Issues

Let us not despair, but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
– John F. Kennedy

Help Working Families Achieve Financial Security And Upward Mobility

Having witnessed his parents build a life in the United States based on nothing more than hard work, discipline and determination, Sarmad knows firsthand that the American Dream is possible. Today, however, too many New Yorkers are working harder than ever before, and having less and less to show for it. For many, the cost of living and New York’s high tax burden has left the dream of homeownership and raising their children with more opportunities than they had far beyond their reach. For this reason, Sarmad is running to promote policies that help lower and middle-income New Yorkers achieve financial security and upward mobility, with a focus on legislation that helps New Yorkers save for their first home and start a small business. All New Yorkers deserve a fair deal and an opportunity to seize upon their God-given potential, and Sarmad intends to fight to ensure exactly that.

Ensure Every Child Has Access To A Quality, Affordable Education

Sarmad knows firsthand the powerful impact an engaged, thoughtful and caring teacher can have on the life of a child. For this reason, Sarmad supports an “all of the above” approach to ensure every child receives a quality, affordable education. The fact is that distinctions drawn between traditional public schools, public charter schools, parochial schools, and private schools are meaningless to the child receiving a math, reading, history or science lesson from a caring, engaged teacher. Yet, special interest groups and lobbyists are attempting to place the interests they represent above those of students and their families. For this reason, Sarmad is running to ensure that the interests of students and their families always come first.

Combat The Heroin And Opioid Crisis Affecting Our Community And Break The Cycle Of Incarceration

Raising two young children in Westchester, Sarmad knows how important it is to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic affecting our communities. Today, the scourge of drug addiction ravaging our communities parallels the experience suffered by New York’s urban communities for the last forty years. In both instances, we must promote policies that provide an opportunity for non-violent drug offenders to turn their lives around and become responsible citizens. We likewise must provide support for the families and communities impacted by these crises to ensure that the generational cycle of incarceration is broken. For this reason, Sarmad will fight for criminal justice reform – whether it be treatment-focused alternatives to incarceration or the expansion of drug courts – and additional funding for Westchester County to ensure that our first responders and local agencies have the appropriate tools at their disposal to save lives.

Serve Those Who Have Served Us

Having sought refuge in the United States, Sarmad knows that we can never do enough to support those who make our freedom possible – our heroes in uniform. It is morally imperative that we help veterans transition into civilian life and protect them from homelessness or suicide. For this reason, Sarmad will fight to fund, not cut, services at the Yonkers VA hospital and Montrose VA hospital, and provide robust, timely and cutting-edge treatments to assist those with traumatic brain injury, Agent Orange exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarmad also will fight to ensure that we reward veterans with academic credit for military training and providing license portability and reciprocity for service members and military spouses.

Enact Term Limits To End The Status Quo Of Career Politicians In Albany

Today, the American people are suffering from a crisis of confidence in their political system. Every day, it seems, a new scandal or investigation emerges concerning cronyism, pay-to-play, and self-dealing by and among Albany’s career politicians and special interests. The public trust has become a punchline for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Indeed, career politicians have become a special interest all their own, preventing even the most basic ethics reform in Albany. It’s no wonder that Albany has earned the reputation of “the most dysfunctional legislature” in the country. For this reason, Sarmad will fight to end the era of career politicians in Albany by supporting term limits for assemblymen, senators and the Governor.

Implement Common Sense Gun Control To Help Law Enforcement Protect Our Communities

Though the vast majority of gun owners in New York are law-abiding citizens who pose absolutely no threat whatsoever, the need for common sense gun control to address illegal firearms, the threat of terrorism, and the mental health crisis facing the country has never been greater. The epidemic of mass shootings, the gun violence ravaging our urban communities, the looming threat of a military-style terrorist attack, and the emergence of violent street gangs, like MS-13, all require that the government take action and arm our law enforcement with the tools to effectively combat these dangers. For these reasons, Sarmad (i) supports federal legislation closing gun-show loopholes, requiring universal background checks, banning any purchase of a firearm to an individual listed on the no-fly list, and re-instating the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban; (ii) supports policies that will ensure the mentally ill receive the treatment they need and deserve; and (iii) opposes restrictions on how law enforcement exercises its discretion to investigate criminal activity.

Protect And Preserve The Environment For Our Children

Having been raised in the Hudson Valley, Sarmad has a deep appreciation for the environment, and believes that protecting and preserving the environment is not and cannot be a partisan issue. Today, however, politicians on both side of the aisle – serving special interests and lobbyists – perpetuate the myth that policies that preserve the environment must be bad for business. The need for independent-minded, practical problem solving on this issue has never been greater. For this reason, Sarmad will fight to promote policies that not only protect and preserve the environment but he will also fight to strengthen and support our small businesses, as well.

Ensure Equal Rights For All New Yorkers

As an immigrant, Sarmad knows firsthand that all New Yorkers – irrespective of national origin, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation – must be treated equally under the law. However, despite paying lip service to equality, Albany politicians have stacked the deck against average New Yorkers of every background. Albany lobbyists and special interest groups have rigged the system to ensure that small business owners, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses are not eligible for State and local procurement contracts, and that such contracts only are awarded to the powerful and connected. For this reason, Sarmad will fight not only to promote policies that make it easier for all New Yorkers to start and grow small businesses, but also to expand the scope of businesses eligible for State and local procurement contracts.