Queens Virtual State Legislative Forum sponsored by AARP NY

December 14, 2020  
1:00PM - 2:00PM
Event Description

Queens Virtual State Legislative Forum sponsored by AARP NY

As state lawmakers are gearing up to head back to Albany, they’ll be making important decisions on the coronavirus pandemic response, the state budget, and issues that will impact your household finances. This virtual forum offers a chance to ask questions about your representatives’ legislative and policy priorities.  Now, more than ever, it’s important for you to be able to hear directly from your legislators. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity!


Connect with Your Lawmakers  representing Queens on their priorities for 2021. Join us!

December 14th, 2020


Connect with us to discuss important topics with your lawmakers, such as:

•            Nursing Homes, Long Term Care and Family Caregiving

•            Prescription Drug Affordability

•            Financial Security


This is a free event. Registration is required to attend.


Catalina Cruz
New York State Assemblymember, 39th District
Catalina Cruz has the privilege of representing one of the most diverse districts in the nation, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Catalina was born in Colombia and came to Queens at the age of 9. Catalina grew up as a DREAMer; she lived in the United States for more than 10 years as an undocumented American. Catalina was raised by a single mother, who like many immigrants had to work multiple and menial jobs to provide for her family. As a single mother of four children, she worked long hours during the week as a nanny, cleaned offices at night, and sold tamales and empanadas at the soccer fields on the weekends. Inspired by her mother’s perseverance, Catalina has committed her career to fighting for our community and to ensure our workers, neighbors and families not only survive, but thrive. Catalina is an experienced attorney and a leader for tenant protections, immigration reform and workers’ rights. Prior to becoming the Assemblywoman for the 39th District, she most recently served as the Chief of Staff to the New York City Council Finance Chair, Julissa Ferreras. Catalina worked to help pass key legislation protecting workers, women and small-business owners. She previously served as the Director of the Governor’s Exploited Workers Task Force, helping New York become a national leader in the fight against worker exploitation and human trafficking. This first-of-its-kind task force conducted statewide outreach and enforcement within key low-wage industries, including car washes, restaurants and nail salons, where workers are often victims of wage theft and subject to unsafe working conditions, but do not come forward for fear of retaliation. Catalina also served as Counsel to the New York City Council’s Immigration Committee, where she helped write and implement legislation that led to New York City becoming a Sanctuary City. She also worked on projects such as the Detainer Law and IDNYC (municipal identification). Additionally, Catalina served as Counsel to the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs, where she helped this agency become a leader in combating labor trafficking. Catalina began her career as a Staff Attorney, representing low-income, rent-stabilized tenants in New York City housing court, ensuring that they received the full protection of the law under their leases. Catalina lives in Jackson Heights, Queens. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York. To learn more about Catalina’s work, please follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @NYAssemblyCruz.
David I. Weprin
New York State Assemblymember, 24th District
Assemblyman David Weprin, elected to represent the 24th Assembly District in Queens in 2010, has devoted his life to public service and making government more responsive, efficient and accountable. Weprin serves as chairman of the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities and on the Committees on Ways and Means, Banks, Cities, Codes, Election Law, and Judiciary, as well as on the Puerto Rican/ Hispanic Task Force. In 2001, Weprin was elected to the New York City Council. He quickly became chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee, and proved to be a tireless advocate for responsible public spending. Born in Queens to former Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin and Sylvia Weprin, Weprin has lived in the Hollis-Jamaica area his entire life. He is a graduate of Jamaica High School, SUNY at Albany, with a cum laude degree in Political Science, and a law degree from Hofstra University. Weprin lives with his wife Ronni in Holliswood. They are the proud parents of five children.
Liu Photo
John C. Liu
New York State Senator, 11th District
John C. Liu is a New York State Senator representing a broad area of northeast Queens. He is chairperson of the Senate’s committee on New York City Education and also serves on the committees of Finance, Education, Transportation, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Rules. John was Comptroller of the City of New York (2010-2013) and a New York City Councilmember (2002-2009). In 2013, John was a candidate for Mayor of New York City, in lieu of running for re-election as Comptroller. Currently, John teaches municipal finance and public policy in Masters programs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University. The 43rd Comptroller of New York City, John Liu established an impressive record as the chief financial officer for 8.4 million residents and overseeing municipal government with an annual budget of $70 billion. John saved taxpayers $5 billion through rigorous audits of City agencies, detailed scrutiny of contracts with private companies, and refinancing of $20 billion of outstanding City bond debt. During