Democrat state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) said she is running for re-election in the state’s 7th Senate District because she refuses to let extremists “dismantle our democracy” in an interview with Blank Slate Media.
“We all watched the horror on Jan. 6 as the insurrection incited by Donald Trump was attacking our democracy. All I could do that day was to think how could this be happening here in America,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan is running against former state Sen. Jack Martins, who held the seat from 2010 to 2016.
Running on the Democratic and Working Families Parties line, Kaplan has served in the Senate since 2019 when she defeated Republican incumbent Elaine Philips. Kaplan also won re-election in 2020 against former Port Washington Police Commissioner Dave Franklin.
Prior to the Senate, Kaplan was elected to serve the Town of North Hempstead’s 4th District as a councilwoman in 2011.
On the subject of bail reform, the incumbent said anything that affects our public safety demands a higher level of scrutiny.
“We want to make sure our communities feel safe or people feel safe in their communities. I’m happy to work with whoever I need to do whatever I need to do to keep our communities safe,” Kaplan said. “I believe we made these changes and I advocated very strongly for these common-sense fixes. We’ve given judges discretion and we are taking repeat offenders and violent criminals of the streets. I want to make sure that we do everything to give our law enforcement the tools they need to do their job.”
New York implemented bail reform laws in January 2020, with modifications passed in April of that same year. State officials said the modified laws eliminated pretrial detention and optional cash bail in an estimated 90 percent of cases.
Kaplan said she initially ran in order to codify Roe v. Wade and that abortion is a major point in her race.
“We saw ourselves how the extremist Supreme Court has overturned a 50-year-old law, a law that so many women fought for,” Kaplan said. “To see us right now and have it overturned is, in my opinion, a crisis in this entire country. I hope everyone thinks of this as a huge huge reason to go out and vote and make their voices heard.”
On housing, Kaplan said the problem is not just unique to Long Island but is a crisis everywhere in the country. The senator said more incentives have been and need to be given to local municipalities to improve infrastructure to withhold additional housing and alleviate school districts that are facing higher enrollment numbers.
“I think it is imperative for us to work with local governments and bring them on the ride with us. We also can and are and need to do more in terms of bringing incentives to be able to build,” Kaplan said. “I hear from some of the schools that are at max capacity and we need to give them the tools to be able to absorb these children.”
When a municipality considers rezoning business districts to provide a spark downtown, similar to what Mineola is considering, Kaplan said there needs to be a “buy-in” from the community spearheaded by local chambers community leaders on top of town and state help.
“All of us have to work together to get this done,” Kaplan said. “But it is also imperative that people are brought, in the community’s input is taken into consideration and that their concerns are being heard.”
On congestion pricing, Kaplan said Long Islanders deserve safe, clean and on-time trains and any plan that hurts Long Island she will not support.
“I’ve made my position very clear that I want to make sure Long Islanders get the benefit that they need and deserve,” Kaplan said. “If a plan were to hurt Long Island and Long Islanders, I will be the first to speak in opposition of its implementation.”
The MTA’s proposed congestion pricing plan, according to the project’s environmental assessment, could increase the daily entry fee into Manhattan. The plan calls for a toll to enter a zone that extends from 60th Street to the Battery.
Kaplan said over the last four years she has listened to her constituents and worked to be their voice and advocate in Albany.
“I’ve continuously stood up for women’s rights and it’s something I believe in wholeheartedly. I want to do everything possible to make the lives of my residents easier,” Kaplan said. “We’ve worked with our residents, and irrespective of what the issue has been, whether it was unemployment insurance, whether we’re getting a vaccine, whether we’re getting tests, whether they’re getting their power back, whether they’re putting legislation to take dangerous guns out or standing up for women’s rights or for getting money for our clean water or clean air. Those are some of the issues I have continued to fight for.”
The state’s 7th Senate District includes Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Mineola, Garden City Park, North Hills, Albertson, Old Westbury, East Hills, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Estates, Albertson, Searingtown, Lake Success, Manhasset, Munsey Park, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, and the Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas.