I Love a Parade

The best parts of the campaign have been meeting and talking to my neighbors in Dutchess and Columbia counties and participating in all kinds of Hudson Valley events.

This Saturday, I marched with the Columbia County Democratic Committee in the City of Hudson Flag Day Parade, which is organized every year by the Hudson-Elks. What a great event! Thousands of people lined both sides of Warren Street and cheered the marchers on. As I went along the parade route and shook peoples’ hands, I was heartened by the enthusiasm of the crowd for this community tradition.

From the parade, I went to Tymor Park to participate in the Dutchess County Democratic Committee’s Candidates Forum. I spoke about the need for creative job development. Unfortunately, more than 15,000 people in our area are unemployed, many more are under employed and those who do have jobs feel insecure about their future.

We need sustainable jobs that will put our neighbors back to work while still respecting and preserving the character of our communities, our towns and our environment.

Farming is our past, our present and our future in this region. It must remain a vital part of the economy. With tourism already one of the our biggest industries — bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars — our world class arts, history, foods and farms are natural growth areas for cultural and agricultural tourism.

We need green jobs — jobs that will increase the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, reduce the cost of heating and cooling them, and pass those savings on to residents and business owners. Reducing our dependence on overseas oil is a matter of homeland security.

I ended the day at the Annual Taste of Millbrook fundraiser for the Millbrook Education Foundation, which provides financial support for Millbrook’s public schools. I am proud to serve on the board. Slashed school aid and unfunded mandates are putting a tremendous strain on our school districts, and organizations like the Millbrook Education Foundation can really make a difference.

Didi Targeted by RNC

Dutchess County just became ground zero for determining the future of New York State.

Yesterday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele outlined his party’s strategy to pour money into Dutchess County and two other counties “because of their competitive state Senate races.”

Clearly our message of creating jobs and reforming Albany is resonating with voters – the GOP is running scared – and they’re going to pour money into this district to try and hold this seat and influence your vote.

According to an article in the NY Daily News the RNC plans to open regional offices and run Victory Committees in six counties in New York State “to help the Republicans regain control of the state Senate

– and the next round of redistricting.” And Dutchess County, 80% of our district, is one of the first counties they’re targeting.

Don’t let them succeed! Join my campaign now with a contribution so we can raise the money we’re going to need to keep Washington outsiders from taking control of our state.

My campaign is well underway – volunteers are out canvassing in all the towns, our website is up and mailings will begin soon. I’m building momentum across the district. Everywhere I go people are

greeting my message of creating good local jobs, reining in property taxes and fighting for ethics reform with newfound hope for a better future.

Don’t let Washington outsiders decide how you’ll be represented in Albany. Add your voice to the thousands of your fellow voters who say it’s time for us to take control of our own future. Join my campaign


The national Republicans have shown us how important they think this race is – now we need you to do the same. Right now we need to raise $50,000 to reach the goal for our first campaign filing deadline on July 11th. I hope I can count on you for $25, $50, $100 or even more if possible. We’ve got to be ready for the outsider led attacks that are sure to be coming.

contribution you can.

This is our moment – don’t let outsiders take it away.

U.S. Sen. Gillibrand Endorses Didi Barrett

At our Women’s Political Rally this afternoon it was announced that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is supporting Didi Barrett for State Senate in the 41st District. This is an honor for Didi because Senator Gillibrand is a role model for women candidates.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Announces Her Support of Didi Barrett

Hyde Park, NY (10/11/10) – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced her support of Didi Barrett’s candidacy for State Senate in New York’s 41st District. The announcement was made at a Women’s Political Rally held on Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday by the Barrett campaign.

“We need Didi Barrett in the State Senate. She is a proven problem solver, who is committed to turning our economy around and working with small businesses and communities to create good-paying jobs. This is the kind of leadership we need in Albany and Washington, and I am proud to endorse her campaign,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is especially significant, as we celebrate the birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, to acknowledge Didi’s lifelong dedication to creating better opportunities for young women and girls.”

Barrett said she was not only honored to receive Sen. Gillibrand’s endorsement because of the significance of the date, but also because the Senator has been a role model.

“Sen. Gillibrand has shown that it is possible for elected officials to work in a bipartisan fashion to do what’s best for your constituents. She has inspired me personally, and shown what a difference a strong, committed woman can make in government,” said Barrett. “I hope to follow in her footsteps by being the person who gets things done for the people of the 41st District.”

The incumbent in the 41st District, 20-year State Sen. Stephen Saland, has a dismal record when it comes to women’s issues and reproductive rights. Time and time again, Sen. Saland has voted to limit the ability of women to make health decisions about their own bodies, voted against expanding employees’ eligibility for excused leave for breast cancer screening, voted against a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and voted against no-fault divorce.


New York’s 41st Senate District

This is an extraordinary, incredibly diverse region. Our community is a snapshot of America.

We have cities — Poughkeepsie, Beacon and Hudson. They are small cities but the have all the big city perks and problems.

We have suburbs, small towns, and villages, hardworking farms, top-notch farmland, and unparalleled natural resources including the Hudson River and the foothills of the Berkshires.

We have great colleges — Vassar, Marist, Bard, the Culinary Institute of America, and two fine community colleges, Dutchess and Columbia-Greene. We have world class cultural institutions: Dia:Beacon at the southern end, Olana at the north, and the Bardavon and Fisher Center in between, as well as outstanding theater, dance, art, and music.

And history! From Fishkill’s Revolutionary War depot to the great homes along the Hudson to the Shaker industries in Chatham and New Lebanon, the region is fantastically rich in American history.

I wonder how many state senate districts can claim to be the home of two U.S. Presidents? We can — Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Van Buren.

We are truly blessed to live in one of the most spectacularly beautiful and culturally rich places in America.

Happy Independence Day

Yesterday, I joined the Hyde Park Democratic Committee and marched in the spirited Hyde Park Independence Day parade. How special to be walking through the hometown of FDR. I feel I am carryingboth his and Eleanor’s legacies: FDR was the last Democrat to hold the State Senate seat I am running for. When nominated, he said, “ I accept this nomination with absolute independence. I am pledged to no man; I am influenced by no special interest.” How well put! I, too, am committed to remaining independent minded when I get to Albany.

Today, I’m going to Fishkill for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The Fishkill Supply Depot played a key role in the Revolutionary War and was visited many times by General George Washington. I’ll also be visiting Poughkeepsie’s Mt. Carmel farmers market and the Beacon farmers market. Local farmers continue to be a vital part of our regional economy.

Enjoy your holiday weekend with family and friends.