Since joining the New York Assembly in March 2012, Assemblymember Kearns has fought to conserve housing values and neighborhoods as well as the tax bases of towns, villages, cities and counties with the Good Neighbor Bill A.88 and Good Faith Bill A.824-A. The bills both deal with making banks responsible for the properties they foreclose upon and honest, reasonable and fair when conducting a foreclosure. The bills will improve neighborhoods and residences and also their assessed values, which in turn will fortify the tax base of many municipalities. The level of a society’s enlightenment and compassion can be directly measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Assemblymember Kearns knows firsthand the concern and anxiety that caring for a loved one with a mental health disability creates for a family. His brother Paul has suffered from the effects of encephalitis from an early age and is mentally handicapped. The proposed $90 million in cuts by Governor Cuomo to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities would put many members of our most vulnerable population at too great a risk. OPWDD has absorbed $350 million in cuts over the previous five years and these measures by the Governor in Assemblymember Kearns’ estimation are simply too far. Assemblymember Kearns has co-sponsored a bill to restore this funding and become a tireless advocate in making the injustice of these cuts known to the public. Our youth as the future of any society are a vital area of interest for any forward thinking and progressive politician. Assemblymember Kearns has worked to bring a $2 million dollar athletic field to the South Buffalo area. The problem of obesity and diabetes are a growing problem, which need to be addressed early on in the life cycle with common-sense solutions. An area for the community’s youth to play and get out and exercise on a comprehensive and inclusive level is the type of practical measure that is needed, and Assemblymember Kearns’ actions speak louder than flowery rhetoric. Assemblymember Kearns also believes in broadening youth horizons and perspectives by helping obtain a $187,500 Greenway grant for a sailing program which will afford inner-city youth the opportunity to learn about sailing, team work, collaboration and strategies for reusing resources and products that are environmentally friendly and make sense. Volunteerism has a rich history in the United States. Often in times of great need or crisis the nation and its leaders have sought help from America’s common people to address and solve intractable problems. In order to tap these dormant resources, specifically our youth and elder population, Assemblymember Kearns is sponsoring a Volunteer Tax Credit Bill A.5266, which will incentivize volunteers to help with natural disasters and young adults along with senior citizens to become involved and integrated with the workforce to help forge solutions. Assemblymember Kearns is also honoring the contributions of 142 everyday people who are working to make the 142nd District a better place, people who sacrifice a great deal often without any recognition or thanks for their contribution to the greater good. Nominations of deserving individuals can be made by contacting Assemblymember Kearns’ office by phone, U.S. mail or email.