In the race for the state Assembly seat that represents the district that includes Philipstown, Democratic incumbent Sandy Galef faces Republican Lawrence Chiulli, who also challenged her in 2018. Below are Galef’s written responses to questions posed by The Current. If Chiulli responds, his answers will be posted here.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
■ Galef: During this pandemic and the economic and health uncertainties we face, I feel I would bring the most value to the position. I believe that my experience in government during these critical times really does matter. I can bring important knowledge to the decisions we make in the Legislature that impact residents.
Do police departments need reform and, if so, what should the Assembly do about it?
■ Galef: Given all the serious issues raised across our country and the rallies calling for change in the area of criminal justice, it is important that each community review the status of their police department and determine what can be done better to provide fairness in all actions and to all people no matter their race or ethnicity. We must then continue to take action to address ways we can assist our police forces, especially through more funding of policing programs. This summer, the Legislature passed a sweeping reform package to bring more accountability and transparency to the criminal justice system. We must continue to add to those reforms with community support as we go forward.
Would you support or oppose term limits on state legislators? Why?
■ Galef: Instead of term limits, which give more power to non-elected staff and erode experience in decision-making, I support public financing of campaigns so more people can run for office. Elected officials can now be term-limited if the public determines to vote them out. We recently passed legislation to start partial/public financing of statewide and legislative campaigns along the lines of what is done in New York City and Connecticut. The goal is to enable more candidates to get on the ballot by helping with campaign costs, limiting special-interest money and capping the costs of campaigns. This program is intended to provide the voters with many more choices on the ballot.
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