By Emily Churchill
Democrat Herman D. Farrell, Jr., has a long history in State Assembly District 71. This lifelong Harlem resident has represented his neighborhood since 1974 and has been chair of the Ways and Means Committee since 1994.
He faces Republican Vanessa Stanback in the general election on November 8.
Farrell, 84, won his last election in 2014 with 93.5 percent of the vote, according to Ballotpedia. In addition to Ways and Means, Farrell serves on the Rules Committee, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus and the Puerto Rican / Hispanic Task Force.
Among his accomplishments are the passage of the Ominbus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act and the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act. The former includes such provisions as requiring banks to provide low-cost lifeline checking accounts, and the latter allows states to grant money to tenant advocacy groups. His most recent actions include touring the conversion of Public School 186 into affordable apartments and a Boys & Girls Club. The ribbon-cutting for this project is scheduled for October.
He has three children and two granddaughters.
As of September 10, Farrell has raised $102,250 in contributions for 2015 and 2016, according to the New York State Board of Elections.
Farrell’s significant focuses are:
Farrell is involved with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus’ scholarship program and frequently visits local schools and organizations to discuss education funding and school quality. In addition, as chair of Ways and Means, Farrell supported the 2016-2017 state budget, which increased education aid by $1.47 billion.
Farrell visits and speaks with members of his community frequently to clarify and discuss concerns relating to the cost of housing. He co-sponsored Bill A07526, which deals with enhancing “tenant protections for rent regulated tenants.”
Farrell wants to increase the usage of green technology, not only for the positive ecological impact, but also for improving air quality. In addition, Farrell has raised concerns about the environmental impact of hydrofracking (a process in which highly pressurized water is driven into a drilled well to extract natural gas) throughout New York.