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Thu Oct 15, 2020, 04:18 AM

NY-02: New York Newsday endorses Jackie Gordon for Congress

Her career of service has taught her the value of working with all parties. This ramrod-backed woman born around the tail end of the Baby Boom generation is no radical, much as GOP attacks attempt to tie her to the most left-leaning impulses of her party. She has highlighted health care, veterans' issues, bolstering Pell grants, and constituent services as top priorities. Even her policy interests, such as a hope for a role on committees including the House Veterans' Affairs or Transportation and Infrastructure committees, are grounded in helping her constituents get what they need. She knows that's crucial for the district, from veterans' health to big construction projects in the region.

Her background includes service on a committee for King's nominations to West Point and other service academies.

Her opponent, Assemb. Andrew Garbarino, is a committed public servant, too, who knows how to work within the legislative process and understands the needs of the district. In years past, he has distinguished himself by sometimes bucking his party as with supporting the "Red Flag" law allowing people deemed to be risks due to substance abuse, violent threats, or other issues to be prohibited from purchasing firearms. He told the editorial board in an endorsement interview that there should be a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But the Bayport Republicanís law-and-order campaign focus on "radical mobs" and "chaos and violence" in New York City was disappointing ó reminiscent of the old stereotypes of suburbs as white flight havens, and particularly inappropriate given Gordonís career in law enforcement. This is a woman who has experience with an M16 and 9mm handgun, and who qualified in the military as a sharpshooter and expert.

As a Black woman, she has the chance and the gravitas to work toward policing solutions beyond rhetoric. That means different training for officers and body cameras, and much more responsive, community-focused policing, but also a shift in perspective on this issue beyond stagnant and getting-us-nowhere partisan fights.

"As a military police officer, we were charged to protect and defend," she told the editorial board. "And as a citizen, I want to be protected and defended."

Thatís the kind of reasonableness and insight that Long Island needs in Congress, for a new generation. Newsday endorses Jackie Gordon.


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