his four-year term of office, he achieved an enviable total investment return, increasing the City’s pension asset portfolio to $150 billion. John created the nationally acclaimed online application “CheckbookNYC.com” providing unprecedented transparency in government spending. He facilitated economic development and new job creation with acceleration of City capital projects, capturing low interest rates in the bond markets. Always emphasizing that “it’s not just about numbers, it’s about people,” John Liu championed fairness and equality. An early and staunch opponent of stop-and-frisk tactics, John highlighted the risks to communities and taxpayers alike due to damaged police-community relations. John presented daily-updated M/WBE Report Cards for City agencies to monitor and encourage greater government contracting opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. John also proposed sound economic policies to create real economic growth and narrow the ever-widening wealth gap, protected wage standards and recouped back wages and fines on behalf of cheated workers from contractors who just don’t want to play by the rules, and exposed the billions of dollars in publicly-subsidized corporate welfare doled out by the City that failed to deliver on promised new jobs and fair housing. He published numerous reports analyzing and issuing recommendations on a wide range of public priorities, including education and the need to take students beyond high school, affordable housing and family support, retirement security and protection of pension benefits, and the fiscal and social benefits of legalizing marijuana. As a member of the New York City Council, John Liu represented his hometown of Flushing and northeast Queens. He secured millions of dollars in additional funding for schools, libraries, parks, senior citizen centers, and youth programs. John served as chairperson of the Council’s Transportation Committee overseeing operations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Transportation, and Taxi and Limousine Commission, and enacted legislation boosting efficiency and efficacy of key City agencies. John also served on the committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Oversight & Investigation, Land Use, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Health. John’s significant accomplishments as a legislator included exposing financial irregularities at the MTA, enacting legislation like the Equal Access Bill mandating on-demand language services in health and human services agencies, the School Zone Engine Idling Bill limiting engine idling near schools, and the Dignity for All Schools Act requiring the Department of Education to track bullying and harassment in schools. John used his office to fight hate and bigotry, and in too many instances denounced violence against immigrant workers such as restaurant delivery workers. John’s battles with radio shock-jocks and their corporate sponsors successfully brought an end to extreme racist and misogynist broadcasts in the New York market. Hailed as a “Trailblazer” and “Pioneer," John Liu’s historic elections – as the first Asian American to win legislative office in New York and then the first to win citywide office – were milestones for Asian Americans in New York and across the nation. Although he wishes Asian Americans had been elected long before, John is honored to be the first and embraces the opportunity to broaden representation and public service. Prior to being elected to office, John worked in the private sector for 14 years as a professional actuary, most recently as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. John has drawn upon his real world fiscal expertise to root out waste and mismanagement in government. John Liu immigrated from Taiwan at the age of five. He was educated in New York public schools, including Hunter College High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Binghamton University, attaining his degree in Mathematical Physics. John lives in Flushing with his wife Jenny and their son Joey
Leroy G. Comrie Jr.
New York State Senator, 14th District
New York State Senator Leroy Comrie was elected to represent the 14th Senatorial District of Queens (encompassing portions of Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest and Kew Gardens) in November 2014, officially taking office January 1, 2015. He grew up in the South Queens communities that he now represents, attending P.S. 116, I.S. 8, Jamaica High School and the University of Bridgeport, where he developed his passion for politics and government. He is a lifelong member of Saint Albans the Martyr Episcopal Church and before he was a public official, he was elected to serve as President of his local Community School Board. Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 legislative term, his committee assignments have included Cities, Consumer Protection; Finance, Racing, Gaming & Wagering; and Rules. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, which gives him oversight over the state’s 150+ public authorities such as the MTA, Port Authority, and NYCHA. Senator Comrie believes that government must be responsive to the needs of all people. His office is the conduit through which access to quality education, healthcare, and services for seniors; programs and resources for youth; avenues to enhance small business growth; increased public safety measures; and smart sustainable economic development that provides living wage jobs in the community are provided. Senator Comrie served twelve years as the Deputy Majority Leader of the New York City Council, as well as the Chairman of the Queens Delegation; while holding many distinguished and critical leadership roles. He served as Chair of the Committees on Rules, Consumer Affairs and Land Use during his Council tenure. In those roles, he