To the editor,

In a press conference earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged upstate New York has plentiful untapped renewable energy resources and could supply the power for most of the state if we built the infrastructure to transmit the power from here to there.

It’s a great idea — one that can bring jobs and prosperity to our district if we have a say — and I’m glad to see that the governor is on board. I was proud to make this a campaign issue in my Assembly run in 2018, and will do so again this year. We now need representation to make sure the 120th Assembly District has a seat at the table as these investments are made, or those lucrative projects will pass us by and go to neighboring districts.

As plans progress through the Legislature, upstaters need to be leading the conversation. These companies will use our land and resources. We need to have the final say, and to benefit. Don’t get me wrong: this is an incredible opportunity for our district to thrive and prosper, creating new revenue streams to become a powerhouse for the state. But it has to be on our terms.

We don’t want problems with our watershed, and we don’t want our resources going downstate when we live in a district where people don’t have reliable electricity or broadband. We need to capitalize on this opportunity to improve our quality of life.

What will being a powerhouse look like for our district? It means we can create meaningful jobs. Industries will start booming again, bringing an inflow of capital and career opportunities for our next generation. It can also spur community development: public transportation, better infrastructure, and an overall better quality of life. At the same time, we will need to ensure that these projects don’t adversely impact our communities, take good agricultural land out of production, or have a negative environmental impact.

The Assembly majority caucus will be leading the decision-making on this. If we don’t want to be left behind when it comes to getting contracts, projects, and infrastructure money, we need a representative in office with a seat at the table, or we will be passed by — again — for the programs and finances that we deserve.

Gail Tosh

Lysander

Candidate, 120th Assembly District

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