Dear Western New York Greens,
Thank you for considering my candidacy for Lt. Governor!
I grew up in Niskayuna, NY (a suburb of Schenectady) where I had my first experiences with political change. Please indulge me in a short story. In 1990 the staff of the Niskayuna High School newspaper attended a meeting of SPIF--our Student Political Interest Forum (of which, incidentally, I was the secretary)to hand out story assignments for an upcoming special issue on diversity. My friend, Ben, and I looked at the list and decided that "Homosexuality in the High School" would be a good challenge. At the time, I did not know how close to that story I was. I came out to myself in the course of writing that article—an understanding that has changed my life irrevocably. Once the article hit publication, it was a catalyst for change in the high school. I became an opinion editor on the paper where I wrote, solicited and published articles on lesbian and gay rights.
Through SPIF, I organized larger and larger discussions on homophobia and lesbian and gay rights. Visibility, Niskayuna's Gay-Strait Alliance, had its first meeting weeks before I graduated. Now it is a thriving club. This was not the start of my activist career and it's far from the end. I tell this story because I often use it to remind myself that slow and steady, righteous work catalyzes change.
As the Lt. Governor candidate, I will bring the credibility of my community work to our slate. I have found a good vocation in service activism. I serve as a volunteer rape crisis advocate, a hospital volunteer, a homeless shelter volunteer, a street medic, a mediator, a facilitator of workshops on managing stress and avoiding burnout, a teacher of technical trades to women, and a delegate and activist in my union.
I grew up in Niskayuna, now I live in New York City. The tri-city area is as much home to me as the tri-state area. As the Lt. Governor candidate, I bring a unique perspective of having one foot firmly planted in the city, and one that will never leave upstate.
I have been described as "New York's most diplomatic Green", "no
stranger to the tough political knock-down drag-out" and as being in possession of "a can of suave, but firm, oratorical whoopass". I excel under pressure. I look forward to bringing my creativity, fire and eloquence to this campaign, both to promote our slate and our Green values to the electorate and to promote some healing and unity within the party.
Reportedly, the issue most important to New Yorkers in this campaign season is education. My mother is a school psychologist, in the Albany City School District. I was actively involved in educational reform initiatives in Niskayuna and have worked extensively with New York City Public School children. I feel confident that I can connect with voters with a strong Green message on education reform for New York. My campaign will also focus on social justice issues--healthcare, dropping the Rockefeller Drug Laws, prison reform, the death penalty, police brutality and community policing, and LGBT rights--including the right to marry. Finally, cleaning up our rivers and closing Indian Point in a way that addresses the needs of the workers are also important issues to address this season.
I am a lesbian and a union member. Despite our outstanding platform and our track record of supporting union and LGBT issues, we have a lot of work to do to attract queer folk and union members into our movement. I know that I will have unique access to locals LGBT community groups. It is my hope that seeing a sister in a high
profile Green race will strengthen our relationships with these