New York State Assembly, 11th District

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Kimberly Jean-Pierre

Background: Kimberly Jean-Pierre, 34, of Wheatley Heights, is on the Democrat, Independence, Reform and Working Families lines. She is seeking a third term in the Assembly after first being elected to the district seat in 2014. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Jean-Pierre graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree of fine arts in creative writing in 2005. She also graduated with a master's degree in science in public policy from Stony Brook University in 2007. Before being elected, she was director of the Wyandanch Resource Center. Earlier, she was vice president of properties for the Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency. Her first foray in politics was when she worked as a community outreach director for former Rep. Steve Israel for three years, and then as an aide to Suffolk Legis. DuWayne Gregory for two years.  Jean-Pierre serves on the Assembly economic development, mental health, local government, and children and families committees. She is co-chair of the sub-committee on women of color. She is a member of the Assembly's Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus. She has one daughter and a step son.

Issues: Jean-Pierre said she has worked to make sure her constituents receive adequate services for the taxes they pay including bringing in quality jobs. She said she fights for schools to be properly funded and has helped secure millions of dollars for capital projects. Jean-Pierre noted she got $30,000 for community programs both in Copiague and Lindenhurst to help schools combat drugs through prevention programs. Equity among all residents is important to her, she said. "I want to maintain the quality of life that we have here on the island, but also maintain it for everyone, and not just certain pockets of the island," Jean-Pierre said. She added keeping millennials in her district and revamping downtowns are also important. "We are moving at a slow pace and we need to pick it up," she said. "The reality is young people want to live downtown. They want to be near restaurants. They want to hop on a train and not drive all the time. We have to create a more accessible transportation system."

Kevin V. Sabella

Background:  Kevin V. Sabella, 29 of Lindehurst, is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Tax Revolt lines. Sabella is a paralegal for a law firm in Woodbury. He received a paralegal certificate from Nassau County Community College in 2014. Sabella also earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Stony Brook University in 2012. A year later, he attained a master's in public policy from Stony Brook. For the past five years, Sabella has worked as a Republican committeeman for his neighborhood, gathering signatures from residents to get prospective candidates on ballots. That provided his first experiences talking to voters. Sabella said it served him well in learning how to engage with residents.

Issues: Sabella said his grass-roots campaign is based on what voters have told him. The big issues in his district are availability of quality jobs, combating the opioid crisis, and securing funding for infrastructure renovations at schools, he said. Sabella also said he would like to see two types of fast-track programs for high school students, one a college preparatory currriculum, and another to prepare students for vocational education as an alternative. He would also like to secure grants for fire departments to make sure firefighters are able to get proper equipment uniforms, noting, it costs about $3,000 per uniform. Sabella said opioid addictions "claimed many lives and destroyed many families." Sabella lost a friend from an overdose, he said. "I am listening to the people," Sabella said. "I'm not saying what I think people want, I'm actually out there talking to them, engaging with them, conversing with them." Sabella continued: "People want to thrive in the economy. They want to be able to afford to live here. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor and not have a high taxation state and overregulation of business."

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