Monica Martinez to Represent New York's 3rd Senate District

The Editorial Board

Throughout State Sen. Monica R. Martinez’s first term, she has served as a strong advocate for her district. An immigrant from El Salvador who came to the United States at age 3, Martinez brings a fresh perspective and understands her ever-changing constituency.

The Brentwood Democrat rightly points to district issues she wants to address, including sewers, economic development and even the dreaded Oakdale Merge. Her attention to women’s rights has been particularly welcome.

Martinez’s efforts to push for amendments to initial bail reform legislation were smart. But in her first two years in Albany, she often remained behind the scenes, sometimes not taking a position until her caucus did, such as on the repeal of the 50-a law that hid police disciplinary records. At other times, Martinez failed to understand Long Island’s needs, such as when she co-sponsored prevailing wage legislation that would have hurt development efforts. While she touts her independence, that at times was problematic, such as when Martinez, 43, opposed banning religious exemptions on vaccinations for school-aged children. She should rethink her focus on parental choice over public health in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alexis Weik, 48, is the Town of Islip’s receiver of taxes. She criticizes the state’s bail reform efforts, but doesn’t have a clear vision on what she’d like to see instead, and wrongly says absentee balloting has been "disastrous." Weik lacks a basic understanding of school district funding and any original ideas on how to close the state’s budget gap. And the Sayville Republican’s position on vaccination is even more dangerous than Martinez’s, as she says she opposes any mandatory vaccines for children attending school.

In her next term, Martinez should use her capable voice to take a stronger stand for Long Island on statewide issues. Her independent streak will have more impact if she takes center stage.

Newsday endorses Martinez.