Niskayuna Democratic Candidates Take "Community First Pledge"

Niskayuna Democratic Committee

June 11, 2019 - Today the Democratic candidates running for elected positions in the Town of Niskayuna have pledged to put our community over politics, taking a "Community First Pledge" to run fact-based campaigns supported by only local donations and local campaigners.

The pledge is simple - keep it factual, keep it transparent, and keep it local -and includes three guiding principles:

• Keep it factual - stick to the truth.  Use facts only - including public and published references and statements - in campaign materials and interactions;
• Keep it transparent - accept donations only from local residents and organizations (and candidates’ family members and personal friends) – nothing from state political parties.  Also ensure all New York State Board of Election campaign filings are up-to-date; and,
• Keep it local - campaign using only local supporters. No paid out of town political operatives getting involved in local Niskayuna issues.

“I fully support the pledge and the principles in it,” said Lisa Weber, candidate for town supervisor and current town board member. “Our residents deserve representatives who put our community first, keep their promises, use facts when addressing issues and have no outside influence. I fought back against the supervisor's proposed tax and fee increases and cuts to services, and want to continue working on the things that matter to Niskayuna residents including fiscal integrity, a new community center, the opening of the new splash pad, other improved community amenities such as our parks and recreation facilities.”   

“We want to ensure local issues are addressed by local residents,” said Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, candidate for town board. "The residents I speak to care about property taxes, safety, quality of life, and community services and programs.  They also want all of us to work together.  We have a rich diversity of talent in Niskayuna, and when elected I will rely on local residents for advice, counsel and perspective. We will all work together to get things done for all Niskayuna.”

The Niskayuna Community First Pledge has been signed by all of the town’s Democratic candidates facing opposition: including supervisor candidate Lisa Weber; Town Board member Bill McPartlon; Town Board candidate Rosemarie Perez Jaquith; and town clerk Michelle Martinelli.  As a sitting member of the judiciary, Democratic Town Justice Stephen Swinton, who is running unopposed, is prohibited from directly involving himself in political fundraising. 

"We're focused on the residents of the town and want this campaign to be focused on local issues, such as keeping the town a safe and affordable place to raise a family and retire," said Bill McPartlon Niskayuna Town Board member running for a second four-year term. "I’ve lived in Niskayuna all my life.  We’re a small town with engaged local residents. We don’t need outside sources trying to influence our elections or town government.   That's why we're calling on all candidates to take the Community First pledge. Let's stick to the facts and keep our election local."

“As town clerk, I currently maintain factual and transparent records and I will continue to uphold these practices,” said Michele Martinelli, Niskayuna Town Clerk. “My integrity will not be compromised.”

"In 2017, town residents had their mailboxes flooded with no less than six negative mailers funded by outside groups, such as the New York Republican State Committee," said Lisa Weber. "These mailings made false, frightening claims, attacked family members, name-called, and smeared strong records of accomplishments.  Our residents deserve better. That's why I applaud all of our candidates for promising to run a fact-based, local campaign that will not be supported by tens of thousands of dollars in negative campaign mailings from outsiders.  The promises in the pledge may seem simple, but in today’s political climate, I feel strongly that we need remind our residents we are factual, transparent and locally-focused. The pledge is our guarantee to put the Niskayuna community first – not politics – which our residents should and do expect of us."

In addition to the candidates running for office, Town Board members John Della Ratta and Denise Murphy McGraw also signed the pledge.