Eric Kingson, the co-founder of Social Security Works, who has been active on retirement issues throughout his career is entering the race for the 24th Congressional district in central New York. Eric has been a professor of social work at Syracuse University and has been active in national retirement issues. In 2009 he became co-director of Social Security Works, a national advocacy organization to fight privatization efforts and to promote an increase in benefits for lower income retirees. He has been a regular speaker and senior and Social Security events across the state.
Eric has never run for office before and will have to win the Democratic nomination to face Congressman John Katko, a first term Republican. The district is listed as one of the top priority races for both political parties because it has turned over in each of the last four elections. Katko defeated Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei in 2014 who defeated Republican Ann Marie Buerkle in 2012. She had defeated Maffei in 2010. The district is centered in the Syracuse area and includes Oswego, Auburn and run along Lake Ontario to the eastern suburbs of Rochester.
With the unlimited spending allowed by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, expert super PACs on both sides to be spending lots of money to win this seat. I am glad Eric is running with his message on Social Security, tax reform and inequality. I spoke on senior issues on conference calls a number of times to his classes at Syracuse University.
For more information about Eric’s campaign, go to erickingson.com
I also want to commend the work of another friend today. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli who was Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging when I was the State Office Director is leaving her most recent post as Deputy Mayor for Human Services. Mayor Di Blasio asked to take that post and she served, as always as a consummate professional but also a person with a heart. She was one of the best administrators you could have, who always sought to dig down and figure out how to resolve problems and make government programs work better. She is retiring and will be the board chair of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.