State Legislative Forum: Broadband and Utilities in New York

March 12, 2021  
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Sponsored By AARP NY
Event Description

Amid the coronavirus crisis, people are staying home more than ever, which means people are counting on their basic utilities more than ever, as well as needing to connect online from home with healthcare providers, for employment and education, and to stay in contact with friends and family. This virtual forum will discuss what state lawmakers can do to ensure the lights stay on at home during this crisis, that more New Yorkers have access to and can afford high speed internet, and can connect with their healthcare providers remotely when needed.

Specific topics will include:

• Expanding the state’s moratorium on utility terminations

• Internet affordability

• Ensuring NY’s high speed internet infrastructure reaches all those who need it

• Encouraging flexibility and availability of telehealth services

• And more!

Amy Paulin, chairwoman, Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.
Amy Paulin
New York State Assembly Member, District 88
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin has served the 88th New York State Assembly District (Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains) since 2001. She chairs the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions and serves on the Committees on Education, Health and Rules. She served as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy from 2013-2017, working to encourage renewable energy and ensure our electricity grid is reliable. Assemblywoman Paulin recently served as one of the Assembly appointees to the Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Workgroup, which rigorously examined the structure and needs of the MTA, as well as made recommendations for sustainable funding sources. A full-time legislator, Assemblywoman Paulin annually ranks among the state’s most successful lawmakers. Her diverse legislative agenda includes state government reform, children and families, domestic violence, sex trafficking, education, health care, animal welfare, and preventing gun violence. To date 216 of her bills have been signed into law. Assemblywoman Paulin was born and raised in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, holds a Master’s degree, and has completed doctoral course work in Criminal Justice.
Timothy M. Kennedy
New York State Senator, District 58
Since being sworn into office in January 2011, Senator Tim Kennedy has fought to ensure Western New York sees its fair share of funding and state resources. In March 2019, three months after being named Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Tim delivered an unprecedented $100 million for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to fund a five year capital plan for maintenance and improvements of the Metro Rail. In his role as Chair, Tim has set an aggressive agenda. He sponsored legislation to allow municipalities to install cameras on school buses, in order to more effectively catch drivers who break the law and jeopardize student safety by passing stopped buses. He also spearheaded a package comprehensive limo safety reforms, in order to strengthen the industry standards and better protect New Yorkers who use alternative transportation. Tim drafted these reforms alongside the families of victims involved in limo crashes in Schoharie and Cutchogue. Both houses have passed these transportation priorities, and the Governor quickly signed them into law. Throughout his time in office, Tim has kept a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable in our community. He spearheaded the passage of Jay-J’s law, legislation that stiffens penalties for repeat child abusers. The legislation was inspired by Jay-J Bolvin, a young boy who was brutally abused by his father. Sadly, Jay-J’s father received a light sentence due to antiquated sentencing laws, but through Tim’s advocacy, these penalties were strengthened. Tim also penned Jackie’s Law, which protects victims of domestic violence from GPS stalking, and was signed into law in 2014. Tim knows the importance of growing and protecting Western New York’s workforce, which is why he was a supporter of the creation of the Northland Workforce Center on Buffalo’s East Side. He actively works to connect Western New Yorkers with job opportunities, whether through his jobs website, Kennedy Jobs File, or through his annual Queen City Job Fair, which draws hundreds of employers and job seekers every year. While he regularly works one-on-one with companies to establish roots in Buffalo, he strongly believes in preserving the city’s past. He led the call for $5 million of the Buffalo Billion funding to be dedicated towards the reuse and restructuring of Buffalo’s iconic Central Terminal, and helped to bring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to the Terminal for a full day East Side Festival, offering a free concert to thousands of Western New Yorkers. Tim is a lifelong Western New York resident. He grew up in a blue-collar family in Buffalo, where his parents, Marty and Mary Kennedy, raised Tim and his four siblings to work hard, focus on their education, help their neighbors, and get involved in their community. Tim attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute before going on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at D’Youville College. For 11 years, Tim worked with geriatric and pediatric populations to help them recover from injuries and fully participate in all life situations. As a licensed occupational therapist, Tim has spent his entire career working to help people. Tim and his wife, Katie, live in the City of Buffalo where they are raising their three children, Connor, Eireann, and Padraic.
Kimberly Jean-Pierre
New York State Assembly Member, District 11
Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre was elected in the 2014 General Election, succeeding Assemblyman Bob Sweeney after he served the 11th Assembly District for 26 years. She is the daughter of parents who migrated from Haiti to the United States. She attended Brooklyn College, and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2005. In pursuit of her master’s degree she attended Stony Brook University, earning her Master of Science in Public Policy in 2007. Kimberly has a long record of public service in the Long Island region, working as an aide to both Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory and former Congressman Steve Israel, as well as Vice President of Properties at the Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency. Prior to being elected to the State Assembly in 2014, she was the Director of the Town of Babylon’s Wyandanch Resource Center. In the Assembly, Kimberly has made it her mission to be a strong advocate for Long Island working families. She is a proud member of the Assembly’s Children and Families