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ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 61

DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY

★ Preferred Candidate ★

Charles Fall – Dem
Candidate has returned a questionnaire
Age: 29
Occupation: Chief of Staff to the New York City Parks Commissioner, Staten Island Education: Southwestern College, B.A.; Pace University, M.P.A.

Charles Fall is the chief of staff to the Staten Island commissioner of the city Parks and Recreation Department. Previously, he served as Borough Director and citywide Islamic Liaison for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Fall seeks to improve and expand transportation options in the North Shore, revisit the public education funding formula, increase after-school programs for youth, and expand funding for community-based healthcare centers. Additionally, he wants to pass the New York DREAM Act and reduce what he describes as over-criminalization and over-incarceration in the state. Fall is a strong supporter of voting and election reform, like early-voting. He wants to pass legislation to prevent outside compensation for legislators and enact stronger campaign finance laws, especially to diminish the role of corporate interests in elections. Fall supports criminal justice reform like ending the use of cash bail, speedy trial and discovery reform, and re-enfranchising people on parole. He supports increased police oversight and sees the appointment of a special prosecutor in cases of police misconduct as a necessary first step towards ensuring accountability. Citizens Union prefers Fall because of his government experience, concrete legislative priorities, and presentation as an ambitious and capable candidate.

Bobby Digi Olisa – Dem
Candidate has returned a questionnaire
Age: 44
Occupation: President of the Staten Island Democratic Association Education: College of Staten Island, B.S. and M.A.

Bobby Digi Olisa is President of the Staten Island Democratic Association and the founder of Island Voice, a community youth development nonprofit. Digi has served on the Governor’s New York Rising Committee since 2013 and was part of the 2014 transition committees for Mayor Bill de Blasio and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, respectively. His top priorities include fixing Staten Island’s transportation system, reforming the state’s electoral process, closing the LLC loophole for campaign contributions, and instituting independent redistricting. Additionally, he wants to pass the New York Health Act, legalize marijuana, and pass the DREAM Act. In line with Citizens Union’s reform agenda, Digi hopes to implement greater police accountability and ensure the absence of big money in elections. During his interview, he articulated his plan to simplify the complaint process for victims of police abuse and noted the importance of having a police force that is representative of, and responsive to, their community. Despite preferring his opponent, Citizens Union commends Digi on his strong grasp of local issues and many years of community engagement.

Patricia Kane – Dem
Candidate has not returned a questionnaire.

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