New Scotland and the Hilltowns need Hinchey

To the Editor:

As an Albany County legislator, I represent parts of Bethlehem and New Scotland in the Albany County Legislature. However, I often think about the implications of policy beyond just my district and even beyond the county, to include the whole region.

It was this perspective that drove me to be the prime sponsor of the recently passed Albany County Clean Air Bill. The benefit of cleaner air will not be limited to Albany County but will improve the public health of the entire Capital District.

This same perspective is why I want to strongly endorse Michelle Hinchey to be the next State Senator for the 46th Senate District. While we agree on many issues that can benefit my constituents in Bethlehem and New Scotland, such as more reliable broadband service in our rural areas; investment in green infrastructure and sustainability; support for the innovation economy, green jobs, and the rapidly growing renewable energy sector, I see her election to the State Senate as benefitting the entire Capital District.

As a member of the Senate Majority Caucus, she will have a seat at the table when the Senate makes critical decisions on budget matters and policy decisions that can benefit her constituents here in the Capital District. Indeed, she will be able to work seamlessly with the entire Capital District delegation in the Assembly and the Senate to best address the needs of all our citizens across the region.

The next senator to represent the 46th Senate District will have to face an issue that is already affecting the entire Capital District, and beyond. That issue is climate change.

We are already witnessing warmer average temperature locally, and more serious climate disruptions such as more extreme floods, storms, and wildfires across the country. These events have ramifications for public health and safety, economic hardship, and the destruction of critical public infrastructure.

For the Capital Region and especially the 46th Senate District with its location adjacent to the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, climate disruption can lead to serious flooding and, in the case of the Hudson River, sea-level-rise implications all the way to the Troy dam.

But every problem, even climate disruption, presents opportunities for positive improvements if decision-makers and the public face the problem, seek to understand the relevant facts and science, analyze policy options, and move forward with solutions to address the problem.

Climate change is coming and we need elected officials who recognize the problem, seek out the facts, and are ready to act for the benefit of our communities. With the right policy choices and public investment, the Capital Region, and the 46th Senate District, can become a center of innovation and green job creation as the state adapts to the new reality of climate change and spurs investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate-friendly agriculture, and eco-tourism.

With the right government leadership, our communities in the Capital District can become models of sustainable development.

This bright future is in stark contrast to where we find ourselves today. Because of mismanagement at the federal level, including an unwillingness to recognize the problem, seek out the relevant facts and science, and implement public policy to protect every American, we are suffering through an avoidable pandemic and economic collapse.

As the state goes about rebuilding our economy and our communities in response to the COVID-19 national disaster, we need a senator in the 46th Senate District who values public health, the environmental assets that are so critical to our quality of life and our future economic well-being, and a vision for a better future for all our citizens, whether they live in the Hilltowns of Albany County, in a riverfront community along the Mohawk or Hudson River, or call the Catskills their home.

I believe that Senator is Michelle Hinchey.

William Reinhardt


District 31

Albany County

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