Long time Assembly Health Committee Chair, Richard Gottfried just announced that he is ending his fifty two year tenure in the New York Assembly when his current term ends on December 31, 2022. Long a respected and forceful advocate for change, he leaves a list of accomplishments a mile wide. In the coming months there will be much written about his legacy. His leaving public service is a great loss to the countless New Yorkers whose lives have been enhanced by his intelligence, principals and compassion. We will continue to look forward to working with him over the next year.
When I was 13 years old, John Kennedy inspired me to seek a career in public service. In 1970, at the age of 22, I announced my candidacy for the State Assembly. After a hard-fought primary, I got elected. As I enter my fifty-second year in the Assembly, I am announcing that I will be retiring at the end of the current term, which ends December 31, 2022.
I have been honored by the responsibility my constituents, my colleagues, and advocates have given me. It’s a great gift to have been able to do the work I dreamed of and to retire from a career while I’m still loving it. Long ago, my parents taught me social democratic values. I carried those values with me to the Assembly, where I worked with enormously talented staff (past and present), hundreds of dedicated colleagues in the Legislature, nine governors (each with a distinct personality), and
countless advocates and experts. They taught me so much, and their commitment to solving problems for the people of New York is why over 500 bills I sponsored became laws. And most of all, I thank my amazingly supportive and loving family. It hasn’t been easy – particularly during the endless days and nights of budget and end-of-session. But none of this would have been possible without them.
I will continue to fight for my district and constituents and for New York State throughout the remainder of my term. That includes helping New York recover from the public health emergency; fighting for justice, human rights, and reproductive choice; and enacting the New York Health Act to create universal single-payer coverage so we can all have better health care at lower cost.
Let’s get that done!