On The Issues: Congressional Candidate Forum

New York’s Third Congressional District Candidates Speak about Issues Affecting Long Island Children and Families

On June 8, 2016, Every Child Matters-Long Island, in partnership with Kings Park in the Know and the Every Child Matters Smithtown Cluster, organized and hosted a Congressional Primary Candidate Forum for New York’s Third Congressional District. Candidates present for the community discussion were:

Anna Kaplan, councilwoman representing District 4 (North Hempstead)

Steven Stern, Suffolk County State Legislature, representing the 16th district.

Jonathan Clark, an attorney, representing District 3

Jon Kaiman, the director of the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority and Specialty Advisor on Super Storm Sandy relief to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

ECM Long Island Candidate Forum

During the forum, candidates were asked to pay particular attention to children’s issues and needs. Some of the topics discussed were paid family leave, investing in child care and early learning, preventing child abuse and neglect, the Common Core Initiative, the heroin epidemic affecting youth, immigration, and raising the minimum wage for childcare workers.  Here’s what you missed:

On Child Care

  • The candidates offered a variety of proposals to make child care more affordable for families. Policy change, a possible childcare tax credit, preventing budget cuts and increasing subsidies to social services were all mentioned.

On the Heroin Epidemic

  • Kaplan, Kaiman, Stern and Clarke all advocate for more funding for education, prevention, and treatment programs. “This is a battle,” Stern said, “that particularly when it comes to our children, that we cannot afford to lose.”

On Immigration

  • All candidates expressed the need for a solidified path toward citizenship and the importance of keeping families together. Kaplan, an immigrant herself, noted, “To think about wanting to split families apart, this country is all about families and what we can do to further our lives and our children’s lives, that’s why people come here. The rhetoric we hear these days is so un-American.”

On the Minimum Wage

  • All four candidates support a $15 minimum wage for childcare workers. Kaiman also mentioned supporting the addition of benefits to provide security for workers.

To read more, visit the Every Child Matters Long Island website: www.everychildmattersli.org