(Photos provided by Office of Speaker Heastie)
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Member Barbara Lifton visited Cortland and Tompkins Counties yesterday (September 16).
They first joined Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin at Suggett Park, where Lifton recently helped secure state funding to build a new, inclusive playground that’s accessible for children with and without disabilities.
“The Assembly Majority is committed to ensuring that every student and child, regardless of their background has a shot at a quality education and a bright future,” Speaker Heastie said. “Today, my annual state tour took me to organizations in Tompkins and Cortland Counties that are making that vision a reality – from providing parents who are going back to school with quality affordable childcare to giving college students the opportunity and resources they need to succeed to ensuring that kids have a playground where they can play and grow no matter their physical abilities.”
Afterwards, Heastie and Lifton headed to Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Dryden Campus, where they met with TC3 President Dr. Orinthia Montague and Casey Goodwin, Executive Director at the Arthur Kuckes Childcare Center.
The brand-new, $5.5M facility opened last month after a year of construction, helped along in part by grants secured by Lifton and the Assembly Majority.
Its creation was intended to give both TC3 students and their children the best possible education and future, giving students first priority with a sliding fee scale to help them with the cost.
She and Heastie ended the day with a visit to Ithaca, first at Cornell where they joined by Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick and students in the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).
Those programs allow students to attend the university who may otherwise not be able to afford to.
“I am so proud of the work we are doing in Cortland and Tompkins Counties to invest in education and make it accessible to everyone,” Assemblymember Lifton said. “We will continue to work so places like the Arthur Kuckes Childcare Center and the Cornell Educational Opportunity Program can provide our children and students with a quality, affordable education.”
Finally, they then ate lunch at the Mahogany Grill and toured the Commons for the rest of the afternoon with Ithaca Common Council Member Seph Murtagh.
Yesterday’s visits were part of the speaker’s annual tour of the Upstate region.