Reader Endorsements: State Senate

Beacon and Philipstown are part of the 39th state Senate district. The Democratic candidate for the seat is Julie Shiroishi and the Republican candidate is Rob Rolison. The election is Nov. 8.

Julie Shiroishi, who is running for the 39th state Senate district, which includes the Highlands, has a vision for the Hudson Valley.

We have all seen the increase in housing costs over recent years. Home ownership is out of reach for many who have grown up here. Rents are sky high, taking a large chunk of people’s paychecks. This situation has driven some people into homelessness.

Many young people who grew up in the Hudson Valley can barely afford to stay here to raise their own families, with housing getting more expensive every day. Affordable day care is very rare and consequently large chunks of incomes are taken by child care and housing costs. Then there are the expenses of elder care carried by many who care for aging parents.

Many things can and need to be done to alleviate these problems. But they can only be done with the help of creative thinking by our state Legislature. We must create affordable educational pathways starting in middle school so kids in all our communities can see their way to a future with a good-paying job whether or not they want to go to college.

We need to provide affordable child care and senior care programs — as is the case in other industrialized nations — that will allow parents and caretakers (mostly women) to work, thereby allowing them to fully participate in our local economy. We need to provide training and retraining opportunities for our existing workforce, as well.

The high cost of housing, child care, senior care, workforce training and retraining, paid leave for mothers with newborns — all these things are interconnected and affect one another. For working-class and middle-class people to find affordable education and decent paying jobs and be able to pay their bills without being driven into poverty, we need the creative help of government.

We can’t just work on one of these issues; we must address all of them since they are so interconnected. Fortunately, we have the opportunity this November to vote for someone who understands these issues and has pledged to make them her top priority when elected to the 39th District.

Her name is Julie Shiroishi. I have met and spoken with Julie and I can tell you this work is her life’s calling. It’s as though she has been shot out of a cannon. She is chomping at the bit to do this work! Julie has worked in the state Legislature and knows how state government operates, but her experience in the private sector and as a working mom taught her how to get things done. She is primed and ready to make Albany work for the residents of the 39th District. Shiroishi deserves all of our votes this November. We would be lucky to have her as our state senator.

Nicholas Kuvach, Putnam Valley

I am writing to express my wholehearted endorsement of Julie Shiroishi for the state Senate seat representing District 39. I have been fortunate enough to know Julie for a long time, and it has been a privilege to watch her transition from local activism to her fantastic work as Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson’s chief of staff. I was beyond excited when I learned that she had finally decided to run for office herself.

Julie is one of the most dedicated, hardworking people I have ever known, and I have often said that we could solve many of the world’s problems if we could just bottle her energy. Whether it’s helping a local family in need, fundraising for a small struggling Main Street business, or advocating for important government policies on all levels, Julie is there making it happen. She doesn’t just get the job done, she perfects it.

A great leader is one who truly listens to the people they are leading. Julie has always tirelessly gotten out into communities to speak with people and make sure they know that they have a voice. This past year she has spent countless hours traveling all over our new senate district to make sure she is as well versed as possible in all of the issues facing the people she will represent.

Julie Shiroishi’s unique blend of intelligence, sincerity, values, integrity and work ethic make her the ideal choice for our state senate. I hope you’ll join me as I excitedly cast my vote for Julie on Nov. 8, or before that at early voting.

Jodi McCredo, Beacon

Democrat Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson voted in 2019 to pass the bail reform laws that have led to record levels of violent crime throughout New York state in the past three years. Now his chief of staff, Julie Shiroishi, is running for the state Senate in the 39th District.

Thankfully, voters have a viable alternative. Rob Rolison has served as mayor in the City of Poughkeepsie since 2015. During that time, Mayor Rolison has turned Poughkeepsie around in many areas. As a retired detective from the Town of Poughkeepsie police department with 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, Rob strengthened the police department and helped to curtail crime within its borders. He does not believe in “defunding the police.”

As a retired City of Poughkeepsie detective, I have known and worked with Rob Rolison for more than 30 years. It is not surprising to me that Rob has received the endorsement of many Police Benevolent Associations representing law enforcement in the Hudson Valley.

If you are concerned about the safety of your family and your community, I urge you to vote for the only candidate who opposes these misguided bail reform laws. Elect Rob Rolison on Nov. 8.

Paul Herman, Poughkeepsie

As a former mayor of Beacon and chief of staff for late Assembly Member Frank Skartados, I have experience in both city and state governance. With that in mind, I am voting Nov. 8 for Julie Shiroishi for state Senate District 39 [which includes Philipstown and Beacon].

The challenges of state government are different from the ones a mayor experiences at a city level. And while I know Julie’s Republican opponent, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, to be a fine person, the politics and issues he and his party represent at the state level do not resonate well for me and would be a harmful step backward for New Yorkers.

