Matt Varvaro Running For Assembly

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Port Washington resident Matt Varvaro is running for the 16th Assembly District. He is running against the Democratic candidate Anthony D’Urso running for the Michelle Schimel’s seat. He’s met with thousands of voters, members of local school boards and local elected officials. He’s attended meetings, led public forums and participated in debates. varvaro_matt
Varvaro seeks to eliminate unethical conduct and corruption in Albany. Varvaro urges voters to send someone to Albany who is not a career politician. Having worked in government for the past seven years, but never having held an elected position, He believes that he embodies the ideal combination of someone with political experience and an outsider, who would effectively bring a fresh, yet knowledgeable, perspective to Albany.
“One of the issues that I’ve been talking about is that state contracts and grants have a tendency to end up in the hands of campaign contributors because we put elected officials in a position to direct state contracts and grants,” said Varvaro. “That creates a clear conflict of interest. I’ve proposed outsourcing the contract and grant process to an independent third party panel composed of industry experts whose members are appointed on a bipartisan basis.”
Varvaro finds that his age has served only as a benefit throughout his campaign, and said that voters are pleased to see young people that want to better their community.
“What I like about politics is that it gives you the opportunity to work on so many different issue, whether they’re education issues, economic issues, or health care issues,” said Varvaro. “If you have the right people in place and the right policies in place, you can do so much good to improve people’s quality of life, and to improve your community.”
Varvaro has worked on former Governor George Pataki’s presidential campaign, and has served as a Legislative Aid to North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio.
“Matt is a smart, honest, energetic, independent-minded candidate,” said De Giorgio. “We need people like him in public service.”
Varvaro hopes that his potential constituents will vote based on policy and not on party affiliation. He believes that many of the issues integral to his campaign—such as ethics reform, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, environment protection, and immigrant rights—are either not particularly partisan or ones that have garnered bipartisan support.
“There is partisanship in Albany,” said Varvaro. “I’ve spoken to Republican members of the Assembly, and, basically, as Republican, you can’t even introduce a bill to the floor for a vote unless the majority of Democrats support it. It’s unfortunate, but it underscores that if you’re going to be a Republican in the Assembly, you need to find common ground with Democrats, so that you can find bills that you agree on and make sure that they’re passed into law. Polarization is an unfortunate reality of our political process, and that’s why we need to elect people who are willing to be open and independent-minded, and willing to work with people on the other side. Throughout this campaign, I’ve demonstrated that I’m more than willing to do that.”
One issue that Varvaro thinks anyone could get behind is tax and regulatory code reform. Varvaro has proposed overhauls that he claims would reduce the cost of living and doing business on Long Island, and grow our economy by easing the tax burden and dismantling regulations that lack economic or public safety justification.
“If you want to be a barber in the State of New York, you have to go through 800 days of technical training to get a barber’s license,” said Varvaro. “All that does is act as a barrier of entry into the workforce for individuals that want to practice their trade. My reform of tax code would not be a revenue negative thing. Yes, you’d be lowering rates, but you’d be compensating for that revenue by getting rid of loopholes and handouts in the tax codes. For example, our state spends about $400 million a year on a tax credit for movie companies that decide to film movies or TV shows in the State of NY. That’s cool, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a $400 million tax credit going mainly to giant movie companies that everyone else has to pay for. I’d eliminate that handout and then lower rates across the board by $400 million. We wouldn’t be costing the state any money; we’d just be making ourselves more competitive.”
Varvaro argues that these reforms would allow for the creation of more jobs. He said that our economy is transforming into a largely information-based, service economy, and that our public education system, accordingly, needs improvements.
“I think that technology has transformed basically every other sector of the economy, and that those revolutions haven’t yet made their way to the classroom,” said Varvaro. “Students in this day and age don’t just learn by sitting in a classroom and being lectured at; they learn and process information by interacting with their iPhones, iPads and computers. Our education system doesn’t do nearly enough to accommodate the way that students learn. When I get to Albany, I’ll propose education reformation legislation that funds technology in the classroom, and that also incorporates it into the curriculum so that it’s part of the way students learn on a day-to-day basis.”
Another major issue Varvaro hopes to tackle is the mounting heroin crisis. He hopes to suppress doctor shopping—when patients obtain multiple prescriptions for highly addictive drugs by visiting multiple doctors and pharmacists. He suggests that this phenomenon can be prevented by enacting lock-in, which limits one patient to one doctor and to one pharmacist. In terms of law enforcement, he contends that we should be diverting our resources from lower level drug offenses (like marijuana) to drugs like heroin in order to identify and incarcerate large-scale drug dealers. He believes that imprisoning heroin users is much more expensive and much less effective than treatment and rehabilitation. He said that access to such services should be expanded so as to help drug abusers overcome their addiction and get their lives back on track.
“If people are sick and tired of the level of corruption and the status quo in Albany, I think that there’s only one candidate in this race that has actually laid out detailed plans and specific proposals on how to address ethic reform, grow the economy, help create jobs, promote lower costs of doing business on Long Island and reform education,” said Varvaro. “I hope you will send an outsider that is truly committed to reform. I am that person.”

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