LONG ISLAND, NY — This November, Long Island residents will be hitting the polls to exercise their right to vote. While voters will be electing the president this Election Day, they will also be choosing their local representatives. In New York, state and federal races will also be on the ballot.
Democrat Christine Pellegrino, 51, of West Islip is running for for New York Senate's 4th District. She is challenging incumbent republican nominee Phil Boyle.
The district covers Bay Shore, Bayport, Baywood, Bohemia, Brentwood, Central Islip, Deer Park, East Islip, Fire Island, Gilgo, Great Giver, Holbrook, Holtsville, Islip, Islip Terrace, North Babylon, North Bay Shore, North Great River, North Lindenhurst, Oak Beach-Captree, Oakdale, Ronkonkoma, Sayville, West Babylon, West Bay Shore, Babylon, Brightwaters, Lindenhurst, Saltaire, West Islip, Wheatley Heights, Wyandanch and Ocean Beach.
She received her Education Professional Diploma in School Supervision & Administration from Long Island University, her M.S. in Education: Reading Specialist from C.W. Post and her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. John’s University.
She works as an educator and previously served as assemblywoman for New York's 9th district from 2017 to 2018.
Check out the full Q&A below:
Why are you seeking elective office?
I’m a mother, a public school teacher for 25 years, and a community advocate. In 2017, I was one of the first Blue Wave races when I flipped New York’s Assembly District 09. I’m running for State Senate because I want to fight for the needs of my daughters and my community. We need the voices of single mothers, teachers, and working people represented in our State legislature. 2020 is the year to finally flip the 4th, which is the first step towards directing much needed resources and funding to the district from the Democratic majority. We deserve representation from an advocate who will stand up and fight for a better future for all of us in New York.
The single most pressing issue facing our nation/state/community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
COVID-19 pandemic. It’s clear that Albany needs more moms, teachers and everyday working people they can trust, rather than career politicians, who can deliver real results for all New Yorkers. I am running for State Senate because now more than ever, the constituents of the 4th Senate District need a Senator who will fight for our fair share of the resources we deserve for our schools, libraries, affordable childcare and innovative programs as well as paycheck grants to assist small businesses. If I am successful in joining the Democratic Senate Majority, I will be able to provide critical funding to protect our communities from future storms as well as our drinking water, and focus on helping individuals through an economic recovery. As a mom and a teacher I’m running to help build the NY for everyone’s children that I hope for my own. A NY that’s inclusive, compassionate, and takes bold action to make the future better for all of us.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post? If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)?
I am consistent about my views and I have kept my word to represent the values of my community. I am running to help make people’s lives better, not climb the political ladder or jump from office to office by engaging in sweetheart backroom political deal making schemes that stink of the corrupt politics that people have grown to hate. I pledge to never use my position of influence or my office for corrupt reasons, or to take money from outside special interests. I want to go to Albany and serve out the whole elected term and if I have the honor of being elected, I commit to staying in office and working hard for the benefit of all the people of the district.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
1. Education: I support fully funding our schools so our children can have every opportunity they deserve. I oppose the over-reliance on faulty and developmentally inappropriate standardized tests. As a teacher of 25 years, I believe that we need authentic learning and authentic assessment.
2. Environment: I want to clean up toxic sites that threaten our drinking water with cancer-causing chemicals. I also want to protect our property values, as well as our health, from destruction from pollution. As an Assemblywoman, I led the fight against the federal government's plan to drill for oil off the coast of Long Island, which would have devastated our Long Island economy and pristine shoreline.
3. Common Sense Gun Safety: As a mother and a teacher, I stand for gun safety and stopping violent criminals, terrorists, and domestic abusers from easy access to powerful weapons that have killed children, teachers, and community members in a matter of minutes. I support the funding of research on gun violence prevention.
4. Growing our local economy and supporting small businesses- Long Island’s small businesses need more tax incentives, loan forgiveness, and grants to keep their doors open. Families deserve more affordable childcare and paid family leave.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
In 2017, I won my special election to become Assemblywoman of the 9th district. I was honored to represent Suffolk and Nassau Counties in the NYS Assembly, where I delivered historic levels of direct grant funding to our public schools, libraries and veterans facilities. I helped deliver funding for people struggling with opioid addiction. I made sure that the DEC allocated the maximum amount of funding for the cleanup of the DZUS superfund site adjacent to a public school and successfully prevented the federal government’s plan to drill for oil along the South Shore pristine coast. I know how Albany works, and I’m ready to fight for us once again as State Senator.