In this installment of our ongoing In Public Service series we speak with State Senator Kevin Parker about his recent run for New York City Comptroller, the Senator’s legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session in Albany, and his re-election effort in 2022.
Brooklyn Eagle: Hi State Senator and welcome back! You are fresh off of your first citywide run for office. Now that the campaign is over, what are your main takeaways from the New York City Comptroller Democratic primary?
State Senator Kevin Parker: I think how I am in constant awe of how incredibly diverse and vibrant New York City is, especially when you are on the campaign trail. Learning a bit more about the challenges facing people across this city has given me a great perspective on how to better serve my Senatorial district.
Brooklyn Eagle: Do you feel like the presumptive citywide office winners of the general election next week are smart and capable choices to manage New York City?
State Senator Kevin Parker: I think you are seeing a dramatic shift in the backgrounds and politics of the incoming Council and citywide elected class. I have never felt more comfortable and confident in an incoming class. I am excited to work with Eric Adams as Mayor, Brad Lander as Comptroller and continue to work with Jumaane as Public Advocate. The new City Council has a lot of potential. There is a real opportunity to bring some actual change and equity to parts of the city that have been ignored or under-served by previous office-holders.
Brooklyn Eagle: With the general election next week, many people are already looking to the 2022 legislative session. What are your top priorities for the State legislative session?
State Senator Kevin Parker: I was excited and pleased we were able to pass a comprehensive set of police reform bills last session, and look forward to continuing the work on bringing forth more bills that implement additional police oversight and accountability. As chair of the State Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications Committee, I was pleased to again receive the highest possible rating from the New York League of Conservation Voters on environmental issues. We passed some important regulatory legislation. I look forward to working with Governor Hochul and my colleagues to look at how we can continue to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Issues around climate change and the environment are among my top priorities for this upcoming session.
Brooklyn Eagle: You are potentially facing some primary challengers for next year’s cycle. What is your message to your constituents and voters on why they should send you back to Albany?
State Senator Kevin Parker: I have passed over 90 pieces of legislation in Albany, making me one of the most prolific State legislators in recent history. This is real, actual public service around meaningful issues like police reform, the environment, consumer protections and more, that is really unmatched across the State. My bill securing a utility bill moratorium due to COVID kept folks connected during tough financial times. We were really proud of that. I am consistently among the most progressive voices in Albany, with over 18 years of service in the State Senate, and two decades more public service from NYC to D.C. and the State Capitol. There is no other option for the 21st that has delivered for our community, and I will continue to deliver for my district.
Brooklyn Eagle: News is breaking around some possible primary challengers to Gov. Kathy Hochul. Are there any folks that interest you as possible contenders?
State Senator Kevin Parker: My focus right now is on my own constituents, and what we can do in the next legislative session starting in January. Kathy Hochul is the Governor of New York right now, and I look forward to working with her and her team. As far as a possible gubernatorial primary, I will be paying close attention to who might be running, and make a decision based on what is going to be best for my district, and ultimately what is best for the people of New York.
Brooklyn Eagle: Any predictions then?
State Senator Kevin Parker: I think the New York Knicks look really good this year, and I can see them going far in 2022.
Brooklyn Eagle: Okay, okay. Thanks so much for your time and look forward to talking again soon.
State Senator Kevin Parker: Thanks so much!