By Susan Stevens
In her service as a Monroe County NY legislator for the past 16 months, our 2021 endorsee and SDUSA comrade Carolyn Delvecchio Hoffman has faithfully adhered to her mission of governing by listening to her constituents and applying her energy and influence as a restorative balm to the poverty that is the root cause of so much avoidable human suffering.
Central to her rallying cry is her mandate to “radically address poverty,” in full assurance that the reversal of dire economic troubles will ripple outward to increase housing and food security, improve mental and physical health, and make everyone safer.
As the daughter of a retired UAW auto worker, Carolyn knows that poverty is best reversed by organizing and empowering poor and working-class people in worldwide solidarity, so she has not missed a beat in joining forces with working people in her county, such as the RHG nurses who were successful in their drive to form a union, as well as the County social workers who protested for better wages. She therefore proudly bears the endorsements of the Rochester Labor Council, the Federation of Social Workers, Run for Something and the Working Families Party.
As part of her commitment to global solidarity, Carolyn was part of the SDUSA delegation at the Socialist International’s November 2022 Congress in Madrid. Without hesitation, Carolyn used every opportunity at her disposal to step forward, introduce herself, connect at the heart, and build lifelong friendships with comrades laboring for social and economic justice in various parts of the African continent as well as all over the world.
Carolyn is a staunch supporter of just-cause eviction policies and “truly affordable homes,” and has stood with renters in dire circumstances and procured government funding for them. In addition to upholding those workers who are empowering themselves by unionizing, Carolyn is also 100% in favor of living wages, increased housing subsidies, and a universal basic income. She’s excited that Rochester’s implementing a basic income pilot this year! She’s all about fairly taxing the rich and redistributing every dollar to the places of greatest need.
She will keep shining the light on a glaring healthcare discrepancy: Democrats — many of whom are publicly pro-universal healthcare — control the executive and legislative branches of New York State government — and yet the New York Health Act remains stalled. Carolyn has initiated pro-universal healthcare memorializing resolutions with her fellow county legislators, directing these resolutions to state legislators, and stood with pro-universal healthcare organizers at both protests and press conferences. She will not tire of pushing her fellow Democrats to make good on their word.
We progressives are often disparaged as seeming “soft on crime” because of the mistaken assumption that fear of punishment is the basis for law-abiding behavior. Carolyn, in contrast, knows that what she calls “true public safety” is rooted in “well funded, housing-stable neighborhoods with green space, good schools, nutritious food, and the opportunity to pursue one’s dreams…” She supports Daniel’s Law as an important piece of our transition “away from our racist criminal justice system,” towards an established policy of mental health calls being responded to by mental health and social workers. She’ll also keep up her unflagging advocacy for “a powerful and fully funded Public Defender’s office,” and for her District Attorney’s office to follow through with their responsibility to recognize and eliminate racial disparities in prosecution. She’s additionally in favor of harm reduction, and of increased funding for, and expansion of, Pathways to Peace, Advance Peace, and similar programs. She minces no words about her wholehearted and full-throated alignment with Black Lives Matter.
In 2021, we endorsed Carolyn based on her compassionate platform and strong background as a first responder, educator, strategist and organizer, and care professional. In 2023, we renew our endorsement of Carolyn as the living, breathing, and fierce embodiment of this platform and of compassion itself.
Susan Stevens is the Chair of Kansas City, Kansas SDUSA.