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Name:  Mary  Jobaida
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 37
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 40
Education: NYU
Occupation/Employer: Urban Health Plan Inc
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:

I’ve been an advocate in my community for 20 years. As an Outreach Specialist for Urban Health Plan Inc, I worked with local elected officials and community based organizations to put together educational events. I partnered with the NYPL (New York Public Library) to create and open a civic and English language class. I was also awarded the Award for Building Political Power in 2013 after that year’s Mayoral race in NYC.

Website: maryforassembly.com
Twitter: @maryforassembly
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryJobaida/

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?
    We have to make sure that emergency powers are not used to abuse civil liberties, as we’ve unfortunately seen happen at the Federal level with the Patriot Act following 9/11, etc. If the Federal government does use their power for abusing civil liberties, then the NY government must step up and step in to make sure this state’s citizens have protections, and we must be transparent with the public during the entire process.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    We’ve lost so many lives to the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, so many immigrant and low income workers are either out of a job or have seen their incomes take a hit. They can’t pay their bills, they can’t pay their rents. We need to make sure they have the economic relief they need, including forgiveness of rent so that they do not lose their homes in the middle of a pandemic.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    All governments should be protecting the citizens at all costs. People should be prioritized over corporations and wealthy donors. The city and state should be doing the most to keep us all safe physically, but the federal government must step up to provide the funding necessary to do things like make sure the unemployed have insurance for health and incomes, and that rents for tenants and small businesses are forgiven as well as mortgages.
  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?
    A lot of constituents in my district are healthcare workers, so we must make sure they are always protected not just with PPE, but mental health care services and hazard pay. Currently there are a lot of hotels in my district housing the homeless – we need to create and provide actual housing for these people. And further more ever constituent needs to be protected monetarily – with forgiveness for rents and mortgages as well as continued insurance for the unemployed and relief to small businesses that have been affected by the virus.

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
Everyone in Queens & beyond deserves housing. I supports keeping NYCHA public and will not accept funding from developers in order to oppose over-gentrification and uphold housing justice reforms

Campaign Promise 2
Universal Health Care is a basic human right. Anyone who needs healthcare in the richest country on earth should receive it, without going into debt to a financial institution. I will support the NY Health Act as an Assemblymember.

Campaign Promise 3
High quality and tuition free Pre-K as well as a free college education should be available to all of Queens and beyond. This position is framed by raising children who are attending NYC public schools.

Campaign Promise 4
This campaign is not taking any contribution from any interest groups. Furthermore, I want to seek term limits on all state elected offices and public financing of political campaigns.

Campaign Promise 5
I will prioritize climate and environmental justice. I don’t accept any funding from fossil fuel interests and want to reform regulatory bodies that have allowed the air in Queens to become polluted.

 

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 not accepted any corporate PAC money, this has been a people powered campaign. The current Assemblymember representing our district has done enough to put the interests of the real estate developers and corporations like Amazon above the interests of the constituents of AD-37 who’re struggling to make ends meet. As a low income mother of 3, I would not be putting everything on the line to run this campaign if I had any intention on following in my predecessor’s footsteps when it comes to corruption. I fully commit to always represent the public interest above all else.

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