Two top leaders addressed current national and state issues as the latest featured speakers in the Daemen College Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series.
At the Oct. 17 lecture, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown talked about his leadership role as chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee and serving in this capacity during the current presidential election.
“As chairman, I had the opportunity to attend both the Democratic National Convention and the first presidential debate and witnessed first-hand New York State’s importance in our national political arena,” said Brown. “We must put the interest of our country first and elect a president who is experienced, prepared and studied on the key issues.”
Noting that this year’s presidential election is one of most divisive in recent history, Brown emphasized the critical role voter turnout will have on the upcoming election.
“The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines and not vote on Election Day,” he said. “Exercising your right to vote is the best way to make your voice heard.”
Brown also weighed in on several issues related to the current presidential race, including immigration, social media use in both campaigns, and deciding on the nation’s next leader.
“From a voter’s perspective, look at each candidate’s qualifications, their positions on key issues, and strategies to help decide who is most fit to be president,” said Brown.
On Oct. 20, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie discussed education, training and employment pathways for the state’s youth.
“Investments in education programs are investments in our young people,” said Heastie. “These opportunities are having a positive impact on youth and opening doors for them to do amazing things in their lives.”
As speaker, Heastie has advocated for reforms and in investments that strengthen families and residents across the state. He worked with the Assembly Majority to develop a financial plan for a $1.8 billion investment in education, addressed homelessness in the state’s communities, and provided families resources to achieve financial independence.
“The job of elected officials is to make our communities better and to provide the right environment that will strengthen our families,” said Heastie, who was elected speaker in 2015. “Making higher education affordable and achievable, providing cradle-to-college options like My Brother’s Keeper, and other opportunity programs are vital to paving the way to success.”
Heastie addressed other topics raised during a question and answer session, including improving the racial climate, ethics reform in the state, and collaboration between political parties.