Today we are pleased to present the MyRye.com Q&A with State Assembly candidate Meg Cameron. She is running against incumbent Steve Otis in the June 23rd Democratic primary race.
You can submit an absentee ballot for the June 23rd primary election. All voters should have received an absentee ballot application in the mail (see here if you need further information). There will be in person voting options but it appears locations have not been announced – you should call the Westchester Board of Elections.
Don’t get confused with the Rye School budget and board of education candidates vote (learn more about the school budget and read the MyRye.com interviews with the seven candidates running for the two board of education positions). Actual ballots for this election have been mailed automatically to Rye voters and should be arriving Wednesday / Thursday to homes. These ballots must be received in the school district offices by 5pm on June 9, 2020.
Here is the interview with State Assembly candidate Meg Cameron:
Your Name: Meg Cameron
MyRye.com: Why are you running for State Assembly District 91?
Cameron: To recover from the coronavirus crisis, we need representatives in Albany who will be fierce advocates for our communities. As a small-business owner, a community volunteer, and Chair of the Rye City Democratic Committee, I’ve made a difference locally. Now I’m ready to make a difference in Albany, as a fresh, new, caring voice for the district’s families, schools, businesses and community organizations.
Why are you running for State Assembly District 91 now?
Even in ordinary times, leadership of the NYS legislature should be like a flowing stream, not a stagnant pond. Today, more than ever, our district would benefit from a representative with business experience, concern for families, and a degree in Immunology.
What are the three most important ways State government can help the City of Rye?
- The City of Rye and other Sound Shore municipalities will need continuing financial help of various kinds for local governments, schools, community organizations and residents who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Gig workers, minority and women-owned businesses, and for that matter, all small businesses have been hit hard, and the State must find innovative solutions to keep them afloat.
- Despite the terrific response of our schools and teachers, home learning has been tough on children, and even tougher on family life and work schedules. If home learning continues on into September, teachers, children and families will need lots of practical support; this might include providing teachers with ready-to-use, distance-learning-friendly curricula and lesson plans; ensuring that every student has a computer or tablet, Internet service and a nutritious lunch; figuring out how to teach young children without a deleterious amount of screen time; and arranging child care tax credits, vouchers or safe day care facilities for working parents.
- Just as County Executive George Latimer does, our State representatives must be willing and able to work collaboratively with our City government for the common good.
Whether or not the State is able to help or not, what are the three biggest opportunities / challenges facing the City of Rye over the next 3-5 years?
- OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Rye City is facing a future in which the only certainty is that revenues will be lower than anticipated. We have a strong, effective City Council, which I anticipate will see us through the crisis with careful planning and smart fiscal management; however, some badly-needed capital projects may have to be postponed.
- OUR SCHOOLS – We have a wonderful school system, but it faces the unprecedented challenge of planning for a future in which the very location and mode of learning are up in the air.
- OUR DOWNTOWN AND SMALL BUSINESSES – Rye residents and the Chamber of Commerce are doing their best to keep our local businesses going. However, some of those businesses – as well as our beloved community organizations – may need a combination of luck and continuing financial relief to survive.
How do you expect the operation of State government to change in the wake of COVID-19?
In the immediate future, NYS’s revenue will sink as its expenses rise, so it needs to be smart and creative with taxpayers’ dollars. Over a million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment and the state must continue to help them, and the small businesses that employ them. If home learning is still necessary in September, the State should find ways to make the situation practicable for teachers, children, and working parents.
Not including Governor Cuomo, who are three current elected or appointed State officials who you admire and why?
- Howard Zucker, NYS’s Commissioner of Health, a physician with an extraordinary list of accomplishments (his CV is 42 pages long, single spaced), led New York in numerous good public health measures, including standing firm against the anti-vaccination movement. More recently, his aggressive coronavirus prevention and containment strategy doubtless saved many lives.
- NYS Attorney General Tish James is a pathbreaker, as the first African-American and the first woman to be elected to this position. With initiatives ranging from rooting out Medicaid fraud to keeping toxic chemicals out of our food supply, James is making good on her promise to protect the rights and advance the interests of all New Yorkers.
- State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is another pathbreaker, as the first African American woman – in fact, the first woman – to occupy this position of power. Under her leadership, the Senate passed a raft of progressive legislation on issues including voter access, reproductive health care, the climate crisis, LGBTQ rights and gun safety.
How much money have you raised for your campaign through May 1st, 2020?
Please list any organizations that have endorsed your candidacy
Institutional support usually goes to the incumbent. My campaign is about building grassroots support throughout the community.
I’m very proud to be endorsed by Moms for Meg! a group of mothers in Assembly District 91 who want a change in Albany. They are elected officials, lawyers, activists, Democratic party leaders, yoga teachers, non-profit leaders, stay-at-home parents and business executives, and they’ve joined together to enthusiastically endorse my candidacy.1
Please list any current elected officials that have endorsed your candidacy:
- Rye City Mayor Josh Cohn
- Rye City Council Member Julie Souza
- Rye City Council Member Ben Stacks
What is your favorite book?
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
What are you watching these days?
Netflix; Rachel Maddow
How many years have you lived in Rye?
Web and social media:
Meg Cameron grew up in Brooklyn, with two brothers and parents who wrote for true-crime magazines. She went to P.S. 7/8 and then had the good fortune to attend St. Ann’s on a scholarship. She earned a BA/BFA from SUNY Purchase, and a Masters’ degree in Immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
After graduate school, she became a stay-at-home parent to her two children, Jesse and Veronica Cameron-Glickenhaus. Jesse and Veronica attended Milton School, RMS and RHS, and were involved with sports, music and dance, while Meg volunteered in their classrooms, tutored English as a Second Language and delivered Meals-on-Wheels. She served on the board of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic for nine years, helping provide high-quality, affordable care including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control and prenatal care – no matter what.
Meg, along with her husband Jim Glickenhaus and their son Jesse, owns Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG), New York’s only car manufacturer. Based in Westchester, SCG makes exotic sports and race cars and gives employment to over 100 people in Italy and the United States. When hospitals began filling up, SCG offered to loan their large factory building for use as a temporary hospital for as long as necessary. They also used their connections, expertise and time to get companies to produce PPE and distribute them to hospitals at cost, inspiring Forbes to write, “Like all of the other manufacturers answering the call to arms, SCG isn’t in it for the profit.”
For six years, Meg has been Chair of the Rye City Democratic Committee. Under her leadership, the committee attracted enough new members to double in size; won the majority of seats on the previously-all-Republican City Council; and gave the city a strong, effective local government. In addition, she has been a tireless volunteer for Democratic causes and candidates and helped Democrats up and down the ballot get elected to office. Because regular change in leadership is beneficial, she asked the Rye Dems to enact term limits for the position of chair, and will complete her final term this June.
Meg is engaged with the district’s people, and the County’s business climate and politics. She has made a difference locally and is ready to make a difference in Albany.