VOTE! It’s the least you can do

Voting in every election is literally the very least you can do if you are an American citizen seeking to conduct yourself in a responsible manner. Have you voted yet? If not, read my voting guide below. Whether you are a traditionalist who likes to vote on Election Day, or you aren’t 100% sure the election is important enough to bother, the below guide will arm you with info about what’s on this year’s ballot.

My reasons for voting are macro and micro. I take pride in being part of the collective action of American citizens that are going to decide whether we have a federal legislature that will appoint Supreme Court Justices who value individuals over corporations and pass bills that prioritize combating climate change, protecting democracy, and preserving at least the pursuit of happiness for all.

I also take pride in being part of supporting the candidates for offices closer to home. I have met and spoken with most of the people I voted for. They are all very accessible to anyone who wants to be involved of the election process. And once in office, their actions will have a direct impact on the lives of my family and community. 

Vic’s Voting Guide

Vote411 from the League of Women Voters gives you a full list of the races that will be on your ballot wherever you live, and this year there are quite a few. I’ll break them down by their hierarchy:

The Planet

  • FLIP YOUR BALLOT and vote YES for The 2022 Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act. This is the only statewide proposition on this year’s ballot. Unless you are living in deep active denial of reality, you recognize that climate change is real and demands serious action. That’s what this is. 

Federal Government

  • Senator Charles Schumer is up for reelection. He has opponents, but this is not a close race.
  • Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (CD17) is seeking reelection, and with the new district lines, he has a lot of new prospective constituents to reach out to. If you live in CD17 and have enough ink in your pen to cast a vote for only one candidate–make it for SPM. Your vote is critical to his success. Sean has been to Ossining to meet with local business owners, community leaders, and voters. He will win Ossining because we are deep blue, but he needs to win here by enough to offset deep red parts of CD17. SPM has a decade of experience in Congress, and has always served in a purple district which demands that he earns the respect of people on both sides of the aisle–something that most people used to value and hopefully still do. I find him to be smart, personable, and hard working.
    • Losing Mondaire Jones as our Representative was heartbreaking for a lot of Democrats. Redistricting was a crazy mess this time around–but we don’t have time for that conversation today.

State Government

  • Governor Kathy Hochul’s race is closer than it should be. Her opponent currently serves in Congress where he voted to overturn the 2020 election and blamed Democrats for January 6. He exemplifies the campaign of disinformation and divisive hateful rhetoric that is at the forefront of working to destroy our nation. If that sentence doesn’t ring true to you, please turn off FoxNews and turn on NPR/PBS. Then go vote for Hochul.
  • Attorney General Tish James is running for reelection. She will win. I was happy to cast my vote for her and hope she achieves success in prosecuting Trump.
  • Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is running for reelection. He will win. He’s a diligent fiscal watchdog for NYS. 
  • Senator Peter Harckham (SD40) is seeking reelection, and once again Ossining finds itself part of a new district with an experienced legislator who has the glorious opportunity to represent Ossining for the first time. Pete knows Ossining well as he currently represents communities surrounding us, including New Castle and Yorktown which are part of the Ossining schools. Pete is kind, smart, and hardworking. Pete has my full support and I am confident he will do an excellent job as our next state senator.
    • I say all of this as I continue to serve as Communications Director for Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick who currently represents Ossining in the state senate. I have tremendous respect for Elijah and am truly sorry to lose him as my state senate representative. I know how much he appreciated representing Ossining and he did an excellent job connecting with our community. If you have a friend in Rockland, encourage them to cast a vote for Elijah. Again–redistricting is a very important conversation for another day.
  • Dana Levenberg for Assembly (AD95) is seeking to succeed the remarkable Sandy Galef as our Assemblywoman. Dana is incredibly smart and hardworking. She is an effective Town Supervisor who prioritizes environmental initiatives and social justice. Dana is eminently prepared for the job having worked for Sandy for eight years, mostly as her Chief of Staff. I am confident Dana will win and am thrilled to support her. I hope you will too.
  • State Supreme Court Justices (JD9) There are seven state supreme court justice seats up for election this year, so fill-in up to 7 circles. Most candidates are running for this position for the first time. I voted across Row A, which is not unusual for me. One of the candidates I was most excited to cast a vote for is Keri Fiore. Keri recently attended a town hall meeting Elijah hosted with the Haitian community in Rockland. While I’ve met many of the candidates over the years at political fundraisers, I appreciated her spending an evening with community members where she was able to provide information about free legal services available for people struggling with housing issues. Keri is also one of the few people of color running for state supreme court this year, a system that could certainly benefit from greater diversity.

County & Local Government (all races are uncontested)

  • Maurice Williams for County Court Justice
  • Jennifer Fields Tawil for Town Councilmember (unexpired term)
  • Rika Levin for Village Mayor
  • Manuel Quezada & Dana Levenberg for Village Trustees

Being a responsible citizen doesn’t demand that you run for office, or volunteer for a campaign, or make a donation, or phone bank, or knock on doors–although it would be great if you did those things! But on Election Day, if the ballot you cast is part of the tally that decides who will represent us in any level of government, you are part of this amazing experiment that is the United States. 

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