State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who represents the Lower East Side, announced this morning that he’s stepping down. Here’s the email blast that went out to constituents a short time ago:
For years, we’ve fought together for a better Albany and a stronger district. From the beginning, your support, advice, energy — and, yes, criticism — have been an enormous inspiration. That’s why I wanted to let you know directly why I have decided to resign from the Senate this Friday.
Like many across the country, since November, I’ve thought a lot about how best to change the direction of our country, and stand up for core values that are under threat. After much reflection, I have decided to lend my hand to make a difference in states across the country, pushing policies and candidates that will create a fairer and more democratic future. It’s not possible to take on this challenge and continue to be a full-time legislator, which is what I always promised I would be.
When I was first elected in 2008 in a season of hope and change, I hoped to bring enthusiasm for government to the district, and a government to be more proud of to Albany. Though progress has sometimes been slow — and there is much more to do in this much less hopeful time — the many constituents, colleagues, and staff with whom I’ve partnered have kept that enthusiasm, and pride in public service, alive.
Together, we’ve secured millions for public housing, storm resiliency, and waterfront parks. We’ve won a Lunar New Year school holiday, and a more equitable parks system. We’ve fought to hold Albany accountable, cut through red tape, advocated for subways, and tried (and tried, and tried) to fix a corrupt campaign finance system. I’ve been grateful for every chance to support a local school, make an intersection safer, or stand up to a bad landlord. It has truly been an honor to serve the people of the 26th District.
The timing of my decision means the 26th District Senate seat will be filled in this November’s election — and I remain committed to continuing to fight for an empowered Democratic majority.
Thank you again to the many people with whom I’ve worked. Your faith in a better Albany and a stronger district continues to inspire me. And thank you especially to the constituents who hired me over these last nine years. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve.
In today’s Daily News, Squadron goes into more detail about his future. “In the coming months, along with entrepreneur Adam Pritzker and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University,” he wrote, “I will launch a national effort focused on addressing (the) crisis (facing the national Democratic Party) — joining others already doing important work toward 2018 and beyond.”
In the opinion piece, Squadron also made reference to the demise of Sheldon Silver, his former counterpart in the State Assembly. Upon winning the seat in 2008, he noted:
I believed in state government’s potential. I still do. But over the years I have seen it thwarted by a sliver of heavily invested special interests. In the state Senate, for example, Democrats have repeatedly been denied control of the chamber by cynical political deals, despite winning an electoral majority — including in 2016. And the status quo has proven extraordinarily durable: It barely shuddered when the leaders of both legislative chambers were convicted of corruption.
Squadron represents the 26th District Senate seat, which includes all of Lower Manhattan and sections of Brooklyn. There’s not much time before November, so there’s sure to be a mad scramble by candidates interested in succeeding Squadron in Albany. More to come about that as details become available.
UPDATE 10:31 a.m. If Squadron’s seat will be filled in November, Governor Cuomo must call a special election. Members of the Democratic County Committee would select a nominee at a meeting sometime in the fall.