It’s not often you get the chance to compliment a former opponent – but I’d like to.
When I ran against Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R-East Meadow) to represent the newly-redrawn 17th District that runs from Uniondale to Farmingdale and Massapequa – including our hometowns of Levittown and East Meadow – we agreed on many basic issues: making it easier for our families to stay on Long Island, protecting the property-tax cap and advocating for our local business communities.
We also agreed on how many differences we had on the top issues facing New York State. I especially often questioned Assemblyman McKevitt on law and order issues like gun control, given his past votes against bills like the Domestic Violence Escalation Act in 2010.
On this issue, Assemblyman McKevitt has pleasantly surprised me and earns my thanks.
As many of you know, last month – in the wake of the horrific attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and the armed ambush on first responders to an arson fire in upstate Webster – Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) pushed through the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NYSAFE): the first and toughest bill of its kind in the nation.
Despite the support of our region’s law enforcement and “yes” votes from all of Long Island’s Republican state senators on record, many Long Island Republicans in the Assembly opposed NYSAFE – including neighboring Assemblyman Montesano (R-Hicksville) and Assemblyman Saladino (R-Massapequa Park).
As the son of a retired police officer, a future responsible gun owner and supporter of the NYSAFE Act, I want to thank Assemblyman McKevitt (R) not just as a former competitor – but as a constituent with family who have been the victims of gun violence.
Thank you for breaking ranks to vote “Yes” on NYSAFE, Assemblyman McKevitt.
Combined with your vote in favor of A.535, a reform bill requiring better communication between county health officials and community leaders – and opposed by neighboring Assemblyman McDonough (R-North Merrick) and Assemblyman Lupinacci (R-Huntington) – this session of the State Legislature is off to a promising start.
I hope that Assemblyman McKevitt will continue to learn from and connect with his new constituents in the 17th District. We will ask more bipartisan votes from him in the coming months to raise the minimum wage, protect the safety of our groundwater, stand up for our civil liberties, protect women’s rights, and clean up New York’s corrupted elections process.
I look forward to checking the roll call votes and thanking Assemblyman McKevitt again.