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Name:  Nuala  O’Doherty-Naranjo
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 34
Party Affiliation(s): Democratic
Age: 51
Education: JD St. Johns
Occupation/Employer: Retired
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:

  • Founder of COVID-Care Neighbor Network (JH, E.Elmhurst, Woodside)
  • President of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group
  • Community Education Council 30 (Vice President)
  • Co-Chair Fix NorthernBLVD Campaign, Queens Transportation Alternatives
  • Together We Can Community Resource Center Board Member
  • Leader of Sensible Way to LGA
  • PTA President of IS 230 and PS 222
  • SLT Member IS 230, IS 145, PS 149, PS 222, Newcomers High School

Website: www.Nualafor34.com
Twitter: @NualaFor34
Facebook: @NualaFor34

 

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
      Oppose

 

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.
6 d — I support campaign finance laws that promote small local donors.  By simplifying the rules you lose the incentive to raise money from within the district.

 

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?
    I am most worried about our nursing homes and adult care facilities.  We need much more oversight of our most vulnerable communities.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    Besides lack of access to regular healthcare, One of the biggest challenges is that a large portion of our undocumented neighbors exists without a safety net.

    As it stands now, those with a social security number can depend on the government to support them, but those without, have no job, no income and no hope of either.  We must step up and treat our neighbors as neighbors and not exclude them from health care and our safety net.

  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    In this crisis, it is food scarcity that hurts our immigrant neighbors the most. The federal government should implement disaster EBT, which would be implemented through local state governments.

    As the most local form of government, the city needs to be responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of citizens, protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and organizing aid groups, etc.

 

  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 have been running COVID Care Neighbor Network since March 13.  We provide groceries to almost 200 families a week. We have been holding weekly information session to inform neighbors about HRA benefits, Pandemic EBT (foodstamps), programs for small business appling for aid and how to deal with mental health issues during a pandemic.

    We must focus our government efforts on supporting our small business which are the heart of our neighborhoods and taking care of our most vulnerable neighbors.

 

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
Fully fund our public schools to allow our great local public schools blossom.

Campaign Promise 2
Pass the New York Health Act so that all our neighbors have access to health care

Campaign Promise 3
Demand better service and transparency from the MTA, and provide more local control of the MTA.

Campaign Promise 4
Protect our immigrant neighbors by providing them with the safety net they can rely on in times of crisis.

Campaign Promise 5
Fight entrenched special interests, machine politics, and the status quo.

 

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 a long-time community activist and a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of representing people.  For 34 years, I represented the People of the State of New York in court and held that as a solemn responsibility.  I not only represented the victims of crime but sought to do justice for the entire community.

For 20 years, I have been serving my community.  I have been successful in creating real change.  I have sought more school seats, and new schools have been built.  I have fought for more park space and we have expanded our part.  I have fought for more green space and we have added 20 new greens spaces.  I have fought for more parent involvement in our school and we now have a Sneak Peek program in all District 30 schools.  When the MTA tried to sneak through the Queen’s bus redesign, I not only exposed it but mobilized the neighborhood to voice our opposition.  When our neighborhood was paralyzed by the Corona virus, I got work and set up the COVID Care Neighbor Network, feeding the many vulnerable people in my neighborhood.

My roots in my community are long and strong.  My allegiance is to them.  I am not aligned with any special interest, local power brokers or Queens political machine.  I want to go to Albany to represent everyone in my community not any special interest.

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