A Look Back on My Freshman Year

A column from Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls)

Reflecting on the last six months as assemblyman for the 145th Assembly District, I can’t help but reminisce and notice how my outlook on the way things work has changed. For those of you who still remember that first week back home after your freshman year of college (some of us have to think back farther than others), the world just seemed different. You felt a sense of maturity or growth as an individual. This same growth is what I was able to experience over the last six months serving in Albany. I have a lot of life experiences, but this job has taught me I still don’t know everything.

I am really proud of what has been accomplished in my first year as assemblyman for our district. Yes, the ride-sharing for western New York is a big deal, as well as increased school aid and apprenticeship program funding, but we have been able to accomplish more than just policy. One of the aspects I am most proud of so far is the bi-partisanship I have been able to form with my colleagues in the Assembly. While my views on a certain issue may differ from my Assembly Majority colleagues, they certainly value my opinion and will often explore my way of thinking in order to create better legislation. This is what governing is about; working across the aisle for the betterment of all people, not just a select few.

While I am proud of the accomplishments in my “freshmen year,” I was a bit disappointed. As promised during my campaign, I introduced an ethics bill that addressed all of the issues talked about so heavily during the election season. The disappointment came when I arrived in Albany and realized ethics had taken a back seat for many members. This time next year, ethics will no doubt be a talking point once again, as it always seems to be during an election year. However, I kept my promise and committed myself to some of the strongest ethics reforms in the nation.

Over the last six months, I have learned a lot and met many great people. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to do what I do, but am happy to be coming home for a while. I miss the people of our community, and am excited to be home for more than three days at a time. I look forward to seeing all of you out and about in the district and continuing to work for you, the residents of the 145th.

I have said it before, but will say it again. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you.