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Angry Response to "Road Block Awards" on Long Island

PHOTO: A staffer from State Sen. Jack Martins' office exchanged words with several dozen Long Islanders who delivered so-called "Road Block Awards" to the senator's office in Mineola. Photo credit: Elana Levin/Make the Road Action Fund.
PHOTO: A staffer from State Sen. Jack Martins' office exchanged words with several dozen Long Islanders who delivered so-called "Road Block Awards" to the senator's office in Mineola. Photo credit: Elana Levin/Make the Road Action Fund.
October 16, 2014

NEW YORK - Several dozen Long Island women, parents, workers and immigrants showed up at State Senator Jack Martins' office Wednesday to deliver so-called "Road Block Awards."

Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, says Martins is voting in lockstep with GOP leadership in the state Senate in Albany to block important legislation on key issues, including women's equality and health.

"The state Senate, as it currently exists, and Senator Martins are a critical part of this," says Miller. "He will not recognize and protect women's health, and respect a woman's right to choose."

Sen. Martins declined to meet with the delegation, and a campaign staffer got into a shouting match with constituents as they delivered the 'awards.' Martins joined the rest of the Long Island GOP Senate delegation in voting against the Women's Equality Act.

Javier Guzman with the Make the Road Action Fund in Westbury says many Long Island families are working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Martins voted against the proposed increase in the minimum wage.

"What they are saying is they stand for big corporations to make more money," says Guzman. "But the thing is, if people are really making more money, there would be more spending."

The proposal would have increased the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.10 an hour, with authorization for localities to raise it further. Martins joined the rest of the Long Island Senate delegation in opposing the wage increase.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY