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Name:  Karines Reyes
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 87
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat (registered) and Working Families Party
Age: 35
Education: BA in Communications from Baruch College; BSN from Bronx Community College
Occupation/Employer: Registered Nurse
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:
-Won election to the NYS Assembly in 2018
-Member of The Bronx Democratic County Committee (ED 61/ AD 87)
-Judicial Delegate to The Bronx Judicial Convention – AD 87
-Member of the Parkchester NAACP
-Member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honors Society
Website:  KarinesReyes.com
Twitter:  @KarinesReyesNYC
Facebook:   @KarinesReyesRN

 

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 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 am very concerned about emergency powers instituted during the COVID-19 crisis. During the initial approval of the $40 million COVID-19 emergency appropriation, I was concerned with the initial length of the emergency powers given to Governor Cuomo, which would have provided him with power until 2022 (the end of the Governor’s term). Some of my colleagues and I opposed that measure in conference and the Governor changed his proposal to provide him with emergency powers until April 1st, 2021. Regarding the other powers provided during the budget, I was very concerned with the powers afforded to Governor Cuomo open up the budget and make cuts, with virtually no input from the Legislature. Even though I was unable to specifically vote against the Aid to Localities budget bill (which included this measure (this also speaks to the need of budget reform)), I am concerned with this authority provided to the Governor and the notion that the Legislature would have to convene within 10 days to reverse these cuts. This is the same inaction that forced the Legislature to inadvertently adopt the botched campaign finance reforms that Governor Cuomo implemented, at the expense of enacting a campaign finance system like New York City’s.

 

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 have been food insecurity and a lack of access to cash assistance (for families and for small businesses).
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    All levels of government need to take extraordinary measures to provide people and businesses with the necessary support. Local government needs to continue providing important services to allow people and businesses to continue functioning responsibly. The state government needs to create programs and guidelines for how people should operate during these perilous times. The federal government should largely provide funding to support the efforts of local and state governments, while setting a national standard for health.
  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 will be sure to distribute information to constituents through mail, email, and social media. I will make myself and my staff available to provide this information to constituents and community organizations.

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
Health Care for All New Yorkers – I will fight for the enactment of the New York Health Act and safe staffing legislation to provide people with adequate care.

Campaign Promise 2
Income & Racial Inequality – I will be sure to sponsor and support legislation that seeks to eradicate inequity in all of its forms, especially poverty. This can be done through the enactment of legislation to promote diversity and progressive taxation, while enacting living wages for workers.

Campaign Promise 3
Affordable Housing & Homelessness – I support the creation of affordable housing. I believe that we need to make comprehensive reforms to regulations surrounding cooperative & condominiums, like the developments in the Parkchester section of my district. I proudly support the enactment and funding of the Home Stability Support program to increase the voucher amount for homeless individuals in our state.

Campaign Promise 4
Education – We need to fully fund the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision to provide a quality public education to the children of our state.

Campaign Promise 5
Consumer & Workers’ Rights – I will sponsor and enact legislation to benefit workers, through providing quality wages and adequate benefits. I will fight for workers and their families

Immigrant Rights – I will fight to protect immigrant families in New York State. I am the proud sponsor of the NYS Liberty Act and the New York For All Act to make our state a sanctuary state for immigration status.

 

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 am a proud supporter of progressive policies and principles. As a registered nurse with the New York State Nurses Association, I have had the opportunity to advocate for progressive ideals and I hope to make sure that principles of fairness and justice for all are the bedrock of policy and the administration of government services. I hold the public trust as paramount to my service as the member of the New York State Assembly. I am committed to administering government resources in a matter beneficial to my constituents and not any special interests or my own personal interests. These values guide me.

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