, and Rt 441 in Penfield is not only aggravating to those that traverse those routes as part of their commutes, but also negatively impact local businesses. When considering whether to shop in one of our area villages versus a major commercial district like Henrietta or Greece, people are choosing the latter to avoid the heavy traffic and parking difficulties. People should not be using village main streets as thoroughfares. Constructing bypass routes to allow people to access major highways without clogging up our shopping districts will benefit everyone by making commutes shorter, ease traffic and allow easier access to local businesses.
Jen supports our LGBTQI+ community through both her legal work and community advocacy. While in law school, Jen worked with the Mass Trans Alliance to pass some of the strongest laws in the country protecting the rights of transgender people. In her current legal practice, Jen handles pro bono cases for transgender people seeking to change their names and gender markers. She has also advocated for equality at all levels for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual preference. Jen supports GENDA and pledges to co-sponsor the bill.
After witnessing the success of marijuana legalization in other states like Colorado and Washington, Jen believes we should follow suit and legalize recreational marijuana in New York. Not only could this become a fantastic new source of revenue for the State and our Community, the revenue generated could be put towards things like Opioid treatment and infrastructure repair. Legalizing recreational marijuana would also act as a catalyst for entrepreneurism and tourism.
Jen believes that legalizing marijuana also acts to benefit low income people, and people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by anti-marijuana laws. Arrests for small, personal use quantities of marijuana waste valuable law enforcement resources, and keep our prisons full of non-violent offenders who could otherwise be valuable, hard working members of our community. The revenue generated, plus the costs saved, would combine to create an enormous economic boon to our communities.
Jen recognizes the persistent inequality that continues to impact the safety as well as educational and economic opportunities in our communities of color. Jen is committed to working directly with these communities and those impacted by discriminatory practices in both the public and private sectors, to find ways to level the playing field for all New Yorkers. Jen supports an independent commission to evaluate accusations of police brutality and civil rights violations.
Jen is a life-long advocate for a woman’s right to choose if, when and how to have a family. Because of this, Jen has pledged to co-sponsor the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act and the New York Reproductive Health Act. Jen believes that ensuring all women in New York have affordable access to contraception, prenatal care, and abortion services, regardless of the policies coming out of Washington, must be a top priority.
Quality education is the key to lifting people out of poverty; to empowering the next generation of citizens and to paving the way for future economic success. Jen supports our students and respects our teachers as professionals. She supports equitable school funding, full day kindergarten, and finding ways to evaluate teachers that empowers them to teach to their students' unique needs and interests rather than to a standardized test. Jen supports returning the power to evaluate teachers back to local districts and evaluating success based on individual student growth, rather than grade-wide proficiency. Jen opposes tax vouchers and believes we should keep school tax dollars in the public school system.
Voting Rights and Election Integrity
There is an assault on voting rights and free elections across the country. Jen is committed to making sure that every eligible voter gets their say in an election that is open, accessible and fair. She supports early voting, same day voter registration, the Voter Empowerment Act, consolidating the federal and state primaries, changing the law to make it easier to switch political parties to vote in a primary and removing restrictions on affidavit and absentee ballot voting. Jen also believes that we must invest in cybersecurity and modern voting technology across the state to protect ourselves against outside threats to our elections and our voters’ data and privacy.
Workers and Wages
As an attorney who advocates for injured workers, Jen has spent the better part of a decade advancing the interests of workers in our community. She understands how hard it is for our state’s families to make ends meet, never mind trying to save for the future. That is why Jen favors a $15 minimum wage for Upstate, Fair Work Week laws to help shift workers, and the One Fair Wage campaign to help lift tipped workers out of poverty.
Jen also knows how important it is to create good job opportunities for our communities and for our children, which is why she is focused on the future. Automation is coming and we need to get ahead of it by training people now for the jobs that are coming, so that we will have a work force ready, willing and able to take on whatever challenges come our way. By creating a highly skilled workforce, we can help existing businesses expand into the markets of the future and entice new businesses to our region. This means focusing not just on college but also on skilled trades through vocational training in high school and apprenticeship programs.
Jen supports Unions and is committed to working with them in the aftermath of the Janus decision. A strong, organized workforce improves working conditions for everyone. Jen opposes “Right to Work” laws.