Bowman, Biaggi back new lieutenant governor candidate


U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman and state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi on April 21 both backed Ana María Archila for lieutenant governor. Their endorsements come after Gov. Kathy Hochul’s running mate, Brian Benjamin, resigned from that position two weeks ago after he was indicted on corruption charges.

At 17, Archila left Colombia, where she was born and raised, to come live in New York City. During Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings in 2018, she ignited a media storm after challenging former Sen. Jeff Flake while he rode the elevator over his support for Kavanaugh’s nomination.

On the senate
campaign trail

Lisa Hofflich, who hopes to succeed Alessandra Biaggi in the state senate, last week released a six-point public safety plan to address the recent increase in violent crime. Her proposals include investing in officer training and youth intervention programs, curbing the flow of illegal guns, and tweaking the state’s bail reform laws.

At the top of Hofflich’s list: more funding for mental health interventions. In a press release, Hofflich said she would push for programs in which mental health professionals embed within local police departments throughout the state. She also said she will ensure officers have received proper de-escalation training when interacting with someone suffering from a mental health crisis.

Even though Gov. Kathy Hochul recently tweaked the state’s 2019 bail reform laws through the state’s budget process, Hofflich still wants more changes. As an example, Hofflich said she wants judges to be able to set bail for felony gun charges in cases in which a gun was sold to someone younger than 18.

Finally, Hofflich wants to clamp down on the rise in hate crime in the area, working to deliver more funding for the Securing Communities Against Hate Crime Program.