D’Urso touts record of accomplishments in Assembly race

D’Urso touts record of accomplishments in Assembly race

Democrat Anthony D’Urso said voters should vote for him over his Republican opponent, Matt Varvaro, in the race to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel in the 16th Assembly District because of his “record of performances.”
D’Urso, 77, of Port Washington, served as North Hempstead Town councilman from 1992 through 2005 after working for the New York City Department of Housing since 1971 and eventually rising to serve as the assistant commissioner of the Division of Architecture/Engineering and Construction.
“I have delivered already. It is not a gamble,” he said Monday in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “I don’t guarantee results but I’m sure going to try like hell to get the results.”
“When someone votes for me, he’s hiring me to work for him, not the other way around. I am a public servant and I will never forget that,” D’Urso added. “After I win, I will support the people equally whether they voted for me or not, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.”
He said that if elected, one of his biggest priorities will be fighting corruption in the state Legislature.
D’Urso said legislation should be strengthened to deter state legislators from engaging in unethical activities and increase punishments for those guilty of wrongdoing.
“Although you cannot legislate morality, you can come up with more stringent set of laws that could be more of a deterrent to some of the people that think they can pay to play games and get away with it,” he said.
D’Urso also said that he is in favor of eliminating outside income for state legislators and making the position full-time.
If made a full-time position, he said, “it would warrant an increase” in pay.
D’Urso said he wanted to eliminate the LLC loophole, which allows an individual or a single entity to give multiple donations to a political campaign, because it prevents politicians from truly serving their constituents.
“You can’t service two masters: the state government and the people that you work for outside as special interest people,” he said.
Property taxes in the district are too high, D’Urso said, mainly due to the amount that goes to school districts.
“If it comes to the point that I cannot afford to live here, what good is good schools to me?” D’Urso said. “We are reaching that point.”
He said that to combat the issue, Long Island schools should get their “fair share” of state aid.
D’Urso also said that the consolidation of school districts could save money, but is not sure “if people are ready” for that.
State taxes, he said, were also too high.
D’Urso suggested looking into the state budget and cutting  the “fat” and “waste.”
He said he would look at ways to cut costs in areas like health care, but only after ensuring that no services are eliminated or reduced.
D’Urso said he is an advocate for the environment and wants to protect the district’s water and air.
Since some homes and businesses in the county are not connected to sewage systems, he said, it leads to nitrogen pollution in water.
“It’s going to cost money but maybe we can bond it and do what is the right thing to do,” D’Urso said. “To build new sewers and make sure that every house and every business establishment is hooked up to a sewer system.”
He said he  supported  the Long Island Rail Road’s proposal for a third track between Floral Park and Hicksville.
D’Urso said it would eliminate a large number of cars from the road, which would also help protect the environment, provide better services for those using the LIRR and help the development of downtown areas near modes of transportation.
“You can create opportunities for younger families or the elderly that cannot afford a house, to live there,” he said.
D’Urso said he did not support tax breaks for developers building luxury apartment buildings or hotels, but did support tax breaks for affordable housing developments.
Varvaro, 25, also of Port Washington, had criticized D’Urso’s knowledge of the impact that heroin addiction is having on the district.
D’Urso said heroin and opiate addiction has been a problem on Long Island “for many years.”
To fight against it, he said, more resources should be put toward education and rehabilitation for drug addicts, as well as toward supporting law enforcement efforts to stop the supply of drugs.
D’Urso said putting drug addicts in jail does not help their problems, and instead might exacerbate them.
“Let’s focus on education and treatment and not incarceration,” he said. “Incarceration has never done the job to rehabilitate drug addicts.”
D’Urso said he would support Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court ruling that prevents states from outlawing or regulating abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy, as state legislation.
He also said he supports the legalization of marijuana, stating that alcohol has caused more dangerous accidents.
D’Urso said voters “don’t have to rely on my promises” to know that he is the right candidate to fill the 16th Assembly District seat.
“I do not run against my opponent’s weaknesses, I run on the strength of my solid accomplishments,” he said.

By Joe Nikic

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