Ulster County Legislator
New Paltz, District 20
Help shape the future of Ulster County:
Eve Walter offers a fresh outlook and new solutions to meet New Paltz’s most pressing needs: adapting to climate change while building a thriving, resilient local economy that provides well paying jobs and affordable housing so people can have a good quality life with financial security and a health care system that works for all of us.
As an educator, researcher and mom residing in New Paltz, my local knowledge, policy expertise and concern for our community is what New Paltz needs right now. My plans to improve our local economy, care for our environment, and fix our local health care system, puts our community first. As county legislator I will be a strong voice for our New Paltz values.
ENSURING A HEALTHIER, GREENER COUNTY
As a public health researcher I understand the importance of accessible, affordable, high quality healthcare and the barriers we have to attaining this. We have two struggling hospital sites in Kingston and as a result, those with the means travel across the river, or to Albany or New York City for their significant health care needs. To ensure high quality health care for our residents our County must take an active role in identifying solutions to convert our major hospital into a high performing health care center.
We are all impacted by high taxes. Ulster County retains too large a share of our sales tax revenues, leaving a disproportionately small amount for its towns and villages. By decreasing the percentage currently being withheld by the county, we can significantly increase the much-needed funding to invest in our village infrastructure, as well as reduce our local taxes. A second untapped source of support for infrastructure can be assured by committing current bed tax revenues from short term rentals to the exclusive use of infrastructure maintenance, again reducing our local taxes.
Though we have begun the process of becoming a green county, there is still more to be done to make Ulster County a 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon emissions county. We should look at specific solutions, such as requiring new home construction to be powered by renewable energy, converting underutilized farm land to wind farms; and reforestation of denuded areas. These are among the proven solutions seen across our country and globally. This agenda should be integrated into our budgeting plan in order to create an achievable, economically sensible path to full sustainability
FIGHTING FOR EQUITY AND PROTECTING RIGHTS
Our county legislature just passed the Human Rights Law, which empowers the county’s Human Rights Commission to investigate and act on reports of discrimination here at a local level. While this is an important first step, I am committed to working on protecting rights, fighting racism, sexism, and attacks on our LGBTQ community that persist in our schools and neighborhoods. I am further committed to identifying and supporting pathways out poverty, and ensuring that human rights apply to immigrants and migrant workers as well.
As Planning Board Chair I am in regular conversations about ways to increase affordable housing. Access to affordable housing has long been an issue in Ulster County that is only worsened by the growing number of homes converted to short-term rentals by non-residents. We must address this problem, recognizing that there are three unique housing-challenged groups: young adults, families, and seniors. As your advocate in county government, I will press for changes in construction codes to mandate affordable housing units in new building, incentives to build affordable single-family homes, and a continuing analysis of housing needs.
Whether working with my students at SUNY New Paltz or conducting community needs assessments, I have seen firsthand how important workforce development is to our community and County to the young graduates who must seek work elsewhere separating them from family and the community, to the unemployed and underemployed adults. Information technology, , education, and healthcare are the largest industries in the county, and continue grow; Jobs in trades such as mechanical, plumbing, and electrical are also part of the backbone of our community. We can use the resources of BOCES, Ulster Community College, and the Department of Labor to implement workforce training tailored to these areas of opportunity.
Affordable transportation is not only vita to residents needing transport for education or employment, but also to reducing traffic in communities like ours in New Paltz. It is integral to maintaining our community character and integral to smart growth. Innovations in our transportation system are possible to make it more accessible and user-friendly while maintaining its low cost. As your advocate in county government, I am committed to identifying the pathway to extend our public transportation system by adding a rideshare system that provides accessible, affordable transportation–literally at our fingertips.
REPRESENTING NEW PALTZ VALUES IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT
I have always been a planner. To be a progressive county we must define our goals in the areas of healthcare, environment, and social services and set an agenda for their achievement by 2025 This agenda must reflect our community character and support smart growth. This agenda must also recognize and respect the diversity of race, income, gender, and sexuality in our community as we set to work toward these goals. I believe we can envision and implement a 2025 plan that results in ours being both a fiscally and socially responsible, progressive county that addresses to the needs of all residents.
Whether I am fighting against violence toward women, or fighting for youth services, improved health care, or smart growth in New Paltz, I am also always listening. The needs of our community are complex and can change as the world around us changes. I am committed to remaining accessible and connected to New Paltz. But more, I am a fighter for what is right. Allow me to continue to be your advocate when you need one, your voice when you feel you have none.
I am a part of many communities in New Paltz as someone regularly seen walking around our village, as a volunteer on the planning board, as a parent, as a member of the college, and as a friend. Much of my time as county legislator will be committed to participating in the “conversations” of our village. These conversations happen in schools, libraries, and community centers. They happen at village and town government meetings, marches, and protests. I can only effectively serve you if I continue to participate as a active member of our community.
VOTING IN ULSTER COUNTY
In January 2019, the New York State legislature voted on important reforms to voting you should be aware of including:
- Early voting
- The ability to register as late as Election Day
- Allowing absentee voter without an explanation
Dates for primaries for state and local elections have changed to reflect federal dates so residents have fewer times they need to vote each year. For 2019, residents of the Village of New Paltz will have the opportunity to cast a vote in the primary for: County Legislator, County Executive, District Attorney, Mayor, Village Trustee. The primary is as important—and in some cases more important—than the general election, so please plan to make your voice heard both on:
Primary Election, June 25, 2019
General Election November 5, 2019
All Polls OPEN 6AM and CLOSE at 9PM