I want to share my general positions on the issues that I believe are most important to restoring our country and our community to the 'America that I know and love'. Know that I will be listening to your ideas and concerns throughout my campaign and for the next two years, and will represent our district, proudly!
- Human Race
- Americans with Disabilities
- The Economy
- Health Care
- Voter Access
- The Environment
- Social Security
- The 2nd Amendment
- The Attack on the Capitol
- The War in Ukraine
- Addiction and Recovery
Growing up in the 1960's, during the Civil Rights' Movement, I do not understand why a small percentage of our population, causes us to still struggle with this. We are all created equal - by law and biology. Our nation is based on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laws to provide protection against discrimination have been enacted, and now, we see a number of those protections under attack.
Tragedies such as the shootings in Buffalo are a prime example of the racial hatred that is still prevalent in our country and we need to address all of the potential solutions, and put a plan into reality.
I will be a candidate that will listen to further understand the divides between us. I will support all initiatives that promote unity and equality. I will fight discrimination in all forms. We can no longer tolerate, intolerance.
I will work with community groups to reach those in need of more effective representation.
I have many personal examples to draw from that demonstrate the positive outcomes that we can achieve when we work together, regardless of our national origin, religion, language, gender, orientation or the pigment of our skin. I would hope to be able to share my experiences with everyone as the campaign moves forward.
We have to do better!
Americans with Disabilities
The rights of the disabled to be able to move freely in society is dependent on physical changes to homes, places of business, parking lots, means of travel and much more. Though the American with Disabilities Act has made a difference for the disabled, there is more to do. Compliance with changes that accommodate the disabled can mean greater mobility and additional business to those that make the step toward inclusivity.
The rise of the 'baby boomers' into retirement age, combined with the pandemic have contributed to the gaps that we must address going forward. Issues of the disabled are issues of the able. We must continue to make the world more accessible for everyone, whether its access to a rest room, the heights of beds in hotel rooms or the ability to obtain a covid test, as a few examples.
Disability rights are human rights.
Inflation is one of our biggest concerns currently and is caused by a number of factors.
- The pandemic's impact on the global supply chain has caused businesses to close, consolidate, lose employees and disrupt their supply. As these businesses recover, supply is affected negatively, though demand is increasing. It takes a minute to disrupt a supply chain and it sometimes takes years to repair it.
- Trade wars initiated by the last administration have contributed to the current problem. Tariffs levied on imports created disruptions and shortages, as those companies that were impacted changed suppliers and/or customers. "America First' is a great catch-phrase if implemented properly, taking into consideration that no country exists by itself, and that supply chains do not change to your benefit with the mere declaration. Planning for shortages and bridging the gaps, while converting to a more internal-supply-economy would have made more sense, and likely have reduced the shortfalls we are seeing today, that contribute to inflation.
- Fuel prices are linked to every cost and they have been artificially inflated by the oil companies. The largest companies are posting record profits and have not increased production. Though we like a free market in the best of times, the 'practice of gouging the consumer' whenever there is the opportunity, as in the pandemic and the first weeks of an overseas war, needs legislation enacted to prevent it. As with big oil, they raised their prices prior to any increase in their cost and the supply is lower because they are keeping it that way. Their strategy of maintaining a short supply now, is intended to drive the price up, after two years of high supply during the pandemic, which created lower demand and lower prices.
- Across the board, we need to work to increase competition in the industrial sector to allow the law of supply and demand to work as it was designed. Competition is good for everyone. Employers need to make their profits, of course, though without taking advantage of supply shortages and outside circumstances(gouging). Supply issues due to global sourcing, the scarcity of raw materials and 'just in time' inventory practices can cause delays on vital goods, such as in the micro-chip sector, and its impact on new and used vehicles. 'Made in America' is a good thing! With additional manufacturing comes distribution and a whole host of other support opportunities.
