Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council on frontlines of health care in region

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, noted that while programs run by the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, Inc., (NCPPC) have changed and grown over the past 30 years, the organization's commitment to serving the health needs of the region's residents has never wavered.

The assemblywoman, speaking at a luncheon at the Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton marking the organization's 30th anniversary Tuesday, said the council has changed its mission over the years to best meet the needs of North Country families.

"I really want to thank everyone in this room for their past, present and future work on this very important issue," she said, noting she had been inspired listening to the other speakers at the luncheon.

She said she found listening to the history and evolution of an organization that has lasted for 30 years despite funding stream pressure from the state was informative.

"This agency is at the frontlines of the transition to a modern approach to health care. Breaking down silos, working collaboratively, working regionally. These are all approaches that we know work, and not just here but across the state. It can be replicated in other areas as well," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council was incorporated in July 1988 and was the first perinatal network in New York State.

The agency has expanded its services, programs, collaborations and partnerships which has allowed it to better carry out its mission of strengthening the health and well-being of North Country families.

Services range from reproductive, maternal and women's health services to home visits for adults with chronic health issues.

"Fort Drum coming to our area, becoming the home of the 10th Mountain Division, really helped us in unique ways. This organization is just as critical to our communities," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"They’ve not only helped young families coming to the area but all of us that have lived here forever and always struggled with access to high-quality and affordable health care," she added.

The assemblywoman recalled she and her three siblings went to Dr. George Sturtz without insurance, and he would develop a payment plan to make it work.

But she said over time things changed, and it became more difficult to access affordable health care without insurance.

"The NCPPC has helped people in our community make that transition and continues to do so," she said.

Assemblywoman Jenne presented NCPPC with a citation from the New York State Assembly honoring its 30th anniversary.

"I join you in celebrating the success of this modern approach to health care, and I’ll be sure to bring that message with me to Albany. This is an approach that works, and we need to make sure it’s heard," Assemblywoman Jenne said.



Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne congratulates the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, Inc., on its 30th anniversary. Tina Cobb, the agency's executive director, stands in the background.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: Demonizing teachers benefits no one

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, condemned State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for his vitriolic and misguided attack on the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

Senator Flanagan referred to the teachers’ union as “forces of evil” during an appearance on an Albany radio program earlier this week.

"It's simply the latest effort to demonize teachers, and it benefits no one. Our teachers face challenging times as their role has increasingly become educator and social worker. They need our support, not elected officials name-calling," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"Our teachers are always a convenient target for some Republicans, a disturbing trend that has far- reaching and long-lasting impacts on our state," she said.,

Assemblywoman Jenne called on her challenger, Mark Walczyk, to join her in denouncing Majority Leader Flanagan for his intemperate remarks.

"I will continue to push back against those who that undermine our teachers and empower Albany bureaucrats. Our teachers know what’s best for North Country students, and I’ll continue fighting to return local control to our communities," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"As a parent of school school-age children, I’ve seen the dedication of our teachers firsthand, and the additional work they undertake when politicians decide to 'reform' education," she noted.

Assemblywoman Jenne has always fought for North Country teachers and students. She secured record increases in education funding and passed a measure to delink teacher evaluations from standardized testing. She has also secured over $1 million in supplemental state aid for school districts in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties over the past two years.

Assemblywoman Jenne also spearheaded Beverly Ouderkirk’s nomination to the New York State Board of Regents. Ms. Ouderkirk's work on the board has helped reduce testing and empower teachers to play a larger role in setting education policy.

"These kinds of baseless attacks harm our education system. I will not stand silent and allow misguided political leaders to bash our hardworking educators. We should be doing more to support our teachers. We need high quality, dedicated teachers to educate our citizens, our future workforce,"
Assemblywoman Jenne stressed.

She noted teachers have been leaving the profession early and teacher preparation programs, like the one at SUNY Potsdam, have seen sharp declines in enrollment in recent years.

"Attacking teachers is not the solution; it's part of the problem. How can we expect students to behave in school when politicians don’t treat teachers with common decency and respect? I was raised to respect my teachers, and I'm raising my children the same way," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

IBEW Local 910 endorses Assemblywoman Jenne

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne has announced she has been endorsed in her bid for re-election to the New York State Assembly by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 910.

