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By John Restuccia

New York State is changing rapidly. In the most recent months, politics seems to be moving even farther to the left, with the election of people like Alexandria OCRAZIO-Cortez. The New York State government is completely dominated in all branches by the left. Just look at our current reigning King, Andrew Cuomo, who cares nothing about the state or the debt we are in. A Democrat-lead assembly with Carl Heastie, an assembly member that has shown a problem detailing campaign expense for some mysterious reason. Of course there’s the one and only Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who helped to completely dissuade Amazon from setting up shop in New York, costing the state millions in revenue. All levels of Albany have clearly failed. However, as I look on to the dreary horizon that is New York politics, I do see a blip on my radar that indicates hope. That blip is my state senator, Fred Akshar.

State Senator Akshar took office after the passing of Thomas Libous, another titan in Albany. Thomas Libous was an incredible state senator, greatly reshaping the Broome County Area. He was not only a good man, but a great one that changed Broome County for the better. Senator Akshar is his successor, and has without a doubt has been a fantastic state senator. 

My major problem with most politicians is that they tend not to remember their roots, nor do they understand the common constituent. Politicians often do not work blue collar jobs, and therefore don’t understand the working individual’s problems. Working individuals are the backbone of this great land, making up a majority of Americans. Fred Akshar came from humble beginnings, working for the police force, specifically in the sheriff’s office. To me this symbolizes something greater than politics. Fred Akshar is a man who has shown he cares about our community, even before running for office, by making us all a little safer. He never forgot this, as he continues to show great support to those serving the community, a trait that is seemingly becoming more rare.

When he first got to the Senate, Fred Akshar turned his attention to the opioid epidemic, an issue that has begun to strike the core of America. This crisis may not be exclusive to Broome County, but it certainly has hit the area hard. With a background in law enforcement, Akshar is one of the only people in Albany who has hands-on experience with the drug crisis facing our community. So often people in Albany take a position or seat on a committee they know nothing about, directly affecting thousands of New Yorkers. For once, Albany has a representative who understands his strengths, as well as his limitations.

Speaking of Fred Akshar using his strengths, each committee that he serves on is a field that he has a background in, or a fantastic understanding of. He is on the Alcoholism and Substance Committee as well as the Crime Victims, Crime, and Correction Committee, a perfect fit with his previously discussed law enforcement background. The other committees he is currently on include the Codes Committee, Labor Committee, and the Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee. While he does not have a direct background in these fields, his experience comes from the conversations he is known to have with local businesses. Consistently on his social media, he is shown staying in the district visiting our communities and local businesses to better understand the problems that relate to these committees he serves on.

The reason I write this isn’t just to make a puff piece about one of our community heroes, but to demonstrate how important a good public servant can actually be.  Oftentimes, corruption overshadows the good that leaders do. To be fair, in New York State we tend to have a lot of corruption. In this current New York political climate, it is easy for anyone to fall into the trap of viewing everyone in Albany as a corrupt hack. I myself fall into this mindset. However, Akshar is an exception that reminds me that there’s hope in Albany. If Andrew Cuomo is the Emperor in Return of the Jedi representing the evil of the galaxy, Senator Akshar is Luke Skywalker bringing balance to the political spectrum by preserving a conservative voice in Albany.

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