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Name:  Elvis  Santana
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 79
Party Affiliation(s): Democractic Party
Age: 26
Education: Albertus Magnus College
Occupation/Employer: Former Community School Director of Eastside House Settlement
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:

  • No previous office held
  • Civic Involvement includes advocacy  for the waste Equity Bill, Tenants’ Right to Counsel and the Housing not warehousing act.

Website: https://www.votesantana.org/
Twitter: theelvissantana
Facebook: theelvissantana

 

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.

 

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 websites.
    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?
    My concern is the Governor’s emergency powers and not consulting the legislature. We need to ensure the emergency powers is transparent to the public.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    The biggest challenge for our district during this outbreak is the loss of wage, which directly impact other factors as well, such as paying rent, paying the costs for bills and food insecurity.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    The city and state government can work with local partners for food distribution. The federal government can guarantee  a universal income at this time, so that residents do not have outstanding balance on their rent once the rent moratorium is lifted.
  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?
    If elected I will ensure I will work with all levels of government to protect the residents of our district. Small businesses are the lifeline of the community and we need to ensure their success post COVID19. After this pandemic, things cannot go back to normal for residents of our district. Normalcy means low wages, working multiple jobs, high cost of rent, inaccessible quality healthcare, educational inequity, environmental injustice and food insecurity. We need to address all of these issues to help the future of our constituents and  businesses

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
As a former DOE Community School Director, I fully understand the impact of budgeting in schools. I will fight to ensure NY schools are paid the millions owed in foundational aid. Moreover, I will fight against any educational budget cuts and fund much needed resources for our district.

Campaign Promise 2
I firmly believe that any new buildings built in the district need to be affordable housing, so that everyday Bronxites can afford to live in the district. With looming budget cuts for education, I will fight everyday to ensure our schools are funded equitably.

Campaign Promise 3
Historically, the South Bronx has faced environmental racism, causing a rise in asthma rates. I will work with community groups to advocate for better air quality, which would reduce contamination within our district and work with local government for more green spacesI will fight to ensure our public schools are lead free and that students have access to safe drinking water.

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 firmly believe that elected officials should be transparent and be held accountable by the people they represent. I am running a grassroots campaign and vow to not accept any special interests money because of my philosophy that I am held accountable by the people of my district and not corporations. Currently, the 2020 census is underway and our state will have to redistrict, I firmly believe we need an independent commission to ensure redistricting does not favor one party over the other. I plan on representing our district with outmost dignity and fight everyday for our residents. I hope to run a great constituent service program to ensure our residents are heard.

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