- The investment in the labor force is key to the economic health of our nation. The number of people that have made career changes as a result of the pandemic-effect is driven by the need for higher wages and better benefits. Key industries with content and well-compensated employees, still require supply chains to function. Many of the supply chains are still rebounding and adjusting to the new employment concerns. In every aspect of the economy - manufacturing, supply chains, service - these concerns are real, and change must occur to keep all of the sectors healthy.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
We can do better!
As the pandemic winds down to an endemic, we have entered a correction phase in the labor market with many leaving jobs that have not provided healthcare or a living wage, creating openings in the labor market in the vacated positions. Record numbers of people are retiring. Unemployment has returned to pre-pandemic levels of less than 4% which is fantastic.
If our goal is to secure major employers for our district, we would do well to focus on infrastructure improvement for industrial development zones, along the 86/17 corridor. Along with infrastructure and transportation, we need to prepare the workforce through better training and education programs. When companies are looking for greenfields to land their business they look for primed and ready locations and the availability of a well-trained, talent pool. The pre-work gets you the 'work-work'.
Similar to what I have done in my career, I will collaborate with the economic development teams of each county and municipality, and with the industrial leaders in the district to determine their needs and do my best to help them achieve their goals.
We can do better!
Access to affordable Healthcare should be available to everyone, not just those employed by a company that provides it. When I lived in Canada, having their form of universal healthcare was fabulous. The federal tax rate is 3% higher than ours, and you never see a bill, pay a co-pay, or have a debt collector call you. In the industrialized world, the USA is the only country that has thousands of bankruptcies each year due to medical debt.
I will support initiatives aimed at addressing our healthcare system to ensure affordable coverage for all. No one should have to worry about coverage and care. Those with employer-sponsored healthcare, no change is necessary, other than making plans portable and affordable.
We have some of the best medical facilities and personnel in the world, and it is time for the system to catch up to the level of care possible for all of our citizens!
On a similar note, our pharmaceutical companies are state of the art, yet, for many insulin had become unaffordable. With the passing of legislation, we may have solved some of the insulin issue. Now, we must continue to address the availability and affordability of all common medications.
Profits are great! Runaway greed has to be prevented! We can do better!
Every single American should be able to cast their vote and have it counted. I support the John Lewis Voters' Rights Act and those efforts to make our election process accessible to everyone.
The only significant fraud that I have seen evidence of is the effort to overturn the 2020 Presidential outcome. This fraud culminated with the January 6th, 2021 attack on the Capitol. "Stop the Steal" is a hoax.
The Republican in this race has falsely suggested that the 2020 election was 'stolen'. The Trump Republicans are destroying our democracy. Across the country and across New York State, we cannot let these types of Republicans be elected! Nick Langworthy is not deserving of the vote from true Republicans!
We can do better!
No matter where you stand on major environmental debate regarding climate change, the sheer scale of the issue is beyond the individual to effect change globally, no matter what. However, we can all agree that it’s a good idea to be responsible for taking care of what is within our reach. When leaving our natural world in as good or better of a condition, as we found it whenever we visit it. We should learn to 'cover our tracks' and remove our own footprint on nature, as we go forward. This perspective for making small gains spawned the phrase, 'Think globally. Act locally.'
The commonsense approach to understanding the damages that man-made emissions and chemicals are having on our environment can sometimes provide clarity when the data is made controversial. When we understand that we cannot breathe or live on the exhaust from our car, it makes sense to limit/eliminate those emissions. It made no sense whatsoever for the former president to reduce automotive mileage requirements, when the industry had already made advances in their technology to reduce emissions and make the air cleaner. Plus, vehicles that achieve better mileage, save us money!
When we understand that we cannot drink polluted water, we will also know that it’s best to take steps to limit or eliminate the pollutants. Whether it is the coal mining run-off that the former president encouraged, or the lead pipes in Michigan and elsewhere that need to be acted on, we know that we have to eliminate those types of toxic conditions. We have also subjected ourselves to 'forever chemicals' that cannot be eliminated from our waters, so we need to discontinue these types of pollutants from even being produced, along with stopping their use. When we protect our waters, we protect our life, which is the natural extension of protecting our planet.
