Backed by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, Supervisor Peter Barber and Congressman Paul Tonko, Niccoli addresses supporters at her Guilderland headquarters opening. / Photo by: Gary Ginsburg
GUILDERLAND—“George Amedore has continuously ignored the needs of families right here in the 46th,” said Sara Niccoli, state senate candidate and a resident of the senate district covering Montgomery and Greene counties, as well as parts of Albany, Schenectady and Ulster counties. “I look forward to fighting for our communities, our schools and our small businesses.”
“The residents of the 46th Senate District know that we need real leadership in the state senate dedicated to building community, not a personal brand. Property and school taxes continue to climb as public infrastructure, schools, and community services deteriorate,” said Niccoli, who has made education funding, ethical government and lower property taxes key focuses of her campaign.
Nicole holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and currently serves as town supervisor in the Town of Palatine in Montgomery County. She also operates a second-generation farm and directs the non-profit Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State. She runs the farm alongside her husband Sean, who works a second job as a mail carrier, and the couple has a 13-year-old daughter named Olive.
Niccoli told Spotlight that she was originally inspired to run for the seat after witnessing her daughter’s experience in the rural Fort Plain Central School District. “It’s systematically underfunded in ways that are hard to imagine,” she said. “She was getting only half a year of art, she was doubled up in English and Math classes to prepare for the high-stakes testing. She was just miserable, and this is a kid who had loved going to school. And to see that brightness and that curiosity turn into dread was really hard as a parent.”
Niccoli was clear that she holds state legislators such as Amedore directly responsible for damage done by the common core debacle and lack of funding. “It’s a failure of our current senator, absolutely,” she said. “Last year, the legislature voted for that education reform package that basically extended the common core high-stakes testing and continued in that same budget to systematically underfund our rural and small-city schools.” As town supervisor, Niccoli said that she also sees how local municipalities are making up for funding shortages through school and property taxes. “It’s not rocket science,” she said. “The solution is clear. Albany needs to pay up its share of state aid, but there’s no one fighting for the 46th district to make that happen.”
The campaign headquarters opening was attended by campaign supporters who complained that they are tired of unethical behavior in state government, high property taxes and severely underfunded public schools. Niccoli outlined her priorities to the crowd, including proposals to alleviate the tax burden on working families, improve the quality of public education and reform state government. Local elected officials stepped up to endorse her candidacy, introduced by Town of Guilderland Supervisor Peter Barber.
“Sara Niccoli had dedicated herself to improving the lives of struggling working and middle class New Yorkers,” said Senator Neil Breslin (D-44). “She has proven that she will work across the partisan aisle to achieve results, reform government and better serve her constituents. Sara is precisely the type of leader we need in Albany.”
“Public service means doing the work on the ground necessary to connect with your community and knowing firsthand the issues that affect your friends and neighbors,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-20). “That’s what Sara has done her entire life, and I know she will take that undying dedication for our community to the State Senate.”
“As the mother of a public school student and a local family-farm operator, Sara Niccoli understands the challenges our working families and taxpayers face,” said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D-109). “She will be a strong voice for middle and working class families in the State Senate and I am proud to endorse her candidacy.”
Residents are invited to visit campaign headquarters to discuss their concerns about what’s happening in state government as well as their priorities to improve the quality of life in their communities. Niccoli also unveiled her campaign website: http://saraniccoli.com/.