Assemblywoman Barron: Community-minded, working for peace and power

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 5/4/2012, 4:01 p.m.
One half of an undisputed Brooklyn power couple, New York State Assemblywoman Inez Barron is...
Assemblywoman Barron: Community-minded, working for peace and power

One half of an undisputed Brooklyn power couple, New York State Assemblywoman Inez Barron is a Brooklyn-born and -raised woman and a career educator-turned-grassroots politician. "Peace and power," is how she signs off on her emails.

Last month, the incumbent announced her candidacy to serve for two more years in the state Assembly.

Acknowledging that she and her husband, the never-too-shy-to-comment Councilman Charles Barron, make a wonderfully complimentary match, Barron told the Amsterdam News, "We are the only married couple representing the same district in two different legislatives bodies, him in the city and me in the state."

This November makes it 30 years of marriage for the devoted couple.

Barron revels in the influence she has earned in the upstate political circumference in which she now dwells.

As she campaigns for another term, Barron reiterates that she will continue her commitment of service to the communities of East New York, Brownsville and Canarsie in the 40th District, with an emphasis on education, health care, economic development, housing and environmental justice.

Since her election in 2008, Barron has strived to be a staunch advocate for improving transparency and accountability in government and working for the good of her constituents.

"There's so much that can be gained working within the political arena," said Barron. Affordable and comprehensive housing, health care and education ranks highly in her mission. Barron says she is able to do this with more sway in the Assembly.

"It has been exciting, exhilarating, fulfilling to find out about what the political programs are and what is really going on in the Assembly, state agencies, with the legislation you sponsor or co-sponsor and making sure it reflects the people you represent.

"You must be an active participant in that process. By being in the Assembly, I have been able to learn about the entire state, the towns, the cities and how the agriculture affects the economy. You see the balance between upstate and downstate."

Barron also noted her concern over the "power that the speaker has" and feels that some of the power play dynamics in the upstate institution need exposure. For example, she said, "I am very disturbed that the Senate has created an additional senatorial district, because it has been created to keep the balance on the Republican side."

Last May, Barron announced the passage of comprehensive legislation strengthening New York's rent-regulation laws and protecting Mitchell-Lama tenants in the event of a buyout (A.2674-A). The bill extends current rent-regulation laws until June 15, 2016.

"My most significant legislation was keeping Mitchell-Lama at Starrett City. With the economy still recovering from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, it's crucial we ensure that already cash-strapped tenants aren't forced out of their homes due to skyrocketing rents," said the assemblywoman.

"My legislation keeps Mitchell Lama at Starrett City for another 30 years. That is huge, because a move was afoot to raise the rent to market level. Strengthening rent-regulation laws and putting oversight mechanisms in place to protect tenants from unfair rent hikes will help keep our communities together," she added.