Chamber Corner – March 11, 2019

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Senator Catharine M. Young, 57th Senate District

Article Contributed by
Todd J. Tranum
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

With distinction, Cathy Young has served the people of the 57th Senate District and prior to that represented Western New York in the Assembly, for many years. On behalf of the business community we convey a sincere thank you to Cathy for her service. Cathy has championed many issues important to the business community.
Senator Young accomplished so many things for our region that it is impossible to capture them all in this column. What we can say is that she passionately and consistently went to bat for people, programs and projects in this part of New York State. She advocated for enactment of the property tax cap, mandate relief and tax reform. In Chautauqua County, she led a very public charge to save and repower the NRG plant in Dunkirk. Those heroic efforts were very close to attaining success, when NRG unfortunately pulled out of the proposal last year. She worked to strengthen healthcare by steering millions of dollars to hospitals in our communities. She advocated for funding to combat the opioid epidemic. She worked to secure record aid for schools in last year’s state budget. She also spearheaded investments in workforce training to help people upgrade skills in order to find jobs. She advocated for local cities to be included in the state’s investment into the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, helping to secure much needed revenue to boost Jamestown, Olean, and other communities. She was outspoken on behalf of the National Comedy Center and worked to bring state funds to that project.
Among her colleagues in Albany, Cathy was recognized for her hard work and dedication. During her tenure, Cathy became the first woman to chair the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, where she presided over joint legislative hearings on the state budget.
As Cathy accepts an appointment to lead the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech, we wish her well. Cathy’s family’s background in farming, combined with her love of Cornell and long commitment to healthy food and families, makes her an ideal fit for the job she’s about to tackle. We know she will continue to do good things for our region of New York State, but we will miss her as our representative of the 57th Senate district. We thank Cathy for her years of service to our region.