A lot has happened since the start of 2021, only two weeks ago.
Shortly before the insurrection at the United States Capitol Jan. 6, Long Island sent four Republicans to the New York State Senate to kick off the new legislative session.
Two of those are newly elected Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James), both local to the North Shore.
On top of their swearing-in and preparation for the new year ahead, various local and national elected officials released statements surrounding the horrors Americans witnessed that Wednesday.
The two state lawmakers are not condoning what happened Jan. 6.
“Most, if not all, New Yorkers were happy to put the year 2020 behind them and are looking forward to the promise of a better 2021,” Palumbo said. “Sadly, last Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol using acts of violence does not help any cause and instead leads to incarceration.”
Palumbo said he will condemn all lawless attacks on America’s institutions and cities.
“I fully support our men and women in law enforcement who continue to find themselves in ever more dangerous situations,” he said. “I appeal to everyone’s better angels, both on the right and left. We must all focus on important issues like public health and economic recovery, not stoking division from the political extremes.”
Mattera said that he supports the right to peaceful protests.
“The right to express views peacefully is a fundamental freedom for all Americans and it is essential to who we are,” he said. “But when the events become violent or unlawful, as they did last week and have in the recent past, those responsible must be held accountable and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Mattera said that what was witnessed must not be condoned or excused.
“There can be no acceptance of these actions regardless of motivations,” he said. “They attacked our men and women in blue, and their actions insulted all who support the First Amendment.”
But he said that through it all and at the end of the day, Americans must work together.
“We must now join together as Americans to show we are stronger when we stand together,” the state senator said. “This nation has stood for over 240 years and we must work together to ensure its future.”