Dustin Reidy cares about students and takes us seriously

To the Editor:

My name is Brendan Cushing, and I am both a senior at the University at Albany and the team leader of GenVote@UAlbany, a local chapter of larger non-partisan, not-for-profit organization called Generation Vote. I’m writing to tell readers why Dustin Reidy has the support and endorsement of students and youth in the Capital Region in the Democratic primary to be the next Albany County legislator for District 30.

Students and youth are the largest demographic of voters in this country, and yet we are plagued with the lowest levels of electoral participation, more so than any other demographic bloc of voters. Why is that?

Politicians, especially seasoned, establishment politicians, have a tendency to disregard the youth vote. In fact, most elected officials seem to feel that students and youth don’t actually have a political voice and as a result should not be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, that view has a way of discouraging students from participating or speaking up. Luckily for students and youth living in Albany County, specifically in the 30th District of the Albany County Legislature, Dustin Reidy not only actually cares about students, but he takes us seriously.

Upon first meeting Dustin, I saw his immediate interest in my GenVote team and me, regularly inquiring about what our team was up to both on campus and in the surrounding Albany community. Dustin was inspired by our work in the Albany community and often tried to support us and the work we were doing any way he could.

For example, Dustin joined and attended organizing and lobbying-related events hosted by the LetNYVote coalition, a coalition comprised of community leaders and organizations that collectively advocate for voting reform in New York State, something that is very important to student and youth voters. My GenVote team and I are members of the LetNYVote coalition and quite frequently lobby and organize on the coalition’s behalf.

Dustin also often made sure that Pat Strong’s political platform effectively addressed and represented public policy initiatives supported by students and youth. In the spring of 2018, my team and I conducted a massive Student Opinions Research Project during which we polled almost 700 undergraduate students on what issues they felt impacted the Capital Region the most and what kind of public policy they would support as a result.

Dustin not only took great interest in the conclusions that were drawn from our research, but he made sure that Pat Strong’s political platform adequately represented and addressed our Student Public Policy Platform.

Last week, my GenVote team and I hosted an event on campus during which we presented the data we collected during our Student Opinions Research Project and the Student Public Policy Platform that was built from it. We had a handful of representatives from various levels of local government, including the New York State Assembly, Albany Mayor’s Office, Albany County Comptroller, and the Albany County Legislature, attend the event to address our Student Public Policy Platform and participate in an open discussion with the undergraduate student body at the University at Albany regarding student-supported public-policy initiatives.

Dustin attended our event and was the most engaged and enthusiastic representative on our panel of guest speakers. In fact, a great many students in the audience knew Dustin, some having had worked with him on various campaigns in previous years, which just goes to show that Dustin is a regular supporter of student engagement, organization, and student-supported public-policy initiatives.

Dustin Reidy is so much more than a pillar of his community. Dustin is a support beam, a concrete foundation and then some for the town of Guilderland and the Capital Region. Dustin is a champion for those that the political machine has turned its back on, and most importantly, Dustin Reidy is a champion for students and youth in the Capitol Region.

That is why I, Brendan Cushing, wholeheartedly support Dustin Reidy for Albany County Legislature and encourage students and youth in the Capital Region to do the same.

Brendan Cushing


Editor’s note: District 30 covers the part of Guilderland from Route 155 in the west to the Thruway in the east. Bryan Clenahan, who had represented the district, left the post to become a Guilderland town judge. Charles D. Cahill Jr. was appointed to fill out the year remaining in Clenahan’s term but does not plan to run to keep his seat. Steven D. Wickham and Dustin Reidy are running against each other in June 25 primary for the Democratic line.

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