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Name:  Catherine  Nolan
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 37
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 62
Education: NYU BS political science
Occupation/Employer: Full time legislator
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:
Elected in 1984, served as full-time member , member of legislature women's caucus, past chair; member NAACP ASTORIA LIC, Sunnyside Kiwanis, Ridgewood democratic club member, other local organizations
Website:  Nolanforassembly2020
Twitter:  none
Facebook:   Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan

 

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONS

Please state whether you support or oppose the following reform measures. If you wish to elaborate on your answers, you may do so in the provided space at the bottom of this page.

 

Ethics

  1. Replace the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the Legislative Ethics Commission with an effective and independent enforcement body (S594A/A1282A).
    Support
  1. Limit outside compensation earned by state legislators and statewide officials to 25% of their salaries and eliminate stipends.
    Support

 

Elections and Voting

  1. Do you support or oppose the following changes to the state’s current registration and voting system?
    1. No-excuse absentee voting (second passage of constitutional amendment)
      Support
    2. Election Day voter registration (second passage of constitutional amendment)
      Support
    3. Re-enfranchisement of people on parole automatically through legislation, without requiring a Certificate of Good Conduct or Relief
      Support
    4. Automatic voter registration, unless the potential voter opts out
      Oppose
    5. Mandating poll sites on college campuses
      Support
  1. Reform the special election process, utilizing a nonpartisan special election for state legislative seats and eliminate delays in filling vacancies.
    Support
  1. Reduce the vote threshold to become a registered party back to 50,000 votes and keep the gubernatorial election as the qualifying election, and reduce the petition requirement for independent candidates back to 15,000 signatures.
    Support

 

Campaign Finance

  1. Amend the state’s public campaign financing system, approved in the 2021 budget, by
    1. Drastically reduce campaign contribution limits
      Support
    2. Set even lower contribution limits for registered lobbyists and those who do business with the state
      Support
    3. Move the campaign finance matching program to be administered by an independent, nonpartisan body outside of the NY Board of Election
      Support
    4. Simplify the matching system by making both in- and out-of-district donations eligible and by eliminating the three different tiers for matching
      Support

 

Budget Process

  1. Require full disclosure of grants and contracts issued by the state, including the budget lines from which the spending is made and reporting on the results of each grant or contract over a certain amount.
    Support
  1. Provide for effective online disclosure and itemization of spending from elected officials’ lump sum appropriations, including reporting on potential conflicts of interest and how the funds are spent.
    Support

 

Police Accountability

  1. Repeal Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50-a, which shields from public view the disciplinary records of police officers, correction officers, and firefighters.

 

Election Administration

  1. Restructure the state Board of Elections to abolish the strict two-party division of governance and operation and put in place professional, nonpartisan administration.
    Support
  1. Empower the attorney general to investigate and prosecute election law malfeasance and cases of public corruption.
    Support

 

Home Rule

  1. Make mayoral control of city schools permanent, with a governance system that provides for accountability, transparency, parent engagement, and democratic participation.
    Support

 

Court Reform

  1. Simplify and consolidate New York State’s court system by passing the Chief Judge’s proposed constitutional amendment to modernize the courts.
    Support

If needed, you may elaborate below on your positions on the previous questions. You may also provide additional information on any actions that you have taken or plan to take to advance your positions on these issues.

Happy to discuss in an interview, I am open for example to supporting change to 50a, but I am a proud sister of a retired NYC police office, detective, 911 first responder and I would hope some of the privacy concerns of officers be addressed.

 

RESPONDING TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Government under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. Adopt technological solutions and provisions that will allow the New York State legislature to convene and vote remotely if needed.
    Support
  1. Provide public access to observe and participate in government proceedings, in meetings that would be public under the New York Open Meetings Law, via live and recorded video available on government Website:
    Support
  1. Implement immediate programs to facilitate absentee voting for all New York voters as long as the widespread contagion risk of COVID-19 continues, under current state constitutional limitations. This includes electronic submission of absentee ballot applications without a wet signature and a public information campaign.
    Support
  1. What are your concerns regarding the use of emergency powers during this crisis, and how do you think NY government can maintain public accountability standards at this time?
    Five of our members were diagnosed with covid19, three were on ventilators, thankfully all are on way to recovery but in the intensity of this crisis, at least for a limited amount of time, we enabled the governor to act on behalf of public health.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    Over 5000 cases in the zip codes I represent means several thousand cases and hundreds of deaths.  Spending all my days arranging food donations, assisting families in need of burial help, unemployment insurance, honestly it’s overwhelming, donated almost $10,000 in campaign funds to dozens and dozens of groups since not really campaigning for food, other assistance.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    Federal government is missing in action on testing, and do much more.  City, despite glitches has done a good job at meal hubs etc and HHS at Elmhurst has been remarkable.  NYS had expanded paid family and sick leave, my bill which passed March 18.  An has provided extensive testing at NYCHA developments in my district
  1. How will you help your future constituents, residents and businesses, access potential funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or any other future government relief funds?
    As mentioned I have been involved in the paid family leave issue for many years, championing it’s passage four years ago in the budget and handling the debate a few weeks ago. I run an intense district office and active Facebook page and prior to covid19 host regular mobile district days to meet and engage with my constituents. I intend to participate in the hearings being scheduled, May 13 is first one.

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

What are the top five promises you are making to the voters during the campaign?

Campaign Promise 1
Never really make promises! Except to say I will work as hard as I can. And listen to the very diverse voices in my very diverse district. It’s easy when you have served a long time to tune out different opinions. I try not to do that.

Campaign Promise 2
Hopeful to work on bill named for Judge Kaye on student discipline. Also with planned Parenthood and the Regents on an age appropriate and medically accurate sex education guideline bill. And perhaps more expansion of paid family leave.

Campaign Promise 3
Transportation, the environment, housing, health care and of course education continue to be priorities.

Campaign Promise 4

Campaign Promise 5

 

ETHICAL REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS

Citizens Union believes that all New Yorkers deserve to be represented by officials who work for the public interest and honor the public trust. With the corruption conviction of recent legislative leaders, we seek to endorse a candidate who will demonstrate that she/he will honor the full commitment of the oath of office, and always represent the public interest above all else.

Please tell us how you have and would continue to conduct the political affairs of this office in an upright manner, and maintain the public trust.
I have attempted to conduct myself in a decent, honorable and upright manner throughout my career. Always full time, never any outside income. Never a fundraiser in Albany, never once in 36 years and generally fundraise very minimally. I have been independent.

 The best way to see how I work is to ask those I have worked with closely. Ask groups like the Alliance for Quality Education how I conducted myself and what priorities I fought for as chair of the education committee. Ask Rev Richard Witt of Rural Migrant Ministry, or Lisa Zucker of the NYCLU what I have stood for in my work to have justice for farm workers. Ask planned Parenthood or the LGBT community about my commitment to the right of women and the civil rights struggles of the gay community. Ask the union movement about my work as chair of labor on paid family leave or those active in education issues on my work on student data privacy. My record I believe shows how I have worked to maintain the public trust.

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