Julie supports the state issues that are important to me. She will stand up for reproductive rights, affordable health insurance, housing security, mental and physical support services, equality in education, rebuilding our roads and bridges and strong environmental protections. Her positions were formed in Albany as the chief of staff for Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson, where together they worked on these issues firsthand.

Julie is a brilliant and personable individual who is going to work hard, smart and effectively for the Hudson Valley, and who I believe will become a leader in Albany.

Steve Gold, Beacon

I believe Julie Shiroishi will do an awesome job as a state Senator. As a retired U.S. Army combat veteran who served during the Iraq War, I truly appreciate the leadership and motivation that Julie brings in everything that she does.

Julie is a strong supporter for veterans. She will ensure that whatever issues come before her, she will not only address the issues, but look for a solution. As a veteran, I openly support her for the state Senate.

John Rembert, Beacon

As a woman and mother, the crime epidemic raging across our state is of personal concern. Too many women live in fear that they’ll be targeted for robbery, assault or worse by the career criminals free to run amok thanks to the dangerous bail “reform” laws passed by the Democratic state Legislature in Albany.

Now, New York is the only state in the nation where our judges are not allowed to use discretion to set bail on a defendant because that person is considered dangerous to society by the court.

We need to change course in this upcoming election. Rob Rolison will stand with women and other victims of crime and oppose Albany’s soft-on-crime approach to criminal justice. As the mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie for the past seven years, Rob Rolison invested in law enforcement and hired more police officers while other cities were defunding the police. Mayor Rolison is a retired detective from the Town of Poughkeepsie police department with 30 years of experience wearing the uniform and keeping us safe.

Mayor Rolison is running for the state Senate in the 39th District, and he will vote to repeal these ill-conceived bail reform laws. Please join me in supporting change in New York by voting for Rob Rolison for state senator on Nov. 8.

Donna Christian, Beacon

As a former, two-term council member for Beacon, I’m writing to voice my support for Julie Shiroishi for the Senate District 39 seat. Julie is a dear friend of mine who has always been very active in our community, especially when it comes to improving our school district and advocating growing our economy in the City of Beacon. As state Senator, she will take that kind of fierce advocacy and bring it to the 39th District.

Like myself, Julie is a strong advocate for protecting a woman’s right to choose, as well as sensible gun reform legislation. She will bring her experience in the private sector and as a working mother to the table, as well. Julie is one of us. Her determination and grit are assets that will only help our district and give us the representation in the state Senate that we crave and deserve. Julie understands that now is not the time for politics as usual.

We need someone in the state Senate who can display empathy while fighting the good fight for us in Albany. Julie is thoughtful, deliberative and worthy of our trust. I urge you to vote for her.

Terry Nelson, Beacon

In August, 5,838 New York residents switched their driver’s license to the state of Florida, the highest number ever in a month, according to The New York Post. Since Jan. 1, the number exceeds 41,000. Many businesses have followed suit. I wonder why.

Since Democrats took over the state Senate in 2018, the ideologues who’ve come to dominate the party have enacted soft on crime laws — such as so-called “bail reform” — that have made our communities less safe. With judges stripped of bail-setting decisions for all but the most violent offenses, people who commit crimes are now as free to walk around, as you and I do, to repeat their offenses. Most larcenies have been re-labeled, leading to “petty” no-bail crimes.

In addition, the state Parole Board (its members appointed by Govs. Cuomo and Hochul) has released at least 34 cold-blooded cop-killers in the last five years, according to the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York. Feeling safer?

In order to save New York for ourselves, our children and grandchildren we need to elect a new set of leaders in Albany in November. One such candidate is Rob Rolison, who is running for state senator in the 39th District. As mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie since 2015, Rolison has invested in a police retention program that won a statewide award from the New York Conference of Mayors. He increased salaries of men and women in blue and re-instated Community Policing and resource officers in Poughkeepsie’s schools.

As a retired detective from the Town of Poughkeepsie police department with more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, Mayor Rolison understands better how to keep communities safe. Elect Rob Rolison as state senator in the 39th District on Nov. 8.

David Smith, Fishkill

Julie Shiroishi is the state senator we need in Albany. Compassionate and hard-working, Julie has common-sense ideas to develop good-paying jobs in the area for our families and to protect our rights.

I have known Julie less than a year, but I have been impressed with her drive and creativity. She has already reached out to Hudson Valley employers and asked them what kind of training they would like to see happen so that they can hire locally. She has identified ways to give young people an option to train for these jobs, whether they want to go to college or not. With housing costs in our area rising rapidly, she also wants to enable investment in affordable housing and protect renters.

Julie will defend our civil rights and our safety here in New York despite what happens at the federal level. She believes in reproductive autonomy for everyone, the right to feel safe from mass shootings, and government accountability. She wants to strengthen our schools and our infrastructure and protect the environment.

I believe in Julie’s ideas, her strength, and her ability to work in Albany to get our area the resources we need. I hope everyone will join me in voting for Julie on Nov. 8.

Susan Hamel, Beacon

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