There will always be a need to utilize the natural materials of the earth. The conservation of all natural resources is vitally important and can be increased through education and innovation. 'Conserve, conserve, conserve'. In the desert, you would conserve your water. It only makes sense to conserve other natural resources that have been utilized into the products we use everyday. In most cases, our earth's raw materials, can be used again by following the slogan, 'Reduce - Reuse - Recycle'. The process of conserving through recycling, is good for us and the earth we live on, no matter your stance on the larger issues.
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar can continue to reduce the need for fossil fuels, as their use is expanded and investments in them are made. Renewables may never be the total answer. Nuclear energy may have to increase. Fossil fuels are still required, and will be for the foreseeable future, as we transition to cleaner energy. Since clean energy technology is in its infancy stage, there will be further advances as we incorporate it into our calculations for energy supply going forward, and it should become less expensive and installer-friendly!
Energy conservation programs can be continue to be promoted due to their long-term savings, and incentivized on a larger scale. Take advantage of the many programs that our energy providers offer that can reduce your usage and save you money! Transitioning from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent and now to LED, has saved us hundreds per year!
The USA could easily do without the small percentage of Russian oil or 'enemy oil' if the companies wanted to because we export more than we import - so they do it for economic reasons.(their company's profit) The flow of petroleum and where it is sourced is managed by the oil industry for their own profitability. Beyond that, we are responsible for demand. Most Americans agree that is worth paying more for fuel, to stop importing from Russia, immediately. And with all of the steps taken, gas prices have continued to drop for the past few months.
We can do better!
Republicans from Donald Trump to Senator RIck Scott favor the privatization of our Social Security Administration. They would love to get their hands on that fund!
The Social Security Administration provides monthly benefits to over 65 million Americans, including the disabled and children. Seniors, and Boomers live off their Social Security checks and Social Security has never missed a payment! Legislation to protect this valuable government program needs to be enacted prior to its trust fund 'zeroing out' in approximately 10 years. If we do not act on the SSA funding, benefits will have to be reduced to continue based on current projections. And worst yet, would be to privatize it!
Whether it is raising the earnings cap for contributions that is in place, or another solution, or a combination of incremental changes, I will support well thought out measures to protect this incredible and necessary program.
The Social Security Administration has been in place for 80 years and is the sole source of income for many Americans. We must protect it.
As background: I am a gun-owner and have been since I was a teen-ager. My first rifle was a Remington - Nylon 66 and it was a semi-automatic. I purchased it from the original Dick's Sporting Goods, and you can be sure that I was monitored closely and trained by my Dad and his friends, in addition to completing New York State's required Hunter Safety training. I have hunted and shot traps competitively, and own firearms to this day. I only tell you that, to tell you this.......
First and foremost - "Enough is Enough' already with making gun owners rights' and being re-elected the priority over making our nation safer from gun violence. The mantra that 'Nobody is coming for your guns' still holds true, though change must occur! As I have said before, responsible ownership is the key to reducing gun violence. Most Americans agree with the expansion of background checks and closing gun show sales' loopholes. Most Americans agree with rules on safe storage, trigger locks, raising the age to purchase semi-automatics, waiting periods, and other steps to reduce this 'uniquely, American horror show'. And the majority of Americans want gun violence and mass shootings to be a thing of the past!
We need common-sense regulation of firearms and especially, the 'weapons of war' such as those being used in a majority of the mass shootings. Our technological and manufacturing advances in firearms has created weapons that go far beyond the laws and regulations that are in-place, and puts society at risk. 'A good guy with a gun' does not prevent all mass shootings or gun violence and the fact that 'police are standing down' in the face of the new age of civilian weapons are calls for change. We need to take steps to prevent the sale of firearms to those who may do harm to themselves or others, whether they are emotionally distraught, mentally ill, too immature for the responsibility and/or of a terrorist mindset. That requires us to have a system in place that identifies mental health issues, combined with the ability to intervene in the cases that require it. We all know that changes to mental health funding and care will help, and it will not be tomorrow or even next year. Worthy of note, though Republicans speak of mental health on this issue, they have been defunding this healthcare line item for 3 decades.
