Gia DeGennaro-Arnold made the following statement March 22:
My friends, I have called this press conference today in several towns and cities within the 62nd Senatorial District to discuss with you some important issues that affect us all every day, and to also address ... my possibly being a candidate for public office.
I think it is time for some frank discussion between friends. After meeting with so many people throughout the district, some of the more obvious concerns have been taxes, personal freedom, education, lack of job growth, poor business environment, the SAFE Act and basic integrity in Albany. We all know that Albany is broken, but when is it time for all of us to do more than talk about it?
When is enough, really enough? How many of our residents have to flee this area under a huge burden of taxes and spending? How many children and grandchildren have to leave for opportunities in other states before we take action? ...
How far do we allow our constitutional rights to be chipped away at, before we really do something about it? When will we the people, finally realize that our government is meant to be "Of the People," and not the elite profiting off of our labor. I know that talk is cheap, and we sure get enough of that from our current senator, but we need more than talk. We need more than admission that Albany doesn't work for us, we need to act. Constantly re-electing the same people to do the same dismal job in Albany isn't working for New York, and certainly not working for Western New York. ...
And I know, and I have heard it from some that the current senator, George Maziarz, is our friend. He comes to all our functions, and parties and gives away grant money. I am told that he votes for bills he stands for and votes against the bills he doesn't. ...
Really? If that were so, why does his district pay the highest property taxes? The highest home heating prices? The highest electric bills, the highest gasoline prices and has the least opportunity for getting people jobs and keeping our family members here? If he is the second most powerful senator in New York, why did the SAFE Act come to a vote in the Senate? If that's the best, then we are in real trouble.
I believe we can do better. With billions of dollars in bloated line items and surplus, how could any senator say outright that we won't cut your taxes? How can he say he represents us over the big, rich, power and gas companies when he allows them to raise their prices constantly? How can he say that property taxes and state mandates are OK here, when he supposedly has so much influence on the local leaders who could reduce them and assist them in doing so?
For 18 years, we have heard "all the wonderful things" that were supposedly happening here, but as we look back and look at where we are today, we all know in our hearts that things are not better. Taxes are much higher, some families today can't afford to pay for education, health care, property taxes, food and gasoline just to go to work. We deserve and need to be treated better.
I have put together a plan of action, that doesn't just talk about our problems and issues but also addresses them with resident oriented legislation and plans, that would begin our journey to restore New York and the 62nd Senatorial District back to where it should be, and finally, return the will and the voice of the people back to Albany.
Therefore, today, I officially announce that I am a candidate for senator in the 62nd District.
I am not here to make a civil service into a career. I support term limits for all public offices. I support a salary decrease for them as well. I believe that our incumbent has made a professional career out of his service, while failing to represent his constituents and not standing for our rights and expectations. I will serve.
As a mother to three young daughters, I worry daily about the future my children will grow up into. The current education system known as Common Core does not effectively address the needs of our students. It fails to recognize their individuality and uniqueness and instead attempts to fit all of our children into the same cookie cutter mold. It also punishes the students that may be ahead of their grade level by not catering to their advancement. We need common sense solutions that allow our teachers to adjust their lesson plans according to the child, as well as a system that embraces the individuality of the student and builds a rewarding and positive learning environment for them.
How many of the constituents in this district feel free? Or do you feel the ever-present noose on our personal freedoms restricting our rights constantly? We are in a state of the controlled, our human rights are not ours to make. Our current senator votes to protect some rights, but not others. I support the belief that all people are created equal, and that their rights are protected equally under the Constitution, whether they be black, white, Hispanic, male, female, gay or straight.
We as New Yorkers deserve freedom over our own bodies and decisions, that so long as we are not causing unjust harm to another, we may be free decide what we do with ourselves. I support strengthening personal freedom in NY and preserving individual liberty as being of utmost importance. ...
I will not just talk the talk, I will act. And I promise to be the thorn in Albany's side and work tirelessly against the SAFE Act for its full repeal. Instead of punishing law abiding gun owners and labeling our mental health community as dangerous, I'd like to focus on stricter penalties for violent criminals and bringing gun safety education to our schools and local communities.
I come here today, with no illusions. I know I am running against a once popular and experienced senator. I know he comes equipped with a $1 million campaign fund, sponsored by the rich power companies and the Albany lobbyists. I know it will be a lot of hard work to raise the money and to meet the constituents that we need to get our message out. But we will! I know he'll say I'm too young and inexperienced, that as a woman and a mother of three, that I shouldn't be running for "his" seat, but I have been a successful business owner, and am proud of my husband and children and of the accomplishments my family has made, despite the conditions in this district.
I have no experience in raising taxes and making a career of politics. I believe a politician is meant to be a public servant, and I will do my all to serve the constituents of this district. ...
I cannot stress enough that the greatest reason for running is to protect the future that our children, our posterity, so deserves, the future that we are currently headed down the wrong path towards. I will campaign tirelessly for you, the people, not the lobbyists. I plan on walking in the entire district to discuss with as many people as possible, the important issues that affect all of us. But more important, I plan on doing something to resolve these problems and make this district and this state less taxing, more progressive in attracting and retaining job opportunities, returning our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, providing a fair and effective educational system, protecting our individual liberties and personal freedoms, decreasing government size and power, and telling the gas and power companies to stop picking our pockets. ...
My name is Gia Arnold and I will be running for New York Senate in the 62nd District. I will remain dedicated this election season to earning your vote and becoming your voice in Albany.