"I would like to personally thank you for your effort on behalf of my membership and other families in Northern New York," Local 910 Business Manager John T. O'Driscoll wrote Assemblywoman Jenne in a letter informing her of the endorsement.

"The support you've shown on the issues that are most important to us are appreciated and do not go unnoticed," Mr. O'Driscoll added

Assemblywoman Jenne said she was grateful for Local 910's support.

"I an honored to have the support of local men and women working throughout the region on projects large and small. The members of Local 910 take pride in their work and our community. I thank them for their commitment to North Country communities and for their continued support," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Local 910 represents nearly 500 professional electricians working on projects in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties.

The assemblywoman has also been endorsed by New York State AFL-CIO,

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Public Employees Federation (PEF), Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the Police Benevolent Association of New York State (PBA of NYS).

"I'm always proud to have the support of organized labor. Our unions built the middle class in this country, and they’re important today as our economy helps the rich get richer while the middle-class works longer hours and still falls further behind. I will continue to fight for fair wages and benefits for all workers," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne calls on opponent to denounce his party's repulsive political tactics

Assemblywoman Addie Jenne, D-Theresa, called on her opponent, Markalczyk, to denounce the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee’s (RACC) dishonest and shameful campaign tactics.

“We treat everyone with respect in the North  Country, regardless of who they are or if we disagree with their beliefs,” Assemblywoman Jenne said. “Mark Walczyk seems to have forgotten that. His shady political hitmen in Albany have put out numerous ads, claiming I tried to improperly direct state money for a building rehabilitation project.”

But the facts prove otherwise, The Watertown Daily Times investigated these claims and found the assemblywoman’s version of events to be credible.

“These kinds of dirty political tricks have no place in the North Country. I’m calling on my opponent to condemn his Albany backers and put an end to these dishonest attack ads. If he’s unwilling or unable to stand up to his party bosses, how is he going to stand up for our families in the Assembly?” she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne represents the 116th Assembly District, known as the River District, that stretches from the shores of Lake Ontario in Jefferson County to the locks in St. Lawrence County.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, emphasized the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and highlighted her commitment to supporting survivors and holding abusers accountable.

“Domestic violence is too often a tragedy that goes unreported and isn’t talked about,” Assemblywoman Jenne said.

“Raising awareness and giving a voice to survivors is critical to helping more people escape the cycle of abuse and build a new life,” she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne has championed measures to help survivors of domestic violence break free and get the support and resources they need to move forward.

She helped pass legislation earlier this year to allow victims of domestic violence to be released from telephone, cable and shared wireless contracts without cancellation fees to prevent contracts from tying them to their abusers.

She also supported a bill preventing employers from discriminating against employees who are victims of domestic violence so more survivors are able to keep or find jobs and gain financial independence.

Assemblywoman Jenne also voted for legislation to ensure survivors understand their legal rights and access to services during both criminal and family court proceedings.

She supported a bill to increase the statute of limitations in actions for injuries occurring as a result of domestic violence in civil court proceedings from one to two years.

And to help more survivors access care without fear, Assemblywoman Jenne championed legislation to require health insurers to provide victims of domestic violence with the option of having claim information and benefits sent to an alternative mailing address.

“Health care, employment, legal rights – these are all vital footholds that allow victims of domestic violence to take that uncertain first step out of a dangerous and violent home situation and set foot on a new path,” Assemblywoman Jenne said.

“This month and every month, we must remember how important it is to believe and support survivors as they pick up the pieces of their lives,” she noted.

Assemblywoman Jenne has also backed legislation to ensure abusers and dangerous individuals don’t have access to firearms.

She helped pass a measure to establish “extreme risk” protection orders to allow courts to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or having firearms.

Assemblywoman Jenne also worked to make the Domestic Violence Escalation Prevention Act law to keep guns out of the hands of abusers.

Help and support for anyone experiencing domestic violence is always available, Assemblywoman Jenne noted.

Survivors or loved ones can reach out to New York’s toll-free hotline 24 hours a day at 1- 800-942-6906.

For local assistance, The Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County can be reached at 866-782-1855 and Renewal House in St. Lawrence County has a 24-hour hotline at 315-379-9845.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne gets update on poverty reduction initiative in city of Watertown

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says the work being completed through the $1 million grant she fought for in the state budget demonstrates the need for greater state assistance to move families in the River District out of poverty.

