Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino (R,C,I-Hyde Park), candidate for the 41st state Senate District, recently joined Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Dutchess County Legislator Gwen Johnson and other local women to launch “Women4Serino,” a committee to work with Serino to address the issues and concerns of women throughout the Hudson Valley. The group, chaired by Town of Poughkeepsie Republican Chairwoman Lydia Biskup, joined Serino for a press conference announcing their effort to push for a strong female voice in government.
“The women of the Hudson Valley are the business owners, mothers, activists and elected officials who truly make our community great place to live,” said Serino. “I am so honored to receive the support from the women who keep our economy vibrant, our community strong, and our families running!
I grew up in Dutchess County, and as a young single mother, I know first-hand how hard it can be to make ends meet. I worked my way from a waitress, to a restaurant manager, and eventually achieved my life-long dream of owning my own real estate company. It’s important for people to understand that one of the reasons I voted no against a 19% tax increase on the Hyde Park town board, and against the Dutchess County energy tax, is because every time I have to make a decision as an elected official, I think of that single mom out there. She’s sitting at the kitchen table late at night wondering how she’s going to pay the bills and create a better life for her family. I think of the grandmother who is afraid she won’t be able to stay in her home and watch her grandchildren grow up, or the woman who is trying save enough money to go out on her own and fulfill her dreams of being a small business owner.
I wish all of our elected officials, especially in Albany, were committed to providing the women of New York State with the rights and support they deserve. Albany is pitting New York women against each other, using political posturing to create so much noise, that we are losing sight of what’s truly important. As women, it’s time we demand equal pay for equal work, end pregnancy discrimination, and make childcare more affordable. Terry Gipson has had two years in Albany, and he has yet to pass one of women equality items, nine of which have been agreed to by both parties. That’s putting his own personal agenda ahead of the women of the Hudson Valley, and we deserve better. That is why I’m running for New York State Senate, and that’s why when elected, I will go to Albany and deliver for the women of the Hudson Valley.”
Members of the committee will meet with Serino to discuss and advise her on various issues. The group is made up of local officials, business owners, and more.
“As a mother, I could not be more proud to see another mother standing up as a strong voice for the young women in our community. I’m proud to stand with Sue and work to help make the Hudson Valley a better place for the women in our community. It’s great to see someone so dedicated to developing relationships with the people of her community and committed to serving on their behalf. She takes the time to get personal with people, listening to every concern and taking it to heart. The Women4Serino committee isn’t a partisan group, it’s not about what’s left or right, it’s about doing what’s right for the community and it’s another example of how Sue will use her role as Senator to be a strong voice for her constituents,” said Biskup.
“I have tremendous respect for Sue and I know she will make a great Senator because I’ve seen the hard work she does fighting for her constituents on the County Legislature,” said Dutchess County Legislator Gwen Johnson (D – Poughkeepsie). “It’s exciting to know our community will have someone so devoted as the first female Senator from the 41st District. Sue is a true role model for all women in our community and a shining example of how far hard work and perseverance can take you. I look forward to working alongside my fellow legislator in bipartisan effort to make our community and Poughkeepsie and state a great place to live, raise a family, and work.”
“I stand shoulder to shoulder with Sue Serino and fully support her in her race to represent us in the 41st Senate District. Sue is one of the more remarkable women I have had the pleasure to meet. Sue, a Dutchess County Legislator, has proven herself to the public to be an intelligent and grounded representative. Her common sense approach to dealing with today’s issues is much needed in Albany,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.
Serino’s plan includes a ten point agenda to empower women’s rights:
1) Strengthening laws that require Equal Pay for Equal Work, by closing the loophole in New York’s equal pay law that allows employers to justify paying female employees less; outlawing workplace wage secrecy policies; and increasing damages available to a prevailing litigant.
2) Ending sexual harassment on the job, by extending the prohibition on sexual harassment in the workplace to workplaces with fewer than four employees.
3) Allowing for Attorney’s Fees in Employment, Credit, and Housing Sex Discrimination Cases, and allowing litigants who win a sex discrimination suit to collect attorney’s fees.
4) Ending Familial Status Discrimination by outlawing discrimination against parents in the workplace.
5) Ending Discrimination in Housing based on Domestic Violence Victim Status & Source of Income by prohibiting building owners, managers and leasing agents from refusing to lease or sell, or evicting a tenant because of their status as a domestic violence victim; and creating a task force to study the impact of discrimination based on source of income in housing, in particular discrimination against tenants receiving Section 8 rental assistance, with focus on any sex-based impact.
6) Ensuring that Victims of Domestic Violence are not Punished for “Violating” their own Order of Protection, making revisions to the law that protects parties who file an order of protection from violating the order.
7) Creating a Pilot Program for Remote Access to Orders of Protection by creating a pilot program to allow domestic violence victims to testify remotely against their abuser.
8) Strengthening laws against Human Trafficking, by creating an affirmative defense to a prostitution charge that the individual was a trafficking victim; increasing penalties across the board for human trafficking and labor trafficking; creating new offenses, in increasing degrees, of aggravated patronizing a minor; and creating a civil action for victims of trafficking against their perpetrators.
9) Ending Pregnancy Discrimination by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant workers.
10) Making childcare more affordable. Creating a childcare tax credit for middle-class families.