Save the Date: Smart Cities Forum

Please save the date for my upcoming Smart Cities Legislative Forum: Savings, Safety, and Innovation for Tuesday, November 15 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the New York State Capitol’s Assembly Parlor.

Cutting-edge technologies such as smart street lights and next generation high-speed connectivity are the wave of the future. Municipalities across New York State are discovering how these can be used to improve quality-of-life for residents while producing needed savings and increasing safety. In coordination with the New York Conference of Mayors, the event will feature several mayors and municipal leaders, including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. I will be joined by my Capital Region Assembly colleagues: John McDonald, Angelo Santabarbara, Phil Steck, and Carrie Woerner.

Also speaking at the forum will be Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman and retired General Electric CTO Mark Little, in addition to other notable business and community leaders including Capital Region Chamber President & CEO Mark Eagan.

The forum will focus on efficiencies, barriers, and solutions for cities to fully integrate smart technologies. The event is free to attend, but pre-registration is required due to limited capacity. Register via Eventbrite.

Bright Idea: Mid-Hudson municipalities save nearly $800,000 by converting to LED streetlights. Governor Cuomo highlighted communities in the mid-Hudson Valley that have saved $790,000 due to converting to LED streetlights. I am proud to have sponsored and championed, alongside Senator Joseph Griffo, the Streetlight Replacement and Savings Act legislation to help make this possible - and will be highlighted at the Smart Cities Forum above. The legislation established procedures for the transfer of ownership of complete street lighting systems to municipalities or other government entities. With the change in ownership, municipalities take control of the lighting on their own streets and have the opportunity to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lights and new technologies to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment.

Below are a few other notes and highlights that I’d like to share with you.

Be Fair To Direct Care rally. I joined my state legislative colleagues, including former Assemblymember Harvey Weisenberg, for a rally for better wages for direct care workers. There are more than 100,000 caregivers statewide, in which they feed, clean, and assist disabled New Yorkers in a variety of activities.

Groundbreaking for new facility for Albany Damien Center. The Albany Damien Center is the leading provider of services in the Capital Region to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and New York State, the center will now be able to provide supportive housing to help ensure people get the care they need. Congratulations to Perry Junjulas and all at the Damien Center on this hard-earned and tremendous development.

Access to Hudson River Heritage Areas. I joined local and state leaders in announcing a new website and guidebook for the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area. Read and listen more about this innovative development via the WAMC Web site.

Albany Backpack Food Program. Children in our community go hungry every weekend during the school year. A partnership among the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, The Albany Fund for Education, and the Junior League of Albany wants to change that. Visit the Albany Backpack Food Program's GoFundMe page for more information.

Guilderland recycling event at Farnsworth Middle School. The Town of Guilderland will be hosting a recycling event at Farnsworth Middle School on Saturday, October 29. This community-wide event is open to both residents and non-residents of the school district. No certificate of residency is required and all items are dropped off at no charge to attendees.

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note.

Sincerely ---