Our nation is stronger when our communities are good places to live and work, when they are prosperous, and when everyone can participate in that prosperity.
My leadership in economic development has shown that our communities and local economies have the power to create jobs that pay enough to put food on the table and save for retirement. We can harness this power with a leader in Washington devoted to creating common sense policies that work for our communities.
But right now, working families are getting left behind, especially in rural America. Poverty rates in our region are increasing and people are leaving. Yet, we see GOP tax cuts providing huge benefits to large corporations and ignoring real challenges faced by rural America. It is a tax plan that diverts resources away from working families and small businesses who need them most and towards millionaires, billionaires, and major corporations who are doing just fine.
As well as serious challenges, we face substantial opportunities. To meet these challenges and realize the opportunities, we need a leader in Washington who can help our towns and villages build infrastructure, attract investment and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs, market our communities, and support sectors that thrive in our region.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who understands economic development in our region, as I do.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who has been involved with successful economic development ventures across our region, as I have been.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who values strong communication with local government, community organizations, and businesses, as I do.
In the North Country, my work has created and promoted economic opportunities across our region. Through partnerships with local government, businesses, and community organizations across our area, I have helped expand the clean energy sector, revitalize Main Streets, and help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses.
I want to be the voice of the North Country in Washington because I know what it takes to develop our economy.
As your Congresswoman, these are my priorities:
Support thriving sectors: Expand business opportunities in industries that thrive in our region: clean energy; small manufacturing; artisanal products; recreation and tourism; forest products; family farming; aerospace; transit equipment; defense; and biotech
Small business development: Target resources to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses, including support services and tax reform that encourages investment in these ventures
Infrastructure: Investment in improvements that give all of our communities access to broadband, cell service, and reliable and safe water, electricity, and sewage systems.
Education: Help rural school systems find creative solutions so that their schools can remain centers of the community, and help communities fund federal mandates and programs that teach students life-skills not always found in the home. We also need more programs that enable our graduates and veterans prepare and compete for 21st century jobs. A highly-qualified workforce attracts industries and employers that pay high wages and contribute to the prosperity of our region
Taxes & Regulation: We need to responsibly levy taxes while ensuring that our regulations are well targeted and true protections, always thinking in terms of long-term investments in our nation's future and creating opportunities for all people.
Airports: Improve and promote our international and regional airports so they attract new industries and employers
Arts & culture: Improve the use of our performing and visual arts centers, and the support of our local artists, to further anchor and enrich our communities. Performing and visual arts are an anchor for communities. They enhance the quality of life, they attract visitors, and they attract new families to the area. The arts support local businesses by attracting visitors who then shop and eat at local restaurants and retail stores.
Natural resources: Protect our natural resources so that they continue to support our way of life, attract entrepreneurs and telecommuters, and welcome visitors who contribute to our economic prosperity. This includes supporting local efforts to create working landscapes
Healthcare: Reduce employers’ health care costs by taking them out of the health insurance business: provide individuals and families the option to buy into Medicare. Support our rural healthcare system by maintaining funding for Medicaid and raising the level of Medicare reimbursements
Transportation: Innovate and modernize so that we have transportation systems that work in rural America. In some communities in our region, employers cannot recruit qualified workers because there is little or no public transportation for them
Housing: Support local communities’ efforts to create housing that workers and middle-income families can afford. Housing costs in communities popular with tourists and second-home owners are often beyond the means of teachers, shop owners, hospital employees, forest rangers, firefighters, and service workers -- the very people these communities depend on for their quality of life
As a nation, we are stronger when our people have access to the health care they need at a price they can afford.
Access to affordable health care is critical to our ability to learn, work, care for ourselves and our families, and realize our full potential as Americans. We need to be able to take ourselves and our children to the doctor when we are sick, to get regular check-ups and necessary vaccines, and obtain the medicines we need to restore and maintain our health.
Problem: The Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA and “Obamacare”) has extended health insurance to millions who previously couldn’t afford it. But premiums are still much too high, and the Trump Administration is sabotaging some of the ACA’s key elements and driving premiums even higher.
Even with the ACA, Americans are paying twice as much for health care than people in most developed countries and have the worst outcomes in key indicators like infant mortality, life expectancy, and chronic debilitating conditions among seniors. The prices we pay for pharmaceuticals are much higher than those of other countries, and almost 20% of every health care dollar spent by Americans with private health insurance goes towards administrative costs. Millions of Americans still don’t have health insurance, and many of those who do don’t get preventive care and care for acute health problems when they need it because of high co-pays and deductibles.