had broad oversight and direct access over the city’s budget process and legislative agenda often negotiating major concessions between the City Council and the Mayor. Senator Comrie’s positive impact in government is evident with his long track record of legislative accomplishments such as increasing tax exemptions for seniors, instituting the city’s first foreclosure prevention program, curtailing “pay-day” loans, improving the criteria for safety on construction sites, reducing truck traffic emissions, improving electrical and building codes, advocating for the containment of waste transfer stations, and increasing job opportunities by establishing direct-to-work training programs for residents across the city. For the past five years, Senator Comrie has taken his decades of experience to Albany, where he continues to serve the public and work tirelessly with his colleagues to ensure that residents of the 14th Senatorial District and all across New York State have the very best possible opportunities and quality of life. In 2019, Senator Comrie was appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), the oversight body originally that reviews the financial soundness of plans and approves the project-based spending of a number of the state’s largest authorities. Leroy Comrie, Jr. is the son of the late Ruby Frith-Comrie and the late Leroy Comrie Sr., both of whom immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He is the brother of Ronald E. Comrie, and has been married to Marcia Moxam since 1990. They are the proud parents of two delightful young adults.
Joseph Addabbo, Jr.
New York State Senator, 15th District
Elected to the New York State Senate in 2008 after serving seven years in the New York City Council, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. continues to proudly carry on the public service tradition of his father, Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo, Sr., who served 13 terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1960 to 1986. A lifelong resident of Queens, Senator Joe Addabbo represents the 15th Senatorial District encompassing the communities – in whole or in part – of Broad Channel, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Woodside and most of the Rockaways. In the State Senate, Joe has continued to make constituent service a priority, just as he did as a representative of the 32nd New York City Council District, where he secured millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements, school technology, and senior and youth services. Through his Senate offices, Joe and his staff have assisted thousands of constituents with problems involving housing, health, transportation, taxes, public safety and many other issues, including efforts to aid local residents whose lives were so deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy in late October of 2012. As a member of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, Joe worked to help his community recover and rebuild from the devastating storm. As a member of the Senate, Joe is deeply concerned with the welfare of New Yorkers in all stages and walks of life. His legislative record, which includes bills he has introduced and supported, reflects Joe’s commitment to fighting on behalf of children, the elderly, families, working people, consumers and veterans. He has also devoted himself to efforts to protect the environment, create new jobs and economic opportunities for small businesses, provide tax relief for state residents, and improve transparency and accountability in New York’s government. As a State Senator, Joe is well known for organizing and sponsoring dozens of community events for his constituents each year, including job fairs for local residents and veterans, comprehensive recycling events, informational sessions for seniors and consumers, health screenings, Metrocard van visits, and many other free programs. In addition to other legislative responsibilities, Joe serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. He is also a member of the Senate Committees on Aging, Civil Service and Pensions, Children and Families, Education, and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. As a past Chairman of the Senate Elections Committee, Joe worked to pass ethics reforms and led the fight to force large corporations to disclose information about money they spend to influence the outcome of elections. Joe has proven himself in the political and civic world. He is a multi-term New York State Democratic Committee member and a ranking member of the South Queens Regular Democratic Club. His community service can be seen in his work on behalf of the Ozone Park Kiwanis, as the former president of the Ozone Tudor Civic Association, and his past tenure as Executive Secretary of Community Board #10Q. Born in 1964, the youngest child of Joseph and Grace Addabbo, Joe attended Nativity BVM School in Ozone Park (Class of 1978), Archbishop Molloy High School (Class of 1982), and St. John’s University (Class of 1986), before graduating from Touro Law School (Class of 1992.) Prior to his election to the City Council in 2001, Joe practiced law for 10 years. Senator Addabbo is a dedicated family man who enjoys spending time with his wife, Dawn, and two daughters, Alexis and Arianna.
Ron Kim
New York State Assemblymember, 40th District
As the first and only Korean-American elected official in New York, Assemblyman Ron Kim has broken boundaries and bridged neighborhoods. His work as a representative led to city and statewide coverage (New York Times, Business Insider, the Daily Mail, NBC, New Observer, NY Daily News, and MSN Money) when he mediated an issue between businesses and local senior citizens seeking social spaces in Flushing's crowded neighborhoods. He used this opportunity to write and introduce legislation called the "Community Corner Café Fund", providing tax credits to mom-and-pop diners, cafes, and restaurants for working with local nonprofits to serve older adults. Ron has also made national news (New York Times, Crain's, Reason, New York Magazine) by standing up for immigrant small business owners, and working to curtail the state's ability to unilaterally impose unfair mandates on them, the kind that would lead to thousands of lost jobs for New York. Instead of short-term punitive approaches which only hurt workers by setting up small businesses to shut down, Ron has consistently joined community groups in advocating for long-term solutions to bring a vulnerable workforce from exploitation to empowerment. Since 2012, Ron's district office has served more than 35,000 constituents on a diverse range of issues, from resolving fraud cases to providing free tax preparation and applying for governmental assistance. In April 2015, he was appointed as the Chair of the Task Force on New Americans; in 2017, he was appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Assembly Majority Conference. Ron has never hesitated do whatever he needs to do to help his constituents, even if it means tackling a purse-snatcher to the ground near his district office (ABC News, Daily Mail, NY Post).
James Sanders Jr.
New York State Senator, 10th District
Now in his fourth term, New York State Democrat Senator James Sanders Jr., a lifelong public servant, Marine Corps veteran, proponent of education and advocate for working class families, continues to approach the legislature with a fresh perspective and promise to bring economic opportunities and resources to the people of Southeast Queens. Senator Sanders is the Chairman the Senate’s Committee on Banks and in that role he is aggressively promoting legislation like bill S5565C - New York Public Banking Act, which authorizes the lending of public credit to public banks and authorizes public ownership of stock in public banks for the purpose of achieving cost savings, strengthening local economies, supporting community economic development, and addressing infrastructure and housing needs for localities. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s5565 Senator Sanders is also working with community leaders and stakeholders to create Vital Southeast Queens. This targeted initiative would leverage State programs and resources to empower New Yorkers living in Southeast Queens and improve their wellbeing through eight (8) integrated areas of investment: Open Space and Recreation; Healthy Food; Education; Economic Empowerment; Community-Based Violence Prevention; Community-Based Health Care; Affordable Housing; and Resiliency. It is modeled after Vital Brooklyn. During each legislative session, Senator Sanders is consistently introducing bills and getting them passed including nearly one dozen bills in this last month (July 2020) alone. The legislation covers a variety of issues including unemployment, education, domestic violence, mental health, consumer protections, property sales and foreclosure mitigation, but all aim to improve life for the residents of the 10th Senatorial District as well as the entire State of New York. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/james-sanders-jr/senate-passes-eleven-bills-introduced-state-senator-james Another important issue to Senator Sanders as it relates to economic development is providing assistance and resources for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Senator Sanders is the Chairman of the Senate Task Force on MWBES, which is charged with working to find innovative ways to better encourage and support MWBEs as a valuable part of growing the New York economy. In addition, Sanders is a member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Advisory Council on MWBEs. The Advisory Council guides policy making and strategy to aggressively assist the City in reaching its pledge to award more than $16 billion dollars to MWBEs over a 10-year period. It was Sanders, who in his City Council tenure, set the stage as author of MWBE NYC Local Law 1 to help strengthen the MWBE program, and Local Law 129 that established participation goals for MWBEs to help increase the number of certified firms from 700 to over 3,500 program participants, and win over $3 billion dollars in City contracts. The MWBE program is important because for far too long, minorities and women have been negatively impacted by an economic system built to exclude them. In 2019, Senator Sanders passed legislation to extend and enhance Article 15-A until 2024. This law was created to promote employment and participation in state contracts for minorities and women. Before the bill went to a vote, Senator Sanders spent months working closely with MWBEs to craft legislation that would advance their goals. Additionally, he collaborated with the MWBE Taskforce to ensure that MWBEs would see these goals would be met. The biggest wins MWBE saw in the updated bill are: (1) a shortened certification process from 60 to 45 days, (2) increase of personal net worth from $3.5 million to $15 million, (3) increase in discretionary buying threshold, and (4) agency publication of waivers. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/james-sanders-jr/senator-sanders-and-nys-legislature-passes-legislation During these tough economic times as the country struggles to restore the economy which was badly damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Sanders is coming up with ways to close the budget gap so that cuts are not made to key areas like educations. One such bill, involves the stock transfer tax, which is a sales tax on the transfer of shares of stock. From 1905 to 1981, New York State imposed a tax on the sale of securities (stocks). The State began rebating the tax in 1979 and since 1981 the tax is now 100% rebated back to the industry (stock brokers). Senator Sanders’ bill (S.6203- A Same as A.7791-B Steck) would end the rebate and collect 100% of this tax. The funds will be dedicated to the State General Fund for the first two years commencing with the fiscal year April 1, 2021 and ending March 31, 2023 after which it would be divided and dispersed to areas such as transportation, infrastructure, housing, cleaning energy and more. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s6203 In addition to legislation, Senator Sanders also works to encourage entrepreneurialism and business creation in his district by hosting weekly webinars on economic development covering topics such as access to capital, document and cash management and how to start and grow a business. Senator Sanders has a long and distinguished career in public service. He served as City Council Member for the 31st District in Queens for 12 years, the term limit. As Council Member, Sanders was unanimously voted Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, making him the first African-American in City history to hold the post. On September 13, 2012, Senator Sanders was elected to the represent the 10th Senatorial District, which the neighborhoods of South Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and most of the Rockaways. In addition to being the Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Banks, Senator Sanders is a member of the Committees for Labor; Civil Services & Pensions; Commerce Economic Development & Small Business; Insurance; Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs; and Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Senator Sanders makes constituent services a top priority and believes in strengthening transparency and accountability in New York State’s government.
Nily Rozic
New York State Assemblymember, 25th District
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic represents New York’s 25th District, which spans the Eastern portion of Queens, including the communities of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, and Douglaston. Upon her election in 2012, Assemblywoman Rozic became the youngest woman in the state legislature and the first woman ever to represent the 25th District. Nily serves on the Assembly’s Ways & Means, Labor, Energy, Correction, Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, and Consumer Affairs and Protection Committees. She is the Chair of the State Assembly's Office of State-Federal Relations and a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. In Queens and Albany, Nily is an outspoken advocate for working and middle-class families, immigrant communities, and students. A graduate of New York University, Nily proudly calls Fresh Meadows home.
Stacey Pheffer Amato
New York State Assemblymember, 23rd District
Stacey Pheffer Amato is proud to represent the New York State Assembly's 23rd District, encompassing the Queens neighborhoods of Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park and the Rockaway Peninsula. Stacey’s mother, Queens County Clerk Audrey I. Pheffer, previously held this Assembly seat for over twenty five years, and upon Stacey’s election, they became the first mother-daughter team to hold the same seat in the New York State Legislature. Born in Rockaway, Stacey has a longstanding commitment to community advocacy and involvement. Stacey has served as President of the parent associations at her children's schools, most notably stepping up to the plate when the entire school was displaced as a result of Superstorm Sandy, despite her own family’s displacement. Additionally, she has been an active member of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association for over 15 years and serves on the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program-Rockaway West Committee, which is tasked with overseeing the state's storm recovery efforts. Prior to holding office, Stacey worked as an education paraprofessional for the NYC Department of Education and as a Procurement Specialist for the FDNY and the NYC Department of Sanitation. Stacey has never shied away from stepping up to advocate for causes she feels passionate about. In Albany, Stacey is an outspoken advocate for our hardworking families, veterans, and seniors. Being recognized for her efforts, Stacey was appointed Chair of the Child Product Safety Subcommittee along with serving on the Veterans’ Affairs, Corporations, Authorities, Commissions, Governmental Employees, and Racing & Wagering Committees. In addition, she is a member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and Women’s Issues Task Force. During her first year in office, Stacey was selected to participate in the 2017 National Early Learning Fellowship with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Stacey’s selection as one of several dozen Early Learning Fellows placed her in a select group from across the country. Her work as a fellow continues to focus on school readiness, family support, literacy, STEM, and other facets of early childhood education. Stacey and her husband, Frank, who operates Elegante Restaurant & Pizzeria, proudly live in Rockaway Beach with their two children, Sam and Isabella along with their cat Sugar.
Khaleel Anderson
New York State Assemblymember, 31st District
Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson was elected to serve Assembly District 31 in Queens for his first term in November 2020. Anderson represents parts of Arverne, Brookville, Far Rockaway, Hammels, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill, Springfield Gardens and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Anderson began his young career as a community organizer at the age of 13 and has since been dedicated to leadership, service and advocacy. In 2011, he was an organizer for a local non-profit that trains cohorts of youth in civic engagement. Anderson was the youngest member of Queens Community Board 14 and his local Police Precinct Council during his tenure. Anderson’s hard work, leadership and dedication to his community has earned him recognition from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Congressman Gregory Meeks and other state and local elected officials. Assembly Member Anderson is a leading voice in addressing issues of food insecurity, disaster preparedness, housing, transportation and healthcare planning in Assembly District 31. Prior to his election, he demonstrated his ability to govern while serving as a student activist and a respected community activist. He worked to build a half-acre urban farm which provides fresh produce, workshops, trainings on healthy eating, and employment opportunities for young people. He remains committed to amplifying the unique voices of young people and all his constituents. Anderson was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Rockaways. Khaleel graduated Queens College from a BA program and is finalizing an MA in Urban Affairs, with a minor in Cities and Social Medicine. He currently works as a Supplemental Instructor for the Percy E. Sutton Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) Program at Queens College. As a new member of the legislative body, Khaleel’s priorities include housing and healthcare justice, criminal justice reform, educational equity, transportation equity, and environmental justice. Assembly Member Anderson is the youngest Black Assembly Member in New York State history. Anderson lives in Far Rockaway, New York.
Heather Joseph
Associate State Director, Volunteer Engagement and Resources, AARP NY
Heather A. Joseph is currently the Associate State Director, Volunteer Engagement and Resources for AARP NY. In her role, she manages over 2500 volunteers across the state as well as does the local programmatic work in Queens. Utilizing her years of experience working for nonprofits and in community engagement, Heather develops and maintains volunteer engagement programs and community engagement events. She believes that anyone can do good work and make a difference in their local and global community with previous roles at Make-A-Wish, Save the Children and the Food Bank for New York City. Heather received her BA in English from Binghamton University and MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School University. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Beth Finkel
State Director, AARP New York
As State Director, Beth R. Finkel leads the day-to-day operations of AARP New York, the most visible and successful organization in the state advocating for New York’s 50 plus population. During her tenure as State Director, AARP’s powerful lobbying efforts on behalf of its 2.5 million New York members and their families have led to historic NYS reforms including passage of the Secure Choice Savings Program, Care Act, Assisted Living protections, Anti Predatory Lending, Paid Family Leave and Affordable Housing and Right to Counsel in NYC legislation and numerous bills on Kincare. Prior to her appointment as State Director, Beth was the Director of Engagement for AARP New York where she was responsible for all community programs and activities that serve the organization’s membership and engage its vast network of over 5,000 active volunteers across the state. In her role, Beth specialized in programming and advocacy for older New Yorkers around hunger, caregiving, grandparents raising grandchildren, multicultural outreach, livable communities, financial security, and long-term care. Through her years at AARP New York, she led and developed the statewide Kincare Coalition and New York’s Older Adults Hunger Stakeholders Coalition. She convened the first Older Adults Hunger Summit to find solutions to barriers to food insecurity. She also co-created the NYS Medicare Savings Program Taskforce, a consortium of government, public policy makers and advocates that works to break down obstacles to enrollment of low-income Medicare beneficiaries to this group of benefits. She serves on the Governor’s Hunger Taskforce. Beth represented AARP New York on the Governor’s SMART (Saving More to Achieve Richer Tomorrows) Commission, which helped develop the Secure Choice Savings Program, and she serves on U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Working Group for the Aging as well as the NYC Age Friendly Commission. Beth has published numerous white papers and research reports including: Hunger Among NY State Older Adults, The State of the 50+ in NY State; Kinship Care in New York: Keeping Families Together; High Anxiety: Gen X and Boomers Struggle With Stress, Savings and Security; Countdown: New York’s Vanishing Middle Class; Caregivers in Crisis: Why New York Must Act; and Disrupting Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Solutions for New Yorkers Age 50+. A native New Yorker, Beth holds a Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University in Community Organizing and a Bachelor of Science from American University in Business Administration. She and her husband live in Manhattan.

Opening Remarks and Introduction by Jeff Coltin, City & State NY


Welcome Remarks by Heather Joseph, Associate State Director, Volunteer Engagement and Resources, AARP New York



Senator John Liu

Senator Leroy Comrie

Senator Joe Addabbo

Senator James Sanders, Jr. 

Assemblymember Catalina Cruz

Assemblymember David Weprin

Assemblymember Ron Kim

Assemblymember Nily Rozic

Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato

Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson

Beth Finkel, State Director, AARP New York


Closing Remarks by Heather Joseph, Associate State Director, Volunteer Engagement and Resources, AARP New York

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