Though there are many issues that effect this community, I would like to touch on what I think are the Major Issues in the 6th District; These issues are the for front in turning this community in the right direction and begin to make it what it once was and better.
1) Education - This districts academic performance is of major concern and the drop out rate is a big issue. But above all to begin we must make sure that securing the proper funding to our school district is the priority. With out this our educational system is destined to fail, as the Assembly I would fight vigorously to get the extra funding that we need to bring our school system up to par. With this you could be able to secure all the necessary programs that our children need with a major focus on improving the standardized test scores but maintaining an equal focus on the necessities of the class as a whole. The need of bringing in teachers who live in the district is of great importance because the community is diverse and who would know better then teachers who live in the area that know the different problems and concerns of the children and the parents and incorporate them in their teachings. This would also show a sense of community conscientiousness. And have support training for the teachers to do so. Early intervention for students that are behind can help bring them up to par and boost moral and maintain a balance in the classroom.
2) Local Economy – More and more businesses are closing period. What good is a downtown beautification project for roads and lights and business property facials when the new roads and bright lights lead you to closed businesses. It leads you to all the foreclosed homes where there are people unemployed. All this creates community instability. Crimes increase, violence increases, drug use increases, the drug dealers now recruit members of the community who are without jobs and gang drug wars are on the up rise. As assemblyman I would request an all out blitz of an increase of police presence to stop the open drug sales at our shopping areas so we don’t scare away potential small business owners. Provide incentive programs that would entice businesses to come to this community as well as keep them here, both large and small. There are many large building spaces that are empty that by doing this would also help generate jobs for our local constituents. Therefore putting money back into the community. And I would do the same for home ownership; provide incentive programs for home ownership. And provide current homeowners programs from within the community to help those in need of a home remodification, or financial structure. For this to work we must also set up a program for low-income families and provide free or low cost daycare service and after school programs. Also funding for an increase in public transportation is a must.
3) Youth Programs – This community has a limited safe haven for its many many youths… There are presently quite a few places that can be homes to future YMCA’S and Boys and Girls Club centers for our youth. I am presently forming a committee to go through the process of gathering the necessary information to begin this process. And as Assemblyman I would make this one of my priorities. Lobby in Albany to get grants and or funding to maintain and increase after school programs to educate our students and keep them engaged in meaningful activities and out of the world of drugs and gang violence. Use these locations as well as the schools to provide programs to make them aware of the less desirable things that are out there in the streets, teen pregnancy, gangs, drugs, bullying, etc.
4) Community Safety – There are just too many young men and women dieing unnecessarily to the streets. We all must as a community come together and work with our law enforcement. We must meet provide information to where our troubled spots are to our Police Dept. report suspicious behavior at once. But as Assemblyman I would emphasize to the County Executive the transfer or new hiring of minority officers into this diverse community. And introduce a law in Albany requiring officers in Suffolk County to go through a special training of the ethnic diversity like there is in this district to gain trust especially in the community of the undocumented. To many times is a crime committed but because of the fear of the uniform and the person being undocumented will that person come forward. Doing this training and then bringing it out to the community by our Police Dept. will insure a better communication without fear and lead to arrests and convictions of a crime.
5) Organizational Unity – If all this is to come together and make our community better, safer and successful then we need all of the community leaders of the different organizations to come together. For to long some of our political leaders have used the tactic of “Divide and Conquer” No more favoring one over an other, giving one organization more than an other, only for there own personal political gains and political strategies. Each organization does wonderful work and all are fighting for the same cause. As Assemblyman I will create a summit of all the leaders of any organization that will meet for starters, quarterly; during which we would discuss the difficulties that any organization is encountering in reaching a certain objective so as leaders of their perspective organizations together we can come up with a solution to assist them. As one we can move mountains.
Once again I know that there are lots of issues in this community but this is just what I have heard from the constituents that are the most pressing and my thoughts on what I would do as Assemblyman of the 6th District. If you have issues and or any questions please leave me a note and I will get back to you. Or if you would like me to stop by your home and speak with me please do the same.
Samuel Gonzalez Democrat for NY State Assembly 6th DistrictWith The Strength of the People; Con la Fuerza Del Pueblo