Martin Golden has been a member of the state senate since 2003, and previously served as a NYC council member and as a police officer. He is running for re-election because of his desire to continue delivering positive change to his district. His top priorities include bringing more jobs to the state by focusing on bolstering the technology sector in New York City, and seeking improvements to the transportation system in New York City, specifically to subways, buses, and ferries. Golden has worked to advance Citizens Union’s reform agenda through initiatives to improve the design of the ballot, institute instant runoff voting, and create greater accountability of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He also supports Proposal 1, the constitutional amendment to reform the redistricting process; expanding pension forfeiture to all public officials who abuse the public trust; term limits for state legislators; and legislators serving full-time in office. Regarding campaign finance reform, Golden does not support public funding, but supports other reforms such as closing soft money loopholes. In opposing public funding, he believes that the NYC public matching system invites misuse of public funds. Citizens Union respects Senator Golden’s thoughtful approach to public service and values his collaborative efforts to advance reform in the State Senate, and supports his bid for re-election.
James Kemmerer, a small business owner in the technology sector, is running for office to introduce a fresh perspective in Albany, and to address the corruption that has plagued the state for so long. His top priorities include seeking higher wages, more jobs, and better educational standards. He also spoke of the need for a more robust response to the continued impact of Hurricane Sandy and addressing climate change by developing green energy infrastructure. Regarding reform issues, Kemmerer states he is a strong advocate for campaign finance reform, believing the issue is critical for attaining fair elections. He also supports legislators serving full-time in office, and he pledges to introduce new voting technology to streamline and modernize the voting process. He opposes the redistricting constitutional amendment, Proposal 1, though he demonstrates a lack of familiarity with its details. Kemmerer has a clear understanding of the role of state legislators in the policy arena and brings a great amount of enthusiasm to his interest in public service. Given his passion for the public interest, Citizens Union hopes he will continue his involvement and leadership in Brooklyn’s civic life.