The assemblywoman met this week with Peter Schmidt, director of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative in the city of Watertown, to get an update on how the grant money is being spent. The United Way of Northern New York is administering the grant for the city.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she and Mr. Schmidt focused on the transportation and housing components of the grant program at their meeting.

The Watertown Urban Mission was allocated $150,000 for a "Wheels to Work" program. The transportation services can range from obtaining a reliable used vehicle to auto insurance and vouchers for maintenance repairs or state inspections.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she learned that the need for financial assistance in purchasing vehicles is more acute than the need for help making insurance and repair payments. The Urban Mission is spending up to $4,000 on vehicles to help low-income families get to and from work.

The families receiving the vehicles are required to make monthly payments of $100 for their vehicles and are also responsible for the maintenance costs.

"It has proved to be very popular. That's not a real surprise because we know the lack of reliable transportation is an issue that keeps many people out of the workforce," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

She noted ESPRI officials are already looking for additional sources of funding to continue that program.

"I think the success of the program in the city of Watertown, the first city in the state to implement its ESPRI program, may open up additional funding sources for this program," said the assemblywoman.

"The United Way of NNY has data that proves the success of this program. We know the working poor in our community are benefitting from this program," she added.

"We all need reliable transportation to get back and forth to work in the North Country and that can be out of reach for some families seeking to transition out of poverty and for the working poor seeking to maintain employment," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she and Mr. Schmidt also discussed the ESPRI housing program.

The grant called for $300,000 to be awarded to the Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity for the Pathway to Home Ownership. Working with the Development Authority of the North Country, Neighbors of Watertown and the city of Watertown, the program calls for six to 10 homes to be bought in distressed areas, rehabilitated and then sold to low-income families. Assemblywoman Jenne noted that leadership turnover at Thousand Islands Habitat For Humanity has led to some changes in the administration of the program.

"It appears Neighbors of Watertown will be playing a higher profile role in this program, but the goal remains the same. The plan calls for purchasing distressed homes, paying for materials and utilizing volunteer labor to rehabilitate those structures," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The grant also allocated $196,000 to the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, which will be used to implement two training programs. One program will educate community members about the complexity of the issues surrounding poverty and how there is no single approach to overcome it, while the second will help individuals living in poverty take charge of their lives by developing strategies that can lead them to a better life.

Another $175,000 was allocated to the Jefferson County Department of Employment & Training to help implement the "Employer Resource Network" program, which will connect employers with success coaches that can assist employees who struggle with poverty.

Assemblywoman Jenne noted the 2016 executive budget called for ESPRI funding to Albany, Binghamton, the Bronx, Buffalo, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Oneonta, Oswego, Syracuse, Troy and Utica. She successfully fought during the budget negotiation process to have the city of Watertown added to that list.

AFSCME endorses Assemblywoman Jenne for 116th Assembly District seat

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has endorsed Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne in her bid for re-election to the New York State Assembly.

"This endorsement is based on your support of issues of importance to public and non-profit employees. As a state assemblymember, you have been an advocate for working families and the essential public services that New Yorkers rely on," Brian McDonnell, political and legislative director for AFSCME New York, said in a letter informing Assemblywoman Jenne that she had received the endorsement.

As the largest public-sector union in the state, AFSCME represents over 400,000 members from six affiliate organizations ­– CSEA, District Council 37, District Council 1707, AFSCME Council 66, AFSCME Council 82 and AFSCME Council 35.

"I'm proud to have the endorsement of a union that represents so many hardworking men and women in the North Country ­– men and women responsible for maintaining our roads and bridges, providing important services for our county and municipal governments and our school districts, caring for our most vulnerable and maintaining public safety and security," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The assemblywoman has also been endorsed by New York State AFL-CIO, 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Public Employees Federation (PEF), Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the Police Benevolent Association of New York State (PBA of NYS).

"I'm always proud to have the support of organized labor. Our unions built the middle class in this country, and they’re important today as our economy helps the rich get richer while the middle-class works longer hours and still falls further behind. I will continue to fight for fair wages and benefits for all workers," Assemblywoman Jenne said.