THE PEOPLE’S ISSUES
The top priority for a Representative is to listen to constituents and address their concerns. We started visiting towns throughout the district in the last few months, talking to voters and groups about the issues they care most about. These are some of the ideas of what we can do together to address these concerns. With input from more voters, we will continue to evolve these ideas.
We need to create middle-income jobs that fit the new economy AND train people for those jobs.
- Comprehensive job training and retraining: Many employers have unfulfilled jobs because of skill gaps. We need to invest in training and retraining to fill those jobs, and support the innovative work being done by labor unions in this area.
- Infrastructure investment: Invest in fixing crumbling infrastructure, creating direct jobs, but also producing a multiplier effect in communities. We also need to invest in transportation infrastructure, which can help our district tremendously.
- Reliable broadband and cell service: Many people are prevented from doing their jobs effectively because they cannot get broadband or cell service. Whether you are a salesperson, a service person, a consultant, a plumber, or an advertising person…you need to be reachable at all times in today’s economy. We cannot allow poor cell service and internet service to prevent people from doing their jobs.
- Small Agriculture Farm Subsidy Transfer : Move subsidies from Big Ag to Small Ag in the 19th district. In the 19th district, there is real opportunity for investment in middle infrastructure to assist small farmers with processing, packaging and distribution.
- Small Business Acceleration program: Small businesses are number one employer in US. Yet, when they are ready to grow and hire more people is when they start paying income taxes, so they do not have the cash to invest in their business. I have learned this in my businesses. So, we suggest offering small businesses to write off intellectual property (as defined by them) faster to reduce tax burden in early years of growth.
- Tax reform for small business: Reform the tax code to be simpler and more equitable. For example, I am in small business and pay 35%+ in income taxes. Fortune 500 companies average 21%, with many paying far less. For instance, investor class taxpayers like Mitt Romney, average 13%.
HEALTHCARE AND RETIREMENT
We need to protect and fortify healthcare and retirement. The Affordable Care Act was a good first step, but we need single payer with Medicare for All. Also, we not only need to protect social security, we need to come up with a new solution that actually prepares society for an aging population, including universal pensions.
HEROIN AND OPIOID
Take the opioid and heroin epidemic head on: this is a crisis in our communities and needs comprehensive treatment programs that work now. We are seeing effective pilot programs throughout the district and we need to find the ones that work and scale them quickly: http://www.registerstar.com/news/article_d2f270c0-11d7-11e7-8a07-fb7a2c3a83cf.html
The attacks on women’s rights are the result of a disturbing culture of misogyny in our country today. We cannot succeed as a nation if we keep discriminating against more than half the country. We need specific legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights, especially against all insidious efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We need to address pay inequality by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act which builds on the Equal Pay Act of 1963. We also need to commit to supporting childcare and paid medical leave as it is women who are forced to sacrifice their careers to care for children and parents, and often at the same time.
We need to align the goals of economic growth with a clean environment. As a founding member of the New York chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs, I spent years working on policy that would combine private sector innovation with public sector support to combat climate change. In NY CD 19, it is not just the environment, it is our very way of life.
- We need to hasten the evolution to more renewables through a carbon tax to curb greenhouse emissions, while also driving investment into clean and efficient energy.
- In the 19th District, we have a great opportunity to lead job creation while addressing climate change with Wind & Solar Infrastructure Investment.
- We need to continue to be vigilant and fight against right-wing assaults on our rivers and streams by their attack on protections that have proven to be effective.
Stop the assault on the middle class by the rich and powerful by getting money out of politics through comprehensive reform:
- Increase the voice of the people in Washington to drown out the special interests http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/09/opinion/flynn-expand-congress/
- End Citizens United
- Establish term limits
- Stop voter disenfranchisement by eliminating the Electoral College
- Change to open primary process
- Eliminate super delegates
We need to stop the assault on public education, including this talk of vouchers that could strip millions of dollars out of district. And we need to invest in tuition free public universities, trade schools and community colleges, which is an investment that spurs economic growth.
We need to fight day in and day out against the assault on human rights by the extreme right wing, including the right to marry whomever you want and be whoever you want, the right to due process, the right to be protected against discrimination based on race or religion in all walks of life.
As someone who has studied and worked in counter-terrorism for thirty years, I find it maddening that the right wing continues to make serious policy errors that will only result in more terrorism. The horrific “Muslim ban” is unconstitutional, immoral and ineffective in dealing with terrorism. Additionally, the attempt to reduce diplomatic efforts and spend more on military solutions is exactly what leads to the extremism around the world. Although I support swift military action against those states that commit terrorist attacks against the United States, I marched against the war in Iraq as it was military interventionism and had nothing to do with battling terrorism. Global institutions and alliances do more to protect us from terrorism than any missile system and need to be reinforced, not abandoned.
As the grandson of four Irish immigrants, I believe in the power of immigration to grow and diversify a country and an economy. My people came here to escape religious and economic persecution, but they came with no special skills other than their character and work ethic. My grandfather was an undocumented immigrant for years. We need comprehensive immigration reform to bring law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows and protect families from being torn apart by aggressive tactics. We need to develop policies that will enable us to continue to welcome people from all over the world that want to be part of the American dream.