Common sense should rule the day on all reform or regulation.
I am willing to meet with gun-owners and their associations to help to find commonsense solutions that we can develop and agree to, in order to reduce access to firearms for those who pose a threat to the community.
We have to do better, immediately!
We all witnessed the former president calling out that elections were rigged as far back as 2015, and that he won through the electoral college process, though he lost the popular vote. He began calling out the 2020 election as rigged early on and has maintained that lie. He questioned the outcome of the election and claimed fraud although he lost by 7 million votes.
As a direct result of his lie and rhetoric, a few thousand people came to the Capitol to ‘make things right’ at the request of their lying president. The investigation has nearly come to a close, and it is likely that the former president strategized and conspired with others to prevent our lawful election. I favor accountability, once the truth is out and shared.
The election was not 'stolen'. The former president lost by 7 million votes. Tens of thousands of elected public servants took their posts as a result of the last election. Only one, claims fraud.
Going forward though, people like Nick Langworthy cannot represent us. He will follow the ill-suited for public service leaders of the Trump movement - and we may never have a free and fair election again, if Republicans like him take the majority.
We can do better!
We all have compassion for the unnecessary tragedy and loss of life taking place in Ukraine. Though the responsibility for the entirety of this war lays squarely on Putin and Russia, the former president is also culpable:
- For not addressing the Russian bounty with Putin, that he had placed on our troops overseas
- For de-stabilizing and attempting to weaken NATO
- For ending the 'Open Skies' treaty with Russia
- For attempting to extort Ukraine and delaying 350 million in congressionally approved military aid
- For dismissing our Ukrainian ambassador over the same scheme in which he was withholding the military aid
- For siding with Putin against USA intelligence agencies regarding Russia's attempts to impact our election process
- For disrespecting the FBI on the presence of Russian diplomats in the Oval Office
- For weakening our global authority through his actions on the Iranian Nuclear Deal and the Paris Climate Accord
- For refusing to share his interpreter's notes after a private meeting with Putin
- For removing all forces from Syria, allowing Russia to command the region, leaving the Kurds abandoned
We can do better!
The drug epidemic has struck close to home for many of our citizens. I have lost two members of my family to drug use over the past 35 years and can relate to the loss that is shared among so many of us. The 'War on Drugs' is more than 50 years old, and has not protected our people as it was intended to. Whether it is opioids, meth or alcohol, preventing addiction is as important as ever. Fentanyl is the new 'killer'. A new strategy is in order. I will work with the task forces within law enforcement to understand their issues and support initiatives that reduce the influx of drugs into our communities. Providing the tools for law enforcement to 'get the drugs off the street' is key to solving this crisis.
The other piece of the puzzle is to keep pace at the other end of the issue - preventing addiction. And, when addiction occurs, how does the system come to the aid of the individual. I will meet with County and Municipal leaders, and their teams to develop plans to hopefully, reduce addiction and improve recovery outcomes.
And, of course, we must continue to look to the educational aspects of prevention with research, programs and funding.
We can do better!
Fracking for natural gas deposits is a key energy supply issue.
There are two sides to the issue. One says that fracking is safe and necessary to our energy independence. The other side says it is a temporary measure, that leaves an ugly footprint and uses large quantities of fresh water that the process contaminates, in addition to potentially contaminating surrounding ground waters.
I favor the use of natural gas, as well as our continuing development of energy independence. However, more importantly, I am a fan of 'clean water' and a protector of our water sources.
From what I have read, responsible fracking operations minimize 'leaks and exposures' and can extract the gas effectively without harming the environment.
My recommendation includes informational meetings, followed by community voting on new fracking operations, rather than having the operation being taken without the peoples' knowledge. The operations must be inspected and have regulatory oversight to ensure positive outcomes.
I will keep an open mind regarding this issue and will continue to 'drill down' on the details, including the risks.
We can do better!