HUDSON — Brittany Vogel is the Democratic candidate running for New York’s 107th Assembly District.
“The reason I’m running is because working people aren’t being represented,” Vogel said. “We really need a balance in our system, in our government. I really am trying to do this to help people.”
Vogel, 28, lives in Brunswick. She was raised in Rotterdam and said she saw the issues facing working families at a young age.
She graduated Hudson Valley Community College in 2014 with an associate degree, but could not go on to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree because she did not want to accumulate a large amount of student debt, something holding back many people of her generation, she said.
At 23, Vogel started a nonprofit organization, Upstate Cakes for Kids, which makes birthday cakes for children living in poverty. She said she started it to let those children know there are people in the community who care about them and see potential in them.
Vogel has worked in retail for 11 years. She started bagging groceries and is now a manager of a grocery store in Kinderhook with about 120 employees. Working people provide a lot for society, which has been increasingly visible in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vogel said.
“We’re on the front lines every single day risking our health to provide for the community and yet we don’t really have that representation in the Assembly. I think that’s what differentiates me. I think I’m the right candidate,” Vogel said.
The biggest issue facing the district is the public health crisis and the economic recovery that needs to follow the pandemic, she said.
“All of the things that I care about stem from the things that working people are dealing with,” she said. “Once we do get out of the public health crisis it’s super important that we focus our recovery on infrastructure that will bring us into the future and into the next generation so that they have a sustainable future. Making sure that working people are not left behind, kind of like they were in the 2008 recession.”
The pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and has created a need for more support for small businesses and a greater need for child care and education assistance, Vogel said.
Vogel supports legislation that would protect against wage theft, protections for unions and a $15 minimum wage.
She also supports several bills aimed at improving public water, closing hazardous waste loopholes for oil and gas companies and closing down the Dunn Landfill in Rensselaer County.
Vogel supports the New York Health Act, which would eliminate co-pays, deductibles and premiums.
“I think I’m the right candidate for the times that we’re in,” Vogel said. “I think if we continue to neglect the needs of the working people, it’s only going to get worse for us. I think we have an actual chance to bring us to the future, make infrastructure changes and technological revolutions that need to come through with renewable energies and things like that, that will actually put us on a better path. That’s where my goals are and that’s where my vision is.”