New York State Senator Fred Akshar (R-Binghamton) is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up with insight on the workings of state government even in the midst of a pandemic, contentious politics and social unrest.

Senator Fred Akshar photo provided

Akshar says while 2020 had more than its share of challenges with the early days of just trying to curb the pandemic to demonstrations over the summer concerning the Black Lives Matter movement and heightened emotions over the elections, both for President and the 22nd Congressional District at home, there were also some memorable high points.  Akshar admits that partisan politics were at a high pitch on many fronts but when it came to dealing with the daily challenges posed by the pandemic, politicians in Albany probably worked together better than they ever have.

The Republican says he also was encouraged to see how the Binghamton area responded with more even tempers than many other communities and productive dialog concerning social injustice, issues of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Akshar is continuing to host Town Hall meetings virtually instead of in-person and has a Community Voice Survey posted on his website.

The 52 District Senator admits he gets some criticism for those surveys but insists he does take constituents' opinions to heart when acting in Albany.

Still, the former Broome County Undersheriff says there is one hot-button issue on which he will not budge.  Find out what issue Akshar says he will always vote his own conscious even if it would cost him an election.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 6:03 a.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF and anytime on the WNBF podcast.

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