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Name:  George  Alvarez
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 79
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 46
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Logistic and Computer Science
Occupation/Employer: Founder, Apple Consultants
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:
Candidate for Council District 17 – 2017
Candidate for Assembly District 79 – 2014
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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?
    It’s up to us as good citizens to stay in the loop about the work that our elected officials are doing. We need to make sure we follow those in power, and show them we are watching.

 

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 challenges in my district are the higher volume of cases in the area, and the lack of jobs during this outbreak. Many people in my district cannot pay their rent, or care for their families during this time. If the head of the household gets sick, the situation becomes even more difficult.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    City, state, and federal governments should coordinate information and resources to maximize the aid they are able to give to the people. Rather than duplicate efforts, it’s our government’s job to inform us of the resources available and help us get there.
  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 believe it’s most important to connect with our community with every resource available to help them through this crisis. It will be the main concern of my office and is currently one of the main concerns of my campaign.

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
My top campaign promise is that through this crisis, our campaign and our office is here to help the people of our community. I will work with leaders and community members to continue to elevate us during and after this crisis. Our people need our help, and we above all, promise to do what we can.

Campaign Promise 2
I believe in our community’s greatness in terms of the ability for people who grew up here to continue living here, newcomers to afford getting started here; working families to live here; seniors to retire here, and the ability for all of us to live together in unity.

To accomplish this, I will support and pursue legislation that keeps our housing stock affordable.

Campaign Promise 3
Families in our community are in dire need of jobs that pay good wages, and small businesses need our assistance to thrive. In an effort to confront our economic reality in the 79th District, I will take a pro-growth, pro-jobs approach. My funding allocations and legislative decisions will help workers and small businesses by connecting constituents to job training programs to help them gain the skills necessary to compete in the job market.

Campaign Promise 4
I will fight to keep our community safe for our children and our families. Our community has unfortunately been plagued with high levels of drugs, gang violence, burglaries, and other heinous crimes. This highlights the crisis that our community is facing and further emphasizes the need for us to address the issue of crime in our neighborhoods.

Campaign Promise 5
I will support the allocation of millions of dollars in funding for capital improvements, universal pre-k, after school, recreational and tutorial programs alongside other program enhancements for children and youth in our community schools.

 

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 been transparent with the voters in my district about the work we’re doing, our fundraising, and the elected officials and community leaders that support us from the beginning. I believe it is imperative that to be an elected official, you need the trust of your constituents. I plan to carry through these same practices when I am elected.

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