Kent on the Issues Affecting the 107th

Protect Choice

  • As a former Board Member of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP), Kent understands the importance of investing in women’s health and protecting reproductive choice. Kent will never stop fighting the forces that wish to restrict women’s health rights, especially in a post-Dobbs world.
  • Kent understands through his personal experiences that reproductive rights and health go far beyond the question of abortion. Under the Dobbs decision, the rights of all individuals to make decisions regarding family planning, fertility, and other reproductive choices are under threat. Kent will seek to protect individual choices about whether to and how to have a family.
  • Although New York continues to make strides toward protecting reproductive rights, questions of basic access and insurance coverage remain as do questions about whether healthcare providers can provide medically necessary services to residents of other states.

Fight Childhood Hunger

  • Kent was part of the successful effort to increase the school meal reimbursement to .25 cents and fully supports the Health School Meals for All proposal.
  • Kent will work with small businesses and local farmers to address food deserts.
  • Kent supports Increasing SNAP benefits and push Congress to expand SNAP to include hot food.

Expand Mental Health and Addiction Services

  • This is a personal issue for Kent as he is five and a half years sober. While navigating administrative challenges that often come with finding treatment, Kent discovered that everyone’s journey to recovery looks different. Addiction is a disease and Kent hopes that sharing his experiences will help break the stigma associated with it. He looks forward to working with affected constituents, programs, and service providers within the district to elevate their needs.
  • As a member of the Assembly, Kent will push legislation that expands available capacity, incentivizes education for counselors, and identifies roadblocks in communication and access to services. Help shouldn’t be hard to find and you shouldn’t be punished for seeking it.

Support and Fund Education Needs

  • Teachers have been one of Kent’s largest influences throughout his life from Kindergarten to Graduate School. He will prioritize their needs and the needs of their students on a daily basis. Any cut to education funding is a step in the wrong direction.
  • Kent will forcefully advocate for the expansion of community schools. A holistic, community based approach to a child and family’s needs can only strengthen the communities in the district.
  • Kent opposes the expansion of the Charter School Model.

Support the LGBTQ Community

  • Kent supports the LGBTQ-identifying community and has been and will continue to be an ally in the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Protecting Our Youth

  • The sale of illegal flavored vapes and cannabis products to underage individuals needs to be a top priority of the state. Since the flavored vape ban went into effect four years ago these products have grown in popularity with young people. This is because the state has not enforced the ban. As President of the NYS Convenience Store Association, Kent has pushed the state to be more aggressive in their enforcement of the law. Currently the state Department of Health can issue fines to illegal retailers but cannot confiscate illegal products. If elected, Kent will push for legislation that gives DOH real enforcement and confiscatory powers.

Fund Infrastructure Projects

  • Investment in infrastructure is one of the most direct ways to create jobs and stimulate economic development.
  • As the former Director of the Public Transportation Bureau in the New York State Department of Transportation, Kent understands the importance of robust infrastructure funding. He will prioritize the funding of roads, bridges, and transit.
  • Kent has overseen federal and state grant programs that fund services for elderly residents and those with disabilities. Kent will work with community groups who wish to access this funding and provide workshops on the application process and reporting requirements.

Invest to Fight Climate Change

  • Kent believes climate change is real and policy must be determined by science and data. He is committed to policies that will mitigate and reverse these awful changes, with hopes of leaving the world in better shape for his daughter and the next generation. He supports strong and ambitious clean energy goals, continued investment in wind and solar, and grants and other funding programs that will allow consumers to purchase electric-vehicles.
  • Kent strongly believes that changes to energy laws and programs must not create an economic crisis for working and middle-class New Yorkers. He will support robust and easily accessible programs for ratepayers and consumers that will mitigate these costs.
  • Kent opposes the use of CO2 Fracking in New York.

Identify and Address Telecom Needs

  • Remote work has become more of an option in the post-COVID world, allowing more workers to live in rural areas. Kent believes the biggest hurdle is the need to expand internet services to increase accessibility in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Through funding and promoting the expansion of broadband and wireless services, Kent believes these needs can be fulfilled.
  • Instead of allowing the government to prescribe solutions, Kent wants to work closely with the telecom industry to identify needs to get these services running in high needs areas.

Support Small Business

  • Small businesses are job creators and cornerstones of their communities. The state needs to do a better job engaging with and supporting them.
  • The district’s small businesses were all impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many were forced to close while others were deemed essential. As the pandemic ceased and the economy recovered, small businesses were then met with an Interest Assessment Surcharge (IAS) because the state has not repaid its $7 billion loan from the federal government to cover COVID-related unemployment insurance claims. Small businesses should not shoulder this burden.

Protect Our Water

  • Kent supports the creation of a new Office of Water Resources that would be charged with comprehensive water oversight in the state. Both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the state Department of Health (DOH) have oversight of our water—DEC for water in the ground, DOH for water in your glass. It does not make sense to have multiple regulatory agencies overseeing such an important resource.