WESTFORD – Local tech-project manager and activist Chad McEvoy today announced his campaign in the 101st Assembly District. A Democrat, he is challenging Republican Brian Miller of New Hartford.
In Otsego County, the 101st includes Springfield, Middlefield, Westford and Maryland. A long, narrow district, it extends from New Hartford, outside Utica, south to the Town of Montgomery in Orange County.
“We can do more for our area – focusing state resources on the needs of our communities – by working with, not against, the majority in Albany,” said McEvoy, who ran against Republican county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, last fall.
EDUCATION: I hold a Masters in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.Sc. from the University of Washington in Zoology with a minor in Anthropology.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I have worked primarily as a software development project manager and data analyst for both nonprofit organizations and tech startups. I am currently an analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Board member of Otsego 2000
PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: I am a strong progressive on issues relating to civil liberties, personal freedom and the environment. I am generally moderate or center-left on fiscal issues and believe in the efficacy of an intelligently regulated free market. I favor data-driven economic policies that strive to increase both equality and innovation.
MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:
Economic development and rural poverty
Rural broadband access
MY QUALITIES: My wife and I chose to live in Otsego County because of its community, natural beauty and history. I believe in the idea that one must participate locally to help build the qualities they wish to see represented in the world on a larger scale. In addition to my work, activism and civic engagement I am an amature naturalist, fossil collector, chef and rock drummer.
STATEMENT: District 6 has not had an actual option in the general election for almost two decades. Democracy requires at a minimum that there be a choice of who to vote for. Years of stagnant one-party government at the country level have not yielded much for our community. If I am elected I will represent the interests of the communities of District 6 and will work to hold the board accountable for sustainably maximizing the inherent potential of Otsego County.
As voters – in Otsego County, the 19th Congressional District and nationally – struggle to make the right decision in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, midterm elections, a study, “The Hidden Tribes of America,” surfaces with a conclusion that has been widely commented on nationally: “A majority of Americans (61 percent), whom we’ve called the ‘Exhausted Majority,’ are fed up by Americans’ polarization. They know we have more in common than that which divides us: our belief in freedom, equality and the pursuit of the American Dream. They share a deep sense of gratitude that they are citizens of the United States. They want us to move past our differences.”
It the past two years, those of us with that sensibility have been screamed at by two sides that, it turns out, are fringes. On the left, “Progressive Activists,” according to the study, are a mere 8 percent of the citizenry; on the right, “Devoted Conservatives” are only 6 percent.
If you consider yourself a centrist, you may believe your views will be overwhelmed at the ballot box. Not so, “Hidden Tribes” tells us; in effect, it’s the wish of a sizeable majority of Americans to find common ground.
This is by way of preamble to this newspaper’s endorsements, below, which are an effort to make recommendations based on the merits, not through any particular political prism.
Be sure to vote Nov. 6 – polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. – and vote your conscience. You may be surprised how much you are in sync with the majority of your
fellow Americans. So vote.
As usual, these endorsement editorials appear 10 days before Election Day, to allow you to agree or disagree in next week’s Letter to the Editor columns.
Send letters by noon Monday,
Oct. 29, to email@example.com
Whether you agree or not, be of good cheer.
Gerrymandering Takes Away
Our Right To Representation
The most remarkable thing I’ve seen in this year’s midterm
election campaigns is Chad McEvoy’s op-ed in the New York Times. The headline says it all: “If I win my district, I’ll get rid of it.”
That’s the 101st Assembly District, a model of gerrymandering, which snakes in a narrow strip from New Hartford near Utica through part of Otsego county to the Hudson Valley.
Its shape guarantees that almost nobody living in the district is connected to anyone else in it. Its only purpose is to provide a safe seat for a politician who can be sure that his atomized constituents have no voice of their own.
Chad is running to overturn this kind of all too familiar nonsense.
The 101st district is an egregious case of gerrymandering, but in fact most of our legislative districts work exactly the same way. Most people couldn’t find their state legislative or Congressional districts on a map, or even name them accurately.
The districts overlay and cut across one another in insane fashion. People in one Congressional district are guaranteed not to be together in the same state Assembly or Senate districts.
Divide and conquer is obviously the rule.
Most districts are spread over a large number of communities almost entirely unique in terms of jobs, industry, schools, social services, and so on. That means our local communities are NOT represented in Albany or Washington.
The heart of your community is where you live and work. It includes your neighborhood, the town where you do most of your business and shopping, and the school district where your kids go. For most people – except for those commuting to distant jobs (say 20 miles or more) – these functions mostly overlap.
Call it home.
The largest local unit which people recognize and more or less identify with is the county, which administers social services, collects taxes, provides public safety, manages code enforcement and waste disposal, maintains major local highways, carries out environmental and planning responsibilities, and coordinates local towns which enjoy home rules under the state Constitution.
People know their counties; counties are the largest political entities which still function as communities. The county should be the political district that is directly represented in Albany, if not in Washington.
New York has 62 counties and representatives elected from each of those counties could comprise at least the state Assembly, if not the entire state legislature. That would be one way to upset business-as-usual in Albany and put the public back
Of course, counties differ widely in size. The largest county in the state – King’s County(Brooklyn)– has a population of 2,504,700, while the smallest – Hamilton County, in the Adirondacks – has 4,836 residents. But just as towns are represented on the Otsego county Board of Representatives by weighted voting, counties could be represented in Albany the same way.
The larger number of smaller, more rural counties would naturally work together to offset the clout of the fewer number of larger counties.
As far as Congressional districts go, in densely populated areas (like New York City) they should be drawn to be within counties as much as possible. In less dense areas, like Upstate, they can be drawn to include whole counties as closely as they can.
The point is that the interests of, say, Otsego county, would have a direct voice in Albany, something that is NOT currently the case.
In fact, our communities
are not directly represented anywhere at all.
This lack of representation
goes a long way towards explaining why a place like Otsego county has long suffered chronic economic decline and social malaise.
Let me close with a couple of personal endorsements of local candidates who recognize the need for the kind of fundamental change I’m talking about.
One is Chad McEvoy in the 101st Assembly District, as discussed above. Chad wants to strengthen local education, supports single-payer health care for New Yorkers, and advocates universal broadband and green energy as economic drivers.
The other candidate I’m voting for is Joyce St. George in the 51st Senate district. St. George – a feisty, anti-corruption investigator and local business woman who also supports single-payer health for all New Yorkers – is running against our long-time senator Jim Seward, who represents the status quo.
Seward has made a career of recycling taxpayers’ own dollars back to them as perks for which he can take credit; his so-called “economic summits” have gone nowhere; and his environmental record is among the worst in Albany – he’s been consistently rated near the bottom of New York legislators by the watchdog group Environmental Advocates. If you think we can do better on these issues, vote for St. George. Adrian Kuzminski, a retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.
COOPERSTOWN – Antonio Delgado was met with cheers and applause from 120 of the Democratic faithful – and a handful of Republicans – in Templeton Hall this evening.
Questions ranged from fracking to FERC and Social Security to Glass–Steagall. A 9-year-old, Greta Green, who lives in Washington, D.C., but is visiting her grandmother, Cynthia Benjamin, in Garrattsville, asked about protecting children from gun violence.
“It hurts that a 9-year-old even asks that question,” he said.
But the question of the hour – the 19th District Congressional candidate’s former life as AD The Voice, a hip-hop performer in L.A. whose lyrics in his “Painfully Free” CD were liberally sprinkled with the N-word and epithets – was only touched on lightly during the formal part of the evening.
As the Q&A began, moderator Paula DiPerna advised the candidate she would be questioning him more closely later on the issue – Delgado’s rap career was reported on July 8 in the New York Post, and his Republican opponent, Congressman John Faso, issued a press release expressing “shock” at the “troubling and offensive lyrics” – and to be prepared.
Editor’s Note: This is the full text of Oneonta Common Council member Larry Malone’s address to his colleagues this past Tuesday, details his efforts to ensure City Manager Martin Murphy was equitably reviewed before Murphy’s dismissal last month.
I submit this summary of the 2015 City Manager Performance Review Process as part of the permanent record of the Oneonta City Council. There are three motivations for this statement: 1) to outline the design of the process; 2) to provide timelines and assess the implementation of the review, and; 3) to answer challenges regarding the integrity of the process.
The 2015 City Manager Performance Review Process was developed to comply with the City of Oneonta Charter, Section C 16 A, which states “The City Manager’s performance shall be annually evaluated by the Common Council and the Mayor.”
In assuming leadership for designing the Review, I sought to collaborate with Council Members to create a process that would be handed down to future Councils. There were two performance reviews of former City Manager Michael Long. The first of those reviews, at Mr. Long’s request after three months of service, was in November/December, 2013. It included 360 degree (multi-rater) interviews of Department Heads conducted by Dr. Robert McEvoy, Rockefeller College, SUNY Albany, who was paid $5,000 as a consultant. Council Members also summited memos of appraisal and Mr. Long provided a written self-assessment. Dr. McEvoy presented a summary of his interviews to the Council. Mayor Miller and the Council completed a second review of Mr. Long in spring, 2014. It consisted of interviews of Department Heads conducted by the Mayor, Council Member appraisals, an assessment of goals progress, and a self-assessment submitted by Mr. Long.
UNADILLA – Maj. William McEvoy, the Troop C commander, today issued an invitation for the public to help celebrate the New York State Police’s 100 years of service by attending the Centennial Open House 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Unadilla Barracks.
This is a family-oriented event, featuring demonstrations by K-9, Helicopter Rescue, Underwater Recovery Team (SCUBA), Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the Centennial Mounted Unit, and more.
ONEONTA – A recommendation to move the city manager’s qualifications out of the city charter received the most negative comment this afternoon when proposed revisions were unveiled before a Common Council committee.
City Council Member David Rissberger, Third Ward, a member of the original Charter Revision Commission, said putting the qualifications in the charter was a response to public input.
“That was the biggest concern (in 2009-10) when we were rewriting the charter,” he said. “The number of times I heard people say, ‘You’re doing this so you can put so-and-so into the position.’”
Questionnaires that have been submitted so far by candidates for the Otsego County Board of Representatives in the Nov. 7 elections are highlighted below. As the rest of the candidates respond, the links will be updated. Please click on highlighted link to read, in candidates’ own words, why they are qualified to serve. And don’t forget to vote! Polls are open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.