Issues 2018-08-13T03:01:41+00:00

We all deserve a fighting chance

We’re at a crossroads in our country. This midterm election will decide the direction of our country for decades to come. I’m a fighter. I’m fighting for families, fighting for farms, fighting for the underdogs. It’s a family trait: my mother taught us that nothing mattered more than standing up for what’s right.

That means that every American has access to good healthcare, regardless of their ability to pay. It means rebuilding our roads and bridges, the infrastructure we depend on, and putting people back to work doing it. It means equal access to broadband in the furthest reaches of Western New York.

I support the Second Amendment and I also agree with the 75% of Americans (gun owners and non-gun-owners alike) who believe that Congress needs to do more to prevent gun violence. I support universal background checks, increased funding for the study of gun violence as a public health issue, and increased restrictions on assault weapons.

Family farms have always been the backbone of Western New York’s culture and economy. As your Representative, I will support farming businesses and communities. As Grand Island Town Supervisor I have supported the expansion of Grand Island’s agricultural district and developed an Ag and Markets Comprehensive Plan for the Town.

As your Representative I will find new markets for agricultural products and I will use my experience in international business to help local farmers sell their products at home and abroad. I will also pursue sensible immigration policies that ensure a robust and stable labor force in the USA.

New York’s 27th District is endowed with rich environmental beauty and an abundance of energy resources. We must preserve and protect our lakes, landscapes and air for our children and for future generations, and we must shift to a sustainable green economy. The Great Lakes are an important priority for me. Their watershed must be protected from pollution and overdevelopment, and their beauty must be accessible to all. As your Representative I will fight against the current Administration’s environmental regulatory rollbacks, protect the land, air and water and support job-producing green technology.

I am firmly committed to addressing environmental health hazards such as particulate and toxic air emissions, industrial contamination of our lands, and lead in our drinking water and housing stock. I will make sure that hunters and anglers can enjoy game and fish that is safe from toxins.

Our Nation and our District can be frontrunners in renewable energy. It’s just good sense to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create skilled, good paying jobs right here at home.

I am proud to have secured a major solar energy grant for the Town of Grand Island and to have opened up eight miles of waterfront for use by the public as a hike-and-bike trail.

Anyone who lives or travels through NY-27 knows that roads, bridges and public resources such as schools and parks are sorely in need of upkeep or replacement. Moreover, full access to state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure will make our District attractive to new business, and improve our quality of life. These infrastructure problems are significant, but also solvable.

A smart, well-funded infrastructure program will create local jobs and boost our local economy. Throughout my career, successfully managed these types of projects. I’ve worked closely with communities, organized labor, business and government to get things done and done right.

These include installation of amenities in airports and sports arenas across the country, securing $1.3M grant for sidewalks in Grand Island, creating a Western New York Welcome Center, and securing funding and approvals for a Hike and Bike Trail along the Niagara River.

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Everyone should be able to access needed health care regardless of income, and the only affordable long-term solution to America’s healthcare crisis is a “Medicare for All” national health care program.

Every other major industrialized nation has this type of system. The U.S. spends more on healthcare per person than these countries, but we are no more healthy, in fact, we spend more and end up with less. I support the Medicare-for-All bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 676/ S.1804 as well as the New York State Healthcare Bill.

It’s time politicians stop putting Social Security and Medicare at risk.

Evidence is mounting that marijuana legalization reduces opioid addiction numbers. Moreover, the legalization and taxation of cannabis in farming districts like NY-27 can benefit the local economy and generate tax revenues for the treatment of serious addictions.

We need to end the failed “war on drugs” and pass federal legislation that legalizes cannabis products. That is why I support the Marijuana Justice Act bills (H.R. 4815/ S. 1689) that are currently in House and Senate committees. The proposed legislation would remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act, expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes and incentivize states through federal funds to change their cannabis laws.

Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. This massive debt is nothing short of a national financial crisis.

As your Representative I will fight for legislation that allows those with student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates. Additionally, all low and middle income students should have their minimum monthly loan payments capped at 10 percent of their take-home pay. Instead of handing out corporate bailouts in a failed attempt to revive trickle-down economics, we should be investing in more programs that forgive student loans and allow graduates the financial freedom to start stimulating the economy.

Let’s start by ensuring that students past and present get a better deal on their loans, and let’s work toward creating pathways that will allow every student to go to college debt-free.

There is close to universal scientific agreement that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions creates devastating problems in the United States and around the world. If we do not act boldly, the future will bring increasing drought, floods, extreme storms and acidification of the oceans.

There are families across NY-27 who work long, hard hours but still can’t make ends meet. They deserve a Representative like me who will fight for their right to a living wage. I will also support union jobs because unions keep the middle class strong and raise the quality of life for all people.

I have been honored to stand with labor as Town Supervisor of Grand Island. When DuPont refused to negotiate with workers, I demanded in writing that they negotiate in good faith. I stood on the picket line with workers outside of Wendt Recycling. In my private sector dealings, I made sure that our new business secured labor peace agreements that allow workers the right to unionize.

I support all women’s right to access the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare options. It is a woman’s right to make decisions about her health and her family. Like the majority of Americans, I believe that abortion care should be accessible and safe. We are a country of laws, and a woman’s right to choose has been repeatedly protected by our courts as the law of the land.

I am 100% in favor of a Clean DACA bill. I further recognize that immigrant communities have always been an asset for New York’s 27th District. In farming communities, immigrants contribute their share of taxes and take very little in return. I will support legislation that allows immigrants to continue contributing to the American dream that we all share and enjoy

The opioid crisis is much larger than what is caused by the street sales of narcotics. It is largely the result of misuse of prescribed highly addictive synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and oxycontin, and while law enforcement plays an important role, it is first and foremost a public health epidemic. We all have a loved one who suffers from its effects. It’s an equal opportunity destroyer and people at all socioeconomic levels are impacted.

As your Representative I will fight for adequate funds and resources for addiction treatment. We must hold enablers, be they street narcotics dealers or physicians who write improper prescriptions, criminally and civilly accountable. We must address the issue posed by drug companies who refuse to acknowledge or take ownership of the impacts of their highly addictive products. Regarding treatment, I support further exploration of the State of Vermont’s hub and spoke approach, and suggest that the costs of necessarily intensive addiction treatment be defrayed through the legalization and taxation of cannabis.

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