Friday, October 19, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne secures state funding to assist TAUNY with demonstration kitchen improvements

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, has announced she has secured $10,000 in state funding for Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) to purchase equipment for its demonstration kitchen.

"I've had an opportunity to cook in the TAUNY kitchen and  understand why it’s a community favorite. It brings a Food Network setting to the streets of Canton. It also serves as a great venue to promote and keep alive some of the North Country's traditional dishes,"  she said.

"Since the completion of TAUNY's beautiful demonstration kitchen in 2015, it has become an important center of activity at The TAUNY Center," Executive Director Jill Breit noted.

"We are so grateful that the funding secured by Assemblywoman Jenne will allow us to take another step forward in realizing our full vision for the space. We are especially pleased to be able to invest in equipment that will allow us to launch a podcast series about regional foods and recipes," Ms. Breit said.

"It's an opportunity to get people to come in and share their family traditions. It's a way to get people together in a family setting," she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she was delighted to learn the funding will allow TAUNY to make some necessary equipment upgrades to the kitchen at 53 Main St. in Canton.

It will also enable TAUNY to purchase of video equipment to give audience members a better view of the demonstrations in the kitchen.

Ms. Breit also gave Assemblywoman Jenne a tour of the two major exhibits currently on display at TAUNY.

The Folklore Artist Spotlight features the work of Canton artist Kathy Montan. Her felt artwork is described as the culmination of a 30-year love affair with wool.

Assemblywoman Jenne also had an opportunity to check out the TAUNY Instrumental Stories exhibit, featuring a host of regional instruments, from improvised, home-made examples to the work of master craftspeople who supply many musicians in their communities. The exhibition includes an exploration of the context in which these instruments are used throughout Northern New York.

The exhibition features new and heirloom instruments made or used in Northern New York; highlights the craftspeople and community members who make, play and preserve them; and explains the social and spatial settings in which these activities take place.

Instruments came from private collections as well as regional museums and historical societies.

TAUNY collects, preserves, interprets, and presents the customs and traditions of the 14-county North Country region north of the Mohawk River, from Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to Lake Champlain, including the Adirondack Mountains.

With archives, exhibits, and programs in Canton and throughout the region, TAUNY celebrates the diversity of living North Country traditions inherited from the past, maintained in the present and passed on to the future.


Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne (r) and Traditonal Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) Executive Director Jill Breit discuss some of the improvements that will be made with $10,000 the assemblywoman secured in state funding for TAUNY.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne secures $75,000 in supplemental state aid for Watertown City School District

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, met with the superintendent of the Watertown City School District to discuss the $75,000 in supplemental state aid she has secured for the district.

The assemblywoman has secured $825,000 in supplemental state aid for the Watertown City School District since 2014-15.

"North Country school districts were hit hard during the recession and by our failure to adopt equitable state aid policies for our rural and small city school districts. I'm pleased to be able to bring supplemental state aid to the North Country, helping relieve the burden on local property owners while sustaining and growing valuable programs for our students," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Watertown City School Superintendent Patricia LaBarr said the additional funding will be used to address issues on the district's wish list.

"We will look at our punch list for items that are good for our kids and also something that our community can benefit from. We typically think about areas like music and the arts, STEM activities, guest speakers, something like that," Ms. LaBarr said. 

"We are always beyond grateful for the support we get from Assemblywoman Jenne. It's like a gift you weren't expecting. It's a gift that will impact tons of kids in our district so thank you," the Watertown school superintendent told Assemblywoman Jenne.

Superintendent LaBarr said the $100,000 that Assemblywoman Jenne secured last year was used to purchase a new pottery wheel for the high school arts department, replace folding chairs that had been used by the district's music department since the 1960s and buy updated equipment for its high school science laboratories.

Superintendent LaBarr said she was appreciative of the additional funding that allows the district to purchase items on its wish list.

"This supplemental aid is like a gift you weren't expecting. It's great to know we have somebody in Albany like Assemblywoman Jenne fighting for our kids," she added.


Watertown City School Superintendent Patricia LaBarr (l) discusses possible uses for $75,000 in supplemental state aid Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne secured for the district for the 2018-19 school year.

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.