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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

CSAIR Member Lisa Do Hofflich Runs for NYS Senate

New York’s rescheduled primary elections will take place on August 23, 2022. State Senate candidate Lisa Do Hofflich (D) is running in District 36, currently held by Alessandra Biaggi. The actual district lines aren’t finalized due to redistricting actions.

Asked why she’s running, Hofflich explained, “I’ve heard horror stories about folks struggling and witnessed first-hand some struggles my family has gone through in the last few years. It goes back to my childhood as a war refugee.

“We faced discrimination. It breaks my heart to see hatred blemishing our communities again; racism and discrimination based on what people look like has taken hold of society again. Families struggling just to get by like my parents did when we first came to this country really hits home. Seeing other families make hard choices that my parents had to make, I want to create policies to do better for New York.”

Hofflich was 3 years old, during the fall of Saigon, when her family escaped from Viet Nam. Her father was a lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Air Force whose helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. The Do family resettled in North Dakota, and Hofflich left home to study at NYU. She has lived with her husband in Mount Vernon for 22 years. Their five children attended Jewish day schools in Riverdale, and they belong to the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR).

Hofflich, a former staffer for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, feels that she is running to be a leader on the issues that she believes matter most to New York’s hard-working individuals and families: public safety, economic recovery and climate justice. Her plan to improve public safety addresses the rise in violent crime, increased shootings, acts of antisemitism and attacks on Asian Americans and PacificIslanders. “Senseless gun violence and disturbing acts of hatred seem to have become a part of our daily life. Albany must deploy meaningful dollars and resources to improve public safety.”

To address these issues, Hofflich proposes recruiting mental health professionals, who can then be embedded within local police departments. She will work to strengthen laws preventing unauthorized sale and possession of firearms and limiting the number of guns a person can purchase in a certain time period. She would fund intervention programs to identify at-risk youth and put them on a better course.

Keeping students in schools is one of the best ways to keep guns out of young people’s hands, and she supports expanded funding to public schools and after-school programing. Hofflich has been a champion of the Community Schools model, enriched learning opportunities, collaborative leadership, and family-community engagement.

To keep the public safe, Hofflich also supports setting bail for felony cases involving gun charges, including when illegal guns are sold or given to those under the age of 18.

As an Asian-American woman raising a Jewish family, Hofflich herself has been the target of discriminatory remarks and actions. She said she will work to deliver more funding for the Securing Communities Against Hate Crime Program, so nonprofits and religious organizations can support safety and security projects and educational programming like bias training.

Other policy desires include wrap-around services for students and families to provide medical care, mental health services and access to government social services like WIC and SNAP. Hofflich hopes to increase mentoring services for students, expanding ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs., “I really want to invest in services for children with special needs and learning disabilities,” she said.

Hofflich has had a life-long career in public service. After earning a degree in journalism at NYU, she was an investigative television news producer for CNBC, WNBC and Consumer Reports, and an assignment editor for the show “EXTRA.”

She recently served as Lower Hudson Valley regional director and special adviser for Kirsten Gillibrand on issues related to the Asian American/Pacific Islander community and human trafficking. She is chair of Westchester Asian American Democratics. Prior to the Senate, Hofflich served as legislative adviser to New York Assemblymembers Amy Paulin and Sandy Galef, where she helped write almost two dozen other laws.

A fellow of the U.N. Association of New York’s Worldview Institute, Hofflich helped pass state laws including those concerning human trafficking and domestic violence. She also reactivated Westchester’s National Organization for Women (NOW) Chapter. Hofflich is also a former board member and co-chaired the New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues.

Inspiring other women to get involved in government, Hofflich said: “If you have a belief that you can succeed, it doesn’t matter in which zip code you grew up, or what you look like or your family background. If you believe in yourself and in your community, commit to making the world a better place.”

To learn more about Hofflich, visit her website at www.lisahofflichforsenate.com

By Judy Berger

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