Daily Point

One more for CD1

A veteran of the 2020 fight in the 2nd Congressional District, Jackie Gordon now is throwing her hat in the ring for the newly drawn CD1.

"I live in CD1, so I will be running in CD1," the Copiague Democrat told The Point Thursday.

Simple as that.

It’s a change in plans for Gordon, who was her party’s 2020 candidate against GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino and was in the middle of staging a rematch there. But the lines shifted due to Albany’s post-census redistricting, putting Gordon’s residence in CD1.

The new maps made CD2 much redder, and CD1 much bluer, perhaps making the latter a more enticing race — though CD1 already has a healthy primary going between fellow Suffolk County legislators Bridget Fleming and Kara Hahn, who have been running and fundraising for months and have more than three times as much cash on hand as Gordon, according to year-end filings.

On Gordon’s side of the ledger, the new district includes a new chunk of Babylon, where Gordon was formerly a town councilwoman. National Democratic and left-leaning groups spent millions last cycle trying to get Gordon over the finish line against Garbarino, which helped introduce her to Long Islanders. And Gordon’s military background could be a plus in a district held by another veteran, Lee Zeldin, who is currently running for governor rather than reelection.

Gordon noted to The Point that she had done some work with CD1-located Calverton National Cemetery as part of the National Association of Black Military Women.

Gordon said the issues in both the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts were similar: rising costs, the cap on state and local tax deductions, and health care bills, for example.

Fleming and Hahn both welcomed Gordon to the race, with Fleming saying she looked forward to "a healthy exchange of ideas" and Hahn’s spokeswoman praising Gordon’s military service and noting that "flipping this seat is critical to keeping a Democratic House majority."

Plenty of questions remain as the primary starts revving up: will any endorsers, of whom Hahn and Fleming have racked up quite a few, change their tune with the new entry? Will national Democrats — including the woman-boosting EMILY’s List — seek to pick favorites among the contenders for what is expected to be a high-stakes pickup opportunity? And what if anything will be the complex effects of the new district map? It takes away some territory from Fleming’s legislative district and leaves all of Hahn’s, but cuts off part of Brookhaven which is Hahn’s broad backyard. Some things, however, stay the same: Analysis of past turnout suggests Brookhaven would still have a plurality of the district’s voters and remain the biggest battleground for the primary.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Hidden in plain sight

When Long Island Republicans gathered Thursday to attack Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal in the state budget to require local municipalities with zoning powers to allow so-called "accessory dwelling units" on owner-occupied residential lots, the entourage made it seem as though Hochul’s plan was a deep, dark secret.

"What the governor is trying to do is get around the legislative process, circumvent all of our voices out here, and be sneaky, be sneaky and literally hide legislation that is going to destroy our communities all the way down to the fabric of what we deserve, you know what, which is good quality of living," Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said during a news conference.

The event featured Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, all three Nassau town supervisors, and a slew of mayors and local officials. Clavin and others gave credit to Nassau County Legis. Tom McKevitt, who, Clavin said, discovered the proposal "literally hidden" in the budget.

But perhaps McKevitt was just good at reading Hochul’s news releases.

On Jan. 5, Hochul issued a news release that announced "sweeping plans to address housing affordability crisis in New York State."

The first bullet point in that release: "Permit accessory dwelling units in single-family neighborhoods." In it, Hochul spells out exactly what was later proposed in the budget – a state requirement that municipalities allow at least one accessory unit per owner-occupied residential lot.

"The legislation will allow for municipalities to set size requirements and safety standards for those dwellings," Hochul’s news release added.

In the days and weeks that followed, Hochul’s proposal got plenty of press.

But the backlash only began to take hold in the last week. Rep. Tom Suozzi and Rep. Lee Zeldin, who are both running against Hochul, have come out against the plan.

Perhaps most surprisingly, on Thursday, State Sen. Anna Kaplan sent a letter to local mayors and town supervisors voicing her opposition to the plan, along with another Hochul proposal regarding transit-oriented development.

"I have serious concerns about the infringement these proposals would have on New York’s long-standing history of municipal home rule," the letter said. "Moreover, I believe these proposals would have a profound impact on our communities here in Nassau County and I have made my opposition to these proposals known and will continue to fight against them."

Kaplan’s language was far more tame than Long Island Republicans’, who had erroneously suggested Wednesday that the governor planned to "outlaw single-family homes."

"This radical policy will decimate the suburban quality of life and guarantee property taxes will go through the roof," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Thursday. "How can they do that to us?"

Hochul, and the housing advocates who support the proposals, may be wise to prepare themselves to fight this battle on multiple Long Island fronts.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Tears on both sides

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich Credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Mike Luckovich

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Final Point

A bill still waiting

While Gov. Kathy Hochul signed or vetoed most of the bills that had come to her desk by the end of 2021, a handful are still awaiting the governor’s action.

For one — a bill that would create an Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities — a deadline is fast approaching. If Hochul doesn’t sign the bill by Friday, the lack of action is an automatic veto.

Advocates for those with disabilities have been stepping up their activity, through letters, calls and social media posts, pushing the governor to act. The issue took a campaign year turn this week, too, when it got the attention of at least one of Hochul’s gubernatorial opponents, Jumaane Williams. Through his New York City Public Advocate account, he expressed his support for the bill, suggesting his followers "call or tweet" at Hochul to encourage her to sign it.

The bill reestablishes an office that had existed before, but was cut, advocates say, by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill places the office within the state Department of State and says it would coordinate implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and "advise and assist state agencies in developing policies designed to help meet the needs of persons with disabilities."

But while the effort to reestablish the office through legislation has existed for a while, Hochul seemed to take a different tack in her State of the State book, suggesting instead the creation of a "Office of the Chief Disability Officer," which would operate out of the Executive Chamber and would be focused on employment-related issues. Since then, however, an advertisement for the job seems to broaden it to cover a range of topics similar to those covered within the proposed legislation.

Said Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays: "Throughout Governor Hochul’s time in office, she has made it a priority to listen to the disability community, and we will continue working together to advocate for the needs of people with disabilities and ensure the State is providing resources and support."

But advocates told The Point they’re frustrated by what they see as a lack of communication with Hochul’s office and said the best path forward is through the proposed legislation.

"This legislation comes from the disability community. We feel there’s a real need for it," said Meghan Parker, the director of advocacy for the New York Association on Independent Living. "The Hochul administration, instead of consulting with us or collaborating, they’re just making an alternative proposal in an insular way."

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

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