The Herald encourages voters in the 18th Assembly District to return Assemblywoman Taylor Darling to Albany with their votes next Tuesday. Since she defeated longtime Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper in 2018, Darling has made herself readily available to her constituents, and accomplished much on their behalf.
Working with other local elected officials, Darling, a Democrat, secured the former Freeport National Guard Armory for the village. For years the building had stood dilapidated, an embarrassing eyesore. Although discussions about what, exactly, to do with the property have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Darling and a majority of residents have expressed their support for converting the building into a community center.
Darling also worked with fellow state and village officials to craft amendments to the state criminal discovery law passed last year, which forced Freeport to raise property taxes for the first time in seven years to cover an expected increase in Police Department and court costs. Thanks to the work of Darling and others, the law was revised, and the village will be sending out $2.7 million in tax rebate checks to property owners in the coming weeks.
Through grant acquisitions, Darling helped the Freeport School District purchase 20 new smartboards, and helped the village library secure the funding it needed to finalize plans for a new youth section. She said she would continue to work to secure further funding for schools, and push to rewrite the Foundation Aid formula to increase state aid as well.
An industrial organizational psychologist, Darling told the Herald’s editorial board that she believes in tackling the systemic issues that plague the 18th District — income inequality, lack of communication between residents and government, and food insecurity — which have been made apparent during the pandemic, as low-income areas and communities of color have seen higher infection rates than neighboring communities. She said she would target aid to the communities that have been most impacted.
Although the Herald made several attempts to reach out to Darling’s Republican challenger, Cherice Vanderhall, her office did not respond.
We have seen the evidence of Darling’s committed advocacy for residents of her district, and enthusiastically endorse her re-election.