Senator Carl Marcellino was elected to represent the 5th Senatorial District in 1995 and is running for re-election this year on the Republican, Independent and Conservative Party Lines.
"I have had a very successful eight years," said Marcellino. "I don't think there are too many state senators that can point to two state parks created in their Senate District. There have been close to 400 acres preserved in the 5th district over special groundwater."
Marcellino's legislative record touches on issues directly impacting residents throughout New York. The Unpaid Wages Prohibition Act, the strongest labor measure to be enacted in many years, grants important rights to workers and protects legitimate business people. Marcellino passed legislation creating the Disability Registry, which provides vital information to aid in rescues and evacuations. He introduced and passed a number of bills that combat the problems of smoking, especially seeking to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children. He passed legislation prohibiting the sale of habit-forming herbal cigarettes to minors. Marcellino also passed the most significant pension benefit enhancement to state and local municipal employees in 30 years into law. The law waives the three percent employee contribution beginning Oct. 1, 2000 for workers with 10 years of government service who are enrolled in Tiers 3 and 4 of the retirement system. The law also provides additional service credit to Tier 1 and 2 employees of the retirement system equal to one month additional credit for each year of service, up to two years.
Environmental legislation continues to be one of Marcellino's highest priorities. He was the sponsor of the Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law, the Acid Rain Law of 2000, the Law to Ban MTBE in New York State and the Jet Ski Law of 2000. He has also been the prime sponsor of other important environmental measures including the 1996 Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act, the creation of the State's Bird Conservation Area program, net electric metering to encourage solar power usage and emissions testing for heavy duty diesel vehicles.
In addition to his legislative agenda, Marcellino has been instrumental in implementing important environmental benefits for his Senate District. Obtaining state funding to purchase and make accessible five acres of waterfront property in the Town of Oyster Bay and the designation of Huntington and Lloyd Harbors as no-discharge zones were both Marcellino initiatives. Marcellino has also held public hearings in Huntington and Oyster Bay on issues of local concern such as spraying for control of the West Nile Virus, tidal surges resulting from storms and hurricanes, petroleum spills from underground tanks and fluid leaks from Long Island Sound electric cables.
Roger Snyder is seeking election in the 5th Senatorial District on the Democratic and Green Party Lines. Although he has never held a political office, he has previously run for office twice and has a lot of ideas he would like to implement.
Snyder is the chair of the Green Party of Suffolk County and has been a member of the party since its formation approximately four years ago. Prior to that he worked with many candidates in Suffolk County for a number of years and says he gained a great deal of political knowledge in the process.
Snyder helped run Print Shop, for 46 years doing printing for nonprofit, social change and progressive groups and was a member of the IWW union. He is currently working as a "stay-at-home dad" caring for his two youngest children.
Snyder was first active in the anti-Vietnam war movement in the early 1970s. Starting in the 1980s he was an organizer with Long Island Sound and Hudson against Atomic Development, Long Island War Resisters League, and other similar groups. With Long Island Sound and Hudson against Atomic Development, he says he worked against the Shoreham Nuclear Plant in Suffolk County, other nuclear plants in the northeast, and the nuclear reactors and toxic waste at Brookhaven National Lab. With Long Island War Resisters League, he worked for peace and social justice and against the root causes of war. He has also been active in many facets of the environmental, anti-discrimination and women's rights movements, including anti-pesticide, pro choice and civil rights work.
Snyder says his activism includes organizing and attending rallies, acts of civil disobedience and public meetings; starting letter writing and similar campaigns to influence politicians and other people of power; and helping to empower people "so they can fight city hall."
"I'm running for State Senate because of issues that longtime incumbents don't adequately address, issues such as campaign finance reform, police oversight, ecological sustainability, social justice, renewable energy, women's rights, organic farming, pollution, ending racism, health care needs and much more," said Snyder.
Although he originally thought of term limits as " undemocratic," he has recently changed his mind. "I would think that we probably need term limits to shake things up," said Snyder. "The system is set up to benefit the incumbents. Once you are in, you are there for life."
Snyder believes that a change in the way government is run would benefit the people. "There are a lot of good laws and good bills that never get passed and this leads to a lot of problems," he said.
If elected next month, Snyder's main goals are campaign finance reform and issues dealing with quality education, the death penalty, taxes, organic farms and gay and lesbian rights. "We should have civil rights guaranteed for everybody - gay, lesbian, minorities and women," said Snyder. "We need to protect everyone's rights.