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Name:  Stefani L. Zinerman
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 56
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 55
Education: Business Management
Occupation/Employer: Director/NYS Senate
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:
No previous elected office held
Kings County Committee Member
Vice President of Member, Vanguard Independent Democratic Association
Brooklyn NAACP, Civic Engagement Chair
Chair, Age Friendly Neighborhood Committee
Brooklyn Complete Count Committee for Census 2020
Let NY Vote Coalition
Website: zinermanfor56ad.com
Twitter: @zinermanfor56ad
Facebook: @zinermanfor56ad

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).
    Oppose
  1. Limit outside compensation earned by state legislators and statewide officials to 25% of their salaries and eliminate stipends.
    Oppose

 

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)
      Oppose
    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.
    Oppose
  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.
    Oppose

 

Campaign Finance

  1. Amend the state’s public campaign financing system, approved in the 2021 budget, by
    1. Drastically reduce campaign contribution limits
      Oppose
    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
      Oppose
    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.
    Oppose

 

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.
    Oppose
  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.
    Oppose

 

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.
    Oppose

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?
    I am a strong proponent for preparedness. Elected officials and experts have the ability to forecast disasters. We should use that information to prepare for these eventualities thereby mitigating any need to dismiss normal operating procedures because of COVID-19 and any other disaster.

 

Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    The inability or unwillingness to view this global health epidemic through a racial equity framework.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?The role of City, State and Federal Government is to:
  1. A) consult and ascertain the needs of the people; B) draft and adopt policies and laws that address the identified needs; and
  2. C) identify and allocate funding for full implementation of all adopted policies
  3. 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?

As a Community Leader, I am currently sharing information via Social Media, sending e-blasts, distributing resources, and hosting a weekly FaceBook Live with industry experts including government agency heads, business owners, and health care experts and educational professionals to provide constituents with the most up to date information.

CAMPAIGN PROMISES MADE TO VOTERS

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

Campaign Promise 1
High Quality Education:
Every child deserves a free, high quality, fully-funded, public pre-K to12th grade education followed by access to diverse opportunities for affordable vocational or university education. This includes Fully funding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity including the $3.9 billion in foundation aid for New York City Public Schools, Expanding funding for Career & Technical Education (CTE) Programs, Expanding the number of community schools that offer high-quality academic enrichment and physical and mental health programs that are conducted by licensed or certified school social workers, and service students and families. Investing $86 Million in CUNY to close the TAP $86 Million (Tuition Assistance Program) Gap.

 

Campaign Promise 2
Health Equity and Well-Being
My top priorities are: reproductive justice, school-based health clinics, healthy aging programming and access to fresh and affordable food. Expand funding for Doula training and allow for medicaid reimbursement for their services. Provide funding for every school to have a clinic with a qualified provider to provide health and wellness programming to students. Support healthy aging programs to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, vocational needs of older adults 62 years and older. Ensure that our community based farms receive financial support in their efforts to grow fresh and affordable food for our community. Ensure the full implementation of recently passed Agriculture bills: Agri-Business Child Development fund, Young Farmer Apprentice Program (S3873), New York Farm School and School Garden Fund (S3804A), Farming Hotline (S4655) and $400,000 in funding for mental health services for farmers and their families.

 

Campaign Promise 3
Economic Security & Opportunity

My top economic priorities are ensuring that the residents of the 56th Assembly District have equal opportunity to achieve economic success, sustainability, and financial security. This includes supporting policies that create jobs that support our economy and provide workers with a 21st century living wage. Investment in our infrastructure to create new jobs; Create more business incentives to foster economic growth that helps workers and small businesses and farms; Restore worker bargaining power to encourage industry-wide collective bargaining; Promote profit-sharing plans that will enable workers to share in the benefits of productivity growth as well as funding for worker cooperatives. Create a baseline set of employment standards for all working Americans.

 

Campaign Promise 4
Election Reform
As the recent Chair of Civic Engagement and Political Action for the Brooklyn NAACP, I work to uphold voting rights laws and in particular those that protect us from discrimination. I support and will continue to advocate for the passage of the following legislation: New York State Voting Rights Act. (S7528), additional state funding to localities for early vote education and implementation;  Implementation of automatic voter registration. (S6457/A8280); Permanent restoration of voting rights for New Yorkers on parole. (S1931/A4987); Elder parole,which relates to parole eligibility for certain inmates age fifty-five and (S2144).

 

Campaign Promise 5
In the 56th district, the major issue is housing as both Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights have been the top gentrified neighborhoods in New York City. As such, we must address housing as a healthcare issue as it is a social determinant of health that greatly impacts our community. My majority priorities are: Increasing rental assistance to tenants; Supporting home ownership program and preserving deeply affordable homes; Preventing families from facing evictions and homelessness; Preparing for our changing demographics as the aging population expected to double

 

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.

Over the past several years, I have worked for two legislative bodies: the New York City Council and New York State and have received extensive training on conflict of interest and ethics.

I have conducted and will continue to hold staff development training in addition to the agency mandated bi-annual training of staff. In addition, I will disclose our legislative and budgetary priorities to ensure accountability to the community.

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