Committee, and has consistently fought for funding increases for child care and prekindergarten programs in the New York State Budget. As the mother of a three-year-old daughter, Kimberly recognizes firsthand how essential affordable child care to growing our local economies, as well as the need to expand access to early childhood education programs to ensure positive educational outcomes. In addition to her efforts on the needs of children and families, Kimberly has also worked to deliver more resources to her district to address localized flooding, the opioid epidemic, and public school funding. Among her legislative accomplishments, Kimberly in 2019 spearheaded efforts to lower the age requirement for annual mammogram screenings and passed the most comprehensive boating safety legislation in New York State history. She also helped establish New York’s first-ever prescription insulin price cap, and sponsored legislation allowing the state to revoke licenses from real estate brokers and salespersons who engage in discriminatory practices in violation of the state’s human rights law. Outside of school and work Kimberly Jean-Pierre has also demonstrated a commitment to various causes. She is especially involved in the Haitian-American community and is the former Vice-President of Haitian Americans United for Change Inc., (HAUC), a community grass-roots organization. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the HAUC team worked with local not-for-profits, clergy members, local businesses, and various levels of governmental agencies on a Haiti Relief Project as one of the lead organizations; Kimberly was the coordinator of the Haiti Relief Project. She worked tirelessly to organize and sort through thousands of dollars of donated goods including medical supplies, clothing, non-perishable items and more. She also coordinated dozens of volunteers as well as shipment arrangements for donated goods, transportation and storage of donations and much more. Kimberly is also part of the Class of 2014 of the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College. The Energeia Partnership is a leadership academy dedicated to identifying and addressing the serious, complex and multi-dimensional issues challenging the Long Island region. She currently Chairs the Libraries and Education Technology Committee and sits on the Education Committee, the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, the Children and Families Committee and the Banks Committee. She is also part of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. Kimberly is a homeowner in Wheatley Heights and is currently raising her five-year old daughter Gianna and her newborn son Neal.
Jessica Ramos
Jessica Ramos
New York State Senator, District 39
Jessica Ramos has spent her life fighting for working families, advocating for labor, and organizing her local community. Born in Elmhurst to an undocumented seamstress and a printing pressman, Jessica was raised in Astoria, attended Queens public schools, and now lives in Jackson Heights with her two sons. A strong union advocate, Ramos worked with Build Up NYC to fight for construction, building and hotel maintenance workers in New York City. Ramos also worked with SSEU Local 371 and 32BJ SEIU, where she helped building maintenance workers, office cleaners and public schools cleaners win contracts that protected their rights, wages, and benefits. Jessica was a member of Queens Community Board 3 and served as Democratic District Leader in the 39th Assembly District. Jessica sat on the boards of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Farmspot, Jackson Heights’ community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. She has received awards for her work with the LGBTQ community and her advocacy on behalf of Women and Minority-Owned Businesses. As the first American-born in her family, Jessica feels a deep sense of responsibility in bridging the gap between immigrant and non-immigrant communities. Jessica credits her love for activism and public service to her parents, Colombian immigrants who fought for and won the right to dual citizenship for Colombian-Americans and founded Siempre Colombia, a not-for-profit organization in Jackson Heights. Jessica does not have a driver’s license—she rides the subway every day.
State Senator Kevin Parker
Kevin Parker
New York State Senator, District 21
State Senator Kevin S. Parker is a prominent New York State Legislator who is distinguished as a savvy strategist, brilliant intellectual and an elder statesman. His political prowess evident from the moment he was seated in the New York State Senate in 2002 resulted in a meteoric rise through the ranks. At present he is the 5th Ranking Democratic in Senate leadership. Engendering the trust and respect of his colleagues, Senator Parker was appointed Majority Whip and serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Telecommunications with the added distinction of being its longest serving member. A fierce champion of economic development, education, energy, domestic violence issues and human and civil rights, Senator Parker represents the intrinsically diverse 21st Senate District in Brooklyn. He is a leading voice nationwide on energy matters and the creator and primary sponsor of Intersolar Summit Northeast, the largest solar energy conference on the East Coast which gathers experts in the field to discuss real solutions to bringing about a solar energy future. With a strong background in the financial services arena, Senator Parker gained invaluable experience in the world of finance at UBS PaineWebber where he worked in government affairs of the Chairman’s office and focused on broad issues of importance to the financial service industry. As Project Manager with the New York State Urban Development Corporation, he financed women and minority-owned businesses and promoted community business redevelopment. As the Special Assistant to former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, Senator Parker managed intergovernmental relations in New York City, and was the liaison between the Comptroller; city, state, and federal elected officials. Also an experienced educator, Senator Parker has been a professor of both African-American Studies and Political Science at several CUNY and SUNY colleges. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service from Penn State and holds a Master of Science Degree from the New School for Social Research in Urban Policy and Management. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is a proud member of the Alpha Chapter of the Pi Eta Honor Society and is oft quoted as saying: Bring good into the world and let no good be lost.”

Welcome & Introduction By Jeff Coltin, Senior Reporter, City & State NY



Senator Tim Kennedy
Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Jessica Ramos
Assembly Member Kimberly Jean-Pierre
Assembly Member Amy Paulin


Session Concludes

Platinum Sponsors