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.

Saying that she is “very, very pleased” with this achievement, Barron added that she also feels gratified to “have the influence of the office to express to the general public [their] ability to get contracts and being able to express my opposition to the attorney general to the Murdock Group being awarded the contract for Race to the Top.

“Fortunately, they did not get it. At Brookdale Hospital, we fought to have the staff be a part of the negotiations because they wanted to merge, and we wanted to fight that…They also switched the union health benefits so they are not as good.

“I just want to be a voice to represent the little guy, the working people, the oppressed and the poor,” said Barron. “We are able to have enormous influence in the Assembly. The work my office does includes fighting foreclosures. Mr. Marvin Faulkner – who works in my district office, has worked with over 80 families whose homes are in danger of being foreclosed upon, and non have lost their homes.

“Health and housing are the important elements that we are concerned with. I am happy with what my staff has done.”

Barron was also instrumental in the Assembly’s rejection of special education cost shifts that would have put students with disabilities at risk and further burden taxpayers.

“Blind, deaf and disabled students are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Now is not the time to put them at an even greater disadvantage by eliminating all of the direct state aid for these historically state-supported schools for the blind and deaf instead of shifting these special education costs to local school districts.”

Some of the other legislation Barron has pushed includes stopping the special millionaire tax break and helping thousands of unemployed New Yorkers. Committees she has been a member of include Aging; Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Health; Higher Education Housing; and Social Services

Smiling broadly, Barron added that she loves being in the Assembly and working for her district. “I marvel at it, because it is not something I set out to do. It is something that I was drafted into by my community. So I am humbled that God has blessed me to do this.”

As she ramps up petition-gathering in her district, Barron told the Amsterdam News, “My campaign is very grassroots. We have all volunteers–no paid staff. People come to us because they respect the work we have done. Our donations mainly come from low- to middle-income people; we get small donations from community people, including labor.”