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Name:  Dan Quart
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 73
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 47
Education: BA, SUNY Binghamton; JD, St. John’s University
Occupation/Employer: Assemblymember
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:

  • Ran for City Council, District 5 in 2005
  • Member, Community Board 8
  • Chair, Community Board 8 Transportation Committee
  • Co-Chair, Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force

Website:  
Twitter:  @amdanquart
Facebook:   @DanQuartNYC

 

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
      Support
    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.
    Support

 

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.

I support a constitutional amendment that will make the Legislature full-time and completely eliminate outside income.

 

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?
    I’m very concerned about the consolidation of power that we’ve seen during this crisis. It’s essential that the legislature reconvene remotely; committee meetings should be held publicly by video conference, voting can easily be done remotely and we ought to start convening public hearings through video conference, as well. In a time of unparalleled technology, there is no reason for us not to wield the power of legislation and oversight.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    I am deeply concerned about the failures of our unemployment system. This has been the number one complaint from my constituents. The system was struggling before the coronavirus hit, with out of date IT and an unnecessarily difficult process. In a time when unemployment insurance is more critical than ever, this failure to fix these problems has caused a total systemic breakdown. I’m working with each of my constituents who have experienced these failures firsthand to access their benefits, and I’m also advocating with the Governor for an overhaul to the system, and advocating with the Assembly for public hearings into how and why these failures have gone unaddressed for so long.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    Generally, I believe that those who are closest to the problem are closest to the solution. While funding from the federal and state governments are both essential to get us through this crisis, our city government should be taking the lead on many of the policy decisions that will affect the day-to-day experience of NYC residents (like street openings, and enforcing social distancing regulatings), while the state government should be taking a strong role in regulating the institutions that are shaping our response, including hospitals and other health care organizations. While the federal government has an important role to play, I believe that the most important thing they can be doing right now is ensuring continual funding to states and localities and investing in medical research on treatments and vaccines.
  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?
    I’ve been working with the small businesses in my district through the Small Business Development Centers, to ensure that they have the newest information about the relief funds that are available from every level of government. I’ve also been working directly with the Laundry Workers Center to ensure that retail laundromat owners are able to stay open and continue paying their workers while also ensuring that the workers are able to do their jobs safely.

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
I will fight for public hearings into the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, including the failures of the unemployment insurance system.

Campaign Promise 2
I will continue to lead the fight for the repeal of 50-A, the worst police secrecy law in the country.

Campaign Promise 3
I will continue to work with the small businesses on the East Side to be able to access government funding at every level and to be able to re-open as soon as they are safely able to.

Campaign Promise 4
During the COVID-19 crisis, I will continue to fight for decarceration of our prison system, which has been a hotspot of transmission of the virus.

Campaign Promise 5
I will continue to fight for election reform – now, more than ever, it is clear that we need to expand early voting, pass a constitutional amendment to allow for vote by mail and bring automatic voter registration to a vote in the Assembly.

 

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.
As an elected official, I believe one of the most important responsibilities is to oppose your leadership when it is the right thing to do, even when it’s difficult. While I have done this multiple times over the course of my services, the time it felt most urgent was standing with former legislative staffers who had been sexually harassed. I knew that the road to a public hearing would be long and hard and I knew that I wouldn’t be the most popular person in the Legislature for this position, but after hearing the staffers’ stories, it was obvious to me that I couldn’t stay silent. I led the charge for a public hearing, and though it didn’t happen quickly, I’m so proud that we held two hearings and that workers across New York State were able to testify about their experiences, their knowledge and their recommendations for improvements. This is the kind of courage you can expect to continue to see from me as a legislator.

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