(photo from NYS Senate)
FRANK PADAVAN – REP, IND, CON
Frank Padavan's Candidate Questionnaire
Age: 75 Occupation: Senator, NYS Senate
Education: Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (BS); New York University (MBA)
State Senate website: http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/frank-padavan
Frank Padavan is running for re-election to the State Senate, having first been elected to the Senate in 1972. During his career in the Senate, he served as Chair of the Mental Hygiene and Addiction Control Committee and Chair of the Senate Committee on Cities, among other roles. In these positions, he has been an advocate for mental health, creating the State Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled, and also played a key role in reforms to New York City school governance that gave the mayor increased control. Padavan was an architect of New York City's "Safe Streets/ Safe City" program in the state legislature. He credits his experience and ability to deliver to his constituents as why he should be re-elected, stating that his goals are to continue his public service on behalf of his constituents. He cited job creation as his top priority, if re-elected, favoring giving small businesses tax abatements for hiring unemployed workers. Regarding reform issues, he supports the creation of an independent redistricting commission, and is a co-sponsor of the reform legislation sponsored by Senator Valesky. Padavan also supports ethics and budget reform, and cited his record on budget reform with the enactment of reforms in 2007 such as the requirement that conference committees be formed to resolve differences and find common ground. Regarding campaign finance reform, he supports the concept of public financing for campaigns, but does not believe that it would be fiscally prudent at this time. He has also introduced legislation to require regulation of campaign consultants. He does not support implementation of Election Day Registration or no-excuse absentee ballot voting, believing that it would result in increased fraud. He supports allowing voting on weekends, however, as a way to increase access to voting. Citizens Union believes that Frank Padavan has been an effective advocate for his district, has successfully built coalitions to achieve change and has demonstrated a commitment to reform issues, and as it has before, endorses his re-election.
(photo from stuebensociety.org)
TONY AVELLA – DEM, WFP
Tony Avella's Candidate Questionnaire
Age: 58 Occupation: Former Member, NYC Council
Education: Hunter College, CUNY (BA)
Campaign website: http://www.avellaforsenate.com/
Tony Avella, a former New York City Councilmember who most recently ran in the Democratic Primary for Mayor, is seeking election to the Senate, as he believes that Albany is in need of reform-minded legislators. In his career in the City Council, he sponsored numerous reform bills, and led by example by not taking a stipend or “lulu.” He cites his independence and actions as the reason why he would better represent the district, stating that pledging to enact reforms in not enough. Avella believes that his independence will be an asset in the Senate, as there is a slim Democratic majority that allows individual members to have a large role in shaping policy. His top reform issues, if elected, would be requiring the enactment of a balanced budget, ending “pay-to-play” and requiring reporting of bundlers, enacting term limits, and bringing reforms to the discretionary funding process. Avella believes that his experience with the public matching campaign finance system in New York City would allow him to craft a better proposal for the state, as he completed the filings himself and is aware of the reporting requirements. Regarding other issues of importance to his district, he supports reforming education governance in New York City to create greater parental input, the banning of hydro-fracking, and rebuilding infrastructure as a way to create jobs. Another proposal that he supports to create jobs is to legalize sports betting, which he states would bring in needed revenue to the state and remove the operations from organized crime. While Citizens Union admires Avella’s commitment to reform, we do not believe that he would be a more effective legislator than the incumbent, whom Citizens Union has supported before.