The coming elections represent an unprecedented opportunity for our members to bring their values and expertise to Albany. Two exceptional NYSNA nurses are contenders for seats in the New York State Assembly: NYSNA Treasurer Pat Kane, RN, Staten Island University Hospital, and Karines Reyes, RN, Montefiore Weiler Hospital in the Bronx. If elected, they will join another distinguished nurse and Assembly Member from the 100th District, Aileen Gunther, RN, in the Capital.
These RN candidates signify nothing short of a new wave of politics in the state. Their candidacies are a recognition of the unique qualities nurses bring to governing at the highest levels.
Sharing a core commitment
What Pat Kane, Karines Reyes, and Aileen Gunther know is that patients are part of our social fabric, not just revenue in a hospital’s bottom line. These three committed women understand intimately that social determinants are crucial to sustaining good health—real living wages, quality housing, and safe working conditions; environmental protections for communities that address air quality, pollutants, and access to green space; clean, safe, and well-funded schools conducive to learning with enough access to physical exercise; modern public transportation systems with updated infrastructure to service growing populations; and access to fresh food at affordable prices.
Each shares a core commitment to working people, their right to organize unions, and to collectively bargain—rights without which there is no buffer against corporate power and its resulting inequality.
Long history of experience
Without question, these three RNs bring a long history of professional experience in healthcare delivery, where the challenges are many and the needs critical to the health and well-being of the residents of our great state.
NYSNA Treasurer Pat Kane, has practiced nursing for 35 years. She is devoted to our union, her patients, and the Staten Island community where she has lived for the past 50 years. The list of issues she embraces is extensive: substance abuse, mental health services, domestic violence, recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy… to name just a few. Her vision for a better, more equitable society gives inspiration to all who know her. Years of lobbying and budget reviews have taught her the ins and outs of state politics. NYSNA is very proud to have endorsed Pat Kane, RN, for NYS Assembly, District 61.
Montefiore Weiler’s Karines Reyes, RN, combines a full-time schedule on her Unit with extensive community involvement—a display of exceptional commitment to the people of the Bronx. She has lived for 18 years in her district, and she speaks with insight and intelligence about education and infrastructure. As a woman of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage, Karines Reyes knows the needs of her communities. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, she answered the call to travel to Puerto Rico to provide medical assistance to people affected by the damage. NYSNA is very proud to have endorsed Karines Reyes, RN, for NYS Assembly, District 87.
Pat Kane and Karines Reyes support essential funding for community hospitals and healthcare access for all in the face of continued federal threats to cut care. They will fight every day to see that resources are used in an equitable way for quality care for all New Yorkers.
Beacon of hope
Having lived the battle for safe staffing, Pat Kane and Karines Reyes speak with expertise about the absolute necessity for nursepatient ratios. Here they would join Assembly Member Aileen Gunther, RN, in the fight for the Quality Care for Safe Staffing Act, and much more. Aileen Gunther is a seasoned and acknowledged leader in the Assembly, with an articulate voice. She has been endorsed by NYSNA throughout her tenure. She is sponsor of the bill in the Assembly and with each day, support for its passage into law is growing.
Together, these three extraordinary RNs are a beacon of hope for our fundamental beliefs: quality care for all New Yorkers; safe staffing; safety net funding and a buffer against proposed federal cuts; and protection of our scope of practice.
Our nurses know better than anyone: seasoned RNs are the ones to help heal Albany.