May 31, 2018
GLENS FALLS — Emily Martz believes that being a successful congressperson is about creating partnerships and communicating effectively.
Martz, one of five Democrats running in the NY-21 District, said she first thought about running for office following the 2016 presidential election. She was disappointed in the outcome and left her Saranac Lake home to go for her regular run. She stopped to talk to a man who had a Trump sign on his lawn. After the conversation, they discovered that they both believe hard work pays off. They also want to take care of their families and ensure the country remains safe.
Part of the problem in this country is people have stopped talking to each other, according to Martz.
“We don’t take the time, or the chance or the risk to talk to people who think differently,” she said Thursday in a meeting with The Post-Star editorial board.
Martz said she has been continuing to have those conversations after she announced her bid last July to unseat U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who is seeking a third term.
Martz said her overarching concern is that the region has a good quality of life but there are not a lot of good-paying jobs that can sustain families.
Martz pointed to her 3 1/2 years as director of operations and finance for the Adirondack North Country Association, which is a nonprofit economic development organization.
In that role, she helped businesses start up and expand. One issue was connecting solar energy companies to people who wanted solar panels. With the help of some state investment, Martz was able to bring the two together.
Investing more in clean energy could open up economic development opportunities. Martz said the association partnered with the local BOCES to create a solar technician program.
Martz said she supports a carbon tax and setting aside that revenue for infrastructure projects, including investments in clean energy and broadband.
If elected, she would work on partnerships at the federal, state and local levels for economic development.
“It’s building the relationships. It’s really listening to hear what the needs and the visions are,” she said.
Before working at the association, Martz worked as a college professor at Paul Smith’s College. She began her career in the financial services industry.
Martz said she opposes any cuts to social programs such as Medicaid and Social Security, upon which residents in the district depend.
She said she is in favor of closing tax loopholes, such as the interest credit that allows investment funds managers to be taxed at the capital gains rate instead of the personal income tax rate. She said eliminating that tax break is estimated to generate $10 billion in revenue, which could be used for education.
“Everyone should have the chance to reach their full potential,” she said.
Martz supports the community schools model where social services are concentrated in one central location or under one umbrella so families do not have to take children to multiple locations to get health care and other social services.
Another priority is infrastructure, including broadband. She met with a farmer who showed her that he could only get cellphone service by standing on the top of his grain bin, she said.
Martz said, if elected, the committees she would like to serve on are Education and Workforce, Energy and Commerce, and Armed Services because of Fort Drum.
On the issue of guns, she said she comes from a family of hunters. She believes in standardizing national background checks and agrees that military-style weapons do not belong in civilians’ hands.
Martz said she has been called a pragmatist and a moderate, which is what is needed in Congress, because there is too much divisiveness in Washington now.
“It’s important to have people there who are focused on the outcomes, who are focused on the common goals — not an ideology. And that’s what we have right now — on the right and the left,” she said.
Also running in the June 26 Democratic primary are Tedra Cobb of Canton; Patrick Nelson of Stillwater; Dylan Ratigan of Lake Placid; and Katie Wilson of Keene. Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn of Schroon Lake is also a candidate for the seat.