With a controversial Presidential race dominating headlines, it can be hard to learn about local candidates who’s decisions directly affect our day-to-day lives.
Here’s an opportunity to hear from a local candidate in their own words.
Glenn Nocera, Republican District Leader of the 44th Assembly District, ran unopposed in the New York State Assembly District 44 Republican primary. Nocera is running on the GOP and Conservative Party ticket. He’s also the president of the Brooklyn Tea Party.
Nocera will be running against Democratic candidate Robert C. Carroll, who won the Democratic primaries in September. The general election is on November 8.
Get to know Glenn Nocera in our Q & A below. (All answers by Glenn Nocera)
Why does the Assembly District position matter in our community?
Whoever holds the Assembly District seat has a voice in Albany, making sure our district gets our fair share of state funds for our schools, senior centers, hospitals, and other vital services for hard-working taxpayers in our community. If elected, I would fight to make sure that we all get what we put into the system and more.
What are the main legislative issues in your campaign?
School choice. I am a strong proponent of school choice; making sure parents have a choice when it comes to what schools their children go to. I believe that if a parent feels that a Catholic school or a charter school or any other school would be best for their child, then they should have that right to do so.
Cut property taxes. I would like to introduce legislation to cut property taxes.
No-kill animal shelter State. I would also like to introduce legislation to make New York a no-kill State for animals in shelters; no dog or cat should ever be put to sleep because no one adopted them within a week.
You have a long history of working with Kensington, as an Auxiliary Police Sergeant at the 66th Precinct and manager of the Kensington Facebook page. What do you think are the most important issues facing the neighborhood today?
Quality-of-life crimes. One of the many important issues is making sure our streets remain safe, and more police patrolling our streets to keep crime low — so that crime does not go back to the days of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. I see quality-of-life crime starting to rear its ugly head again, like large amounts of graffiti on our stores and homes in Kensington and other 44th AD neighborhoods.
Parking problems. It takes people sometimes 2 hours or longer to find parking at night. We need a better solution. New, large buildings being constructed need to include an underground garage in the design because if a 30-family building is replacing a three-family house, where are all these people going to park? Even if half those people own cars, our infrastructure cannot accommodate them. Another solution could be to have cars on avenues park with their back bumpers facing the curb to get additional parking spaces, where it wouldn’t interfere with traffic flow.
As a resident in a Kensington, a neighborhood with a big immigrant population, what is your stance on immigration?
Immigration is a cornerstone of the history of the United States. You walk down many streets in New York City and see every culture in the world here. It takes courage for people to uproot themselves and sometimes even their families. Many don’t speak English, don’t know our cultural norms, or lack certain skills to survive here. For whatever reason; better financial opportunities, religious persecution, or better education, their reasons are their own. But they all have one thing in common: They want the opportunity to do better for themselves and their families. We are that shining city on top of the hill, and that is why people want to come here like my grandparents did well over 100 years ago.
Why do you support Donald Trump for president?
The reason why I am supporting Donald Trump for president is because I think Washington D.C. needs a house cleaning. It’s been far too long since we did anything to stop the sell out of our country, with our jobs going overseas and America constantly losing in our trade deals. It always seems like the other country benefits and not ours. I believe Mr. Trump will clean up Washington D.C. by having a strong voice for changing this flawed system.
What are you most proud of, and what are the biggest challenges you face as a political candidate?
I am most proud of the fact that I have been serving my community for well over 20 years as an Auxiliary Police Sergeant and that I was a First Responder when our country was attacked on September 11, 2001. I have volunteered over 25,000 hours to my community as an Auxiliary Police officer.
One of the major challenges that I face as a political candidate is having people already make up their minds about me because I am a Republican. The misconception is that I don’t care about my community, only care for the rich, or other cliches that the media narrative has already branded us Republicans. I say, give me a chance to serve you and see for yourself if I will make you proud. I will always remember that the people are the boss, not me, and that is why I will always do my best to earn your vote.
I believe public service is a calling, and I will never use this position to make myself rich or shame the good people of the 44th Assembly District.
This interview has been lightly edited.