Election 2014: 64th Assembly District

October 30, 2014 Jaime DeJesus
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Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is a two-term incumbent who represents the 64th Assembly District, comprising portions of Staten Island and Bay Ridge.

Over the course of her service, Malliotakis has taken several issues as her own, including restoration of public transportation options (such as the B37 and X27 weekend service – both of which have been brought back by the MTA), a revamping of the way tolls are assessed on Brooklynites using the Verrazano Bridge (a work in progress) and the successful renewal, each year, of spousal refusal, which helps caregivers pay for long-term care for their chronically ill spouses by separating their income and resources from that of their spouses who require home care due to health needs.

While opposing the Dream Act, Malliotakis is firmly in support of restoring TAP financial aid for graduate students as well as expanding the aid to include more middle-class families, and has been advocating strongly for such a change to the existing TAP program.

That said, tax cuts, Malliotakis made clear at a recent debate, are key to her approach to reforming government, contending, “We have to make New York City more affordable, and we should focus on some of the bad policies put in place over the decades. We need to control spending so we can reduce the cost of living in New York State.”



Democratic/Working Families

Democrat Marybeth Melendez is a longtime community activist who has persevered despite losing her sight to retinosa pigmentosa.

A social worker and single mother of three, Melendez recalls working three part-time jobs to support her family. “I understand the disconnect between politics and what is happening in our community,” she said during one recent candidate’s forum.

For this reason, Melendez believes, she is the ideal person to represent the 64th Assembly District, which sprawls across the Narrows, encompassing portions of both Staten Island and Bay Ridge.

Melendez is a supporter of the Dream Act, which she said, would “allow us to have more educated and skilled workers in the work force.” She also supports expanding TAP to enable more middle class families to get financial support to help send their children to college.

She is also in favor of raising the minimum wage in New York City. “The cost of living in New York has skyrocketed,” she stressed. “What’s going down is wages.” If they were to go up, she said, residents would “have disposable income,” to use at local businesses, making raising the city minimum wage an “opportunity to keep the economy going.”

Melendez has strong reservations about hydrofracking. She said she would, “Rather err on the side of caution. I am against fracking for many reasons. All you have to do is turn to Pennsylvania and Ohio [to see what can result from fracking]. We can’t take a chance and get it wrong.”

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