Solution: We need a universal health care system. It needs to be a system that controls costs and improves outcomes. It needs to keep healthcare in the hands of private healthcare providers and take it off the shoulders of businesses, especially small businesses. It needs to be a system that enables individuals and families to consult the doctors they choose, receive preventive care that helps them stay healthy, have coverage for pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive health services, mental health care, addiction treatment, and services that enable seniors and people with disabilities to live at home instead of in a nursing home.
I want to be your voice in Washington because I have a history of building partnerships that are required to get this done.
In order to move towards our universal health care system, as your Congresswoman, I pledge to support:
A Public Option: Allow everyone to buy into Medicare. Medicare works for our seniors and people with disabilities and is far less expensive than private insurance because it has much lower administrative costs. This option will create the competition that some lawmakers insist is needed to lower costs and increase options for individuals, families, and employers. And, it will move us towards a universal healthcare system that our country needs.
Disproportionate Share Payments: Ensure that our hospitals continue receiving the Disproportionate Share Payments that enable them to care for Medicaid-eligible patients
Medicaid: Fully fund expanded Medicaid coverage for our low-income and working families, veterans, people with disabilities, and seniors who need nursing home care
Federally-Qualified Healthcare Centers:Fully fund our federally-qualified community healthcare centers so that they can provide primary care in areas where there are few options for lower-income individuals, families, and seniors
CHIP: Fully fund the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for children in lower-income families
Drug prices: Enable Medicaid and Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices
Coverage requirements: Require that public and private health insurance plans cover addiction treatment, mental health treatment, and full reproductive health care, including pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control
Planned Parenthood: Maintain funding for Planned Parenthood, an essential health resource for women, particularly in rural areas
VA Services: Increased funding for VA services and hospitals so that veterans, especially in rural areas, don’t have to drive long distances for essential care.
North Country Values
Our way of life, our environment, and the security of our country depend upon creating economic opportunities for everyone, maintaining environmental protections, and creating a healthcare system that provides everyone access to affordable, quality care.
Hard-working people deserve to be able to put food on the table, money in the bank, and to access to quality healthcare. Those who need help should have a hand up. Those who cannot take care of themselves need to be cared for. Everyone, regardless of the conditions they were born into, deserves a chance to build the life they want. We need an economic system that rewards hard work and provides resources that help people build the lives they want to lead.
Our way of life and our economy depend upon our winters, our clean air, water, and soil, and our forests. So that generations to come have the same opportunities we do, we have the responsibility to conserve our natural resources and curb climate change. The problem of acid rain dissipated thanks to sensible rules, and now we are reversing ground. We need to refocus national attention on this issue.
Curbing climate change and conserving our natural resources are about the health of our environment, our people, and our economy.
Imagine if we as a country made investments in renewable energy a priority. Imagine the renewable energy companies we could build -- and the jobs we could create, the improvements in people's health. Imagine what we could do as a country with leaders who understand this connection between job growth and protecting our environment, and who supports transitioning to an economy based on clean energy.
Imagine how we could curb climate change.
I have spent my career in the North Country creating strategies for small businesses -- including renewable energy companies -- to grow in environmentally sustainable ways and can assure you: We don’t have to choose between environmental conservation and economic growth like the current administration and incumbent are claiming. We CAN have both.
It will take strong leaders to set our country on this stronger path. I stand against the current administration’s trajectory and stand for a path that protects our environment and creates gainful employment in regions like ours.
The environment is a gift and a responsibility, and as a nation, we must start thinking 7 generations in the future. In the North Country, we depend upon the environment for our way of life, for recreation, and for jobs. Fishing, hunting, farming, outdoor recreation, and tourism are all dependent upon clean air, water, and soil.
The entire world depends upon curbing climate change.
For the benefit of our environment, our health, and our economy, I would:
- Work to implement my vision of the North Country being a model for clean energy economies in rural regions across the country.
- Work to restore, maintain, and revise EPA standards.
- Support the United States’ return to the Paris Accord (understanding that it is Senators who technically make that happen), and support legislation that includes emission standards laid out in the Accord. It's only thanks to Michael Bloomberg that the US remains in the Accord.
- Form strong partnerships with business groups, local government, and industry in order to create buy-in as legislation is created
- Work to create incentives for research, distribution, and use of all types of clean and renewable energy, and for all types of buildings -- residential, commercial, industrial. Afterall, clean & renewable energy, and energy efficiency sectors are among the fastest growing sectors for jobs
- Devise market incentives for curbing carbon emissions, using behavioral economics to help design the program
- Push for investment and tax credits for community clean & renewable energy such as solar gardens, that also provide revenue to local communities, in combination with a modernized electric grid that supports distributed energy
- Increase funding for protection against invasive species, and build a coalition of support for preventing invasives in the St. Lawrence River from entering other bodies of water
Investing in education is an investment in the future of our country and local communities. Democracy requires a well-educated citizenry, and access to prosperity requires access to high-quality, post-secondary education of all types. Otherwise, the few who already have wealth and power will continue amassing more while the rest of us are pushed further behind.
As the daughter of a rural public school teacher, I strongly support public education, beginning at the pre-K level. In Congress, I will do all that I can to keep our countries’ public schools financially healthy and open, and to support our public schools teachers.
In Congress, I will press to refocus our country so that we see public schools and public school teachers as a public and social good. This means means lobbying against legislation that diminishes or calls into question the stature of public schools and public school teachers, such as a focus on school choice and private schools. Legislation must acknowledge that public education is about creating a strong nation and stable society through well educated and critically thinking individuals; it is about much more than personal achievement.
We must fully support public schools and teachers because the future of our country is in their hands. Teachers deserve good pay and benefits, and this attracts the best in the industry
- Public education must begin at the pre-K level. A child entering kindergarten without proper early childhood development is more likely to remain behind throughout school, unable to achieve his or her full potential.
Public School Funding
- Federal, state and local government officials must work together to both relieve the tax burden on low-income school districts and to make sure that adequate funding is available for all of our schools. When children in one section of our country are ill prepared for life after school, our entire nation suffers.
- I will lobby for legislation that reexamines how public schools are funded, with an eye towards greater redistribution and less reliance on local tax revenue since that puts low-income areas at a disadvantage.
Common Core & Charter Schools:
- Taxpayer money should only be used for public schools
- Rather than charter schools, we should figure out how to create the benefits of charter schools within our existing schools. Too many charter schools lack a kitchen, which means children who need school meals cannot attend. Too many charter schools requires private transportation, which limits the children who can attend. The NYS BOCES program could be a model for the rest of the country as a way to specialize education within the public school system.
- As a long-time champion of sustainable economic development, I understand the role that private schools play in attracting families to a place. I support private schools as long as they do not use taxpayer funding or institute requirements that infringe upon a student’s civil rights.
Post Secondary Education: Whether technical or liberal arts, higher education needs to be accessible, and there needs to be choices. I believe that the federal government has a role in making sure that access to higher education is possible by addressing affordability. It can do so by:
- Relieving college students and their parents of the crushing burden of student loan debt by:
- Increasing federal student aid
- Continuing Stafford and Perkins loans
- Protecting students from profiteering by schools and loan companies. Some loans carry unreasonable interest rates, rates higher than for mortgage and automobile loans
- Creating loan forgiveness programs for geographical and professional areas particularly in need of graduates
- Ensuring that the federal government’s support extends to technical training as well as to traditional four-year institutions
- Work with colleges to manage the cost of unfunded federal regulations placed upon schools
Technical Education: Much of the conversation in Washington and around the country surrounds college education at four-year institutions. As a congresswoman, I would work to make sure that vocational education receives the same attention because our country needs more people skilled in technical trades, and we have many students who would excel in those roles if the options were available and encouraged. To do this, I would:
- Increase investment in technical schools
- Encourage high school curriculums that adequately prepare students for these post-secondary opportunities
- Encourage existing businesses to form relationships with technical schools
Title IX Funding: Title IX is responsible for high school girls gaining access to sports teams and for those teams being treated equally. For example, it allowed girls’ teams to receive new uniforms made for girls rather than having to accept the boys’ hand-me-downs.
Title IX was also in part responsible for schools and colleges paying attention to sexual harassment and violence. The Obama Administration provided schools and colleges with guidance on how to comply with Title IX in regards to sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Although some people, including Education Secretary, Betsy Devos, believe that Title IX is no longer necessary and was used by President Obama to overextend his executive reach, given that girls and women are still treated differently due to their gender, as has been made clear in the recent sexual scandals that have come to light, Title IX is still relevant and should be maintained.
Rural Schools: The North Country’s school districts face some particular challenges shared by other rural regions. We have strong teachers dedicated to our students, however rising local taxes, declining property values, and declining populations threaten the strength and existence of our schools. We know that schools are the centerpiece of our communities, and so when a school closes it has a significant, negative impact on an area.
I support districts exploring and adopting the Community Schools initiative as a way to keep the schools at the center of the community, and to make them a center of support for families. To increase student enrollment, I support international high school student programs like that in Newcomb, NY. Long-term success of this program requires changes in federal student visa laws.