The progressive core values are family values-those of the responsible, caring family.
Poverty is the root cause of many of the issues we currently face both in our county and the world abroad. It’s our responsibility and moral obligation to effectively address poverty, especially in our own community.
Unfortunately, in America, the falsity of poverty is due to laziness and complacency is easily spread. It’s easier to stigmatize the people in need of assistance rather than focus on the many socio-economic factors outside of their control that contribute to poverty.
The majority of people receiving services work over 40 hours a week. Unfortunately, when the average income for the people living in our district falls below $20,000 a year, working a full-time job just isn’t enough. The poverty rate in our county is 15.8%. That should be unacceptable to all of us. It is our responsibility to do better and find long-term solutions to local poverty.
"I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out…This is the way I’m going." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 1968
The current body of the Chemung County Legislature has chosen to poison our community with fracking waste.
By allowing a large, national waste management company to transport and dispose of fracking waste in our community, the legislature at large is saying loud and clear that money is more important than keeping our residents and neighborhoods free from toxic chemicals.
Due to state and federal loopholes fracking waste is unregulated. No government entity regulates where the waste is dumped or what it contains. This lack of oversight gives these waste management companies free rain to dump whatever they want into the landfill and water treatment plants, including sites here in our own county.
Chemung County has an abundance of natural resources and beauty. We need to find ways to celebrate our locale, rather than poison it. We need to embrace renewable green energy and investigate its place in our community. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that our residents have a clean, safe environment to call home and our children have a healthy place to grow up.
In 2016 the Bureau of Labor and Statistics listed Solar Photovoltaic Installers and Wind Turbine Service Technicians as the two fastest growing occupations, with an average salary of $38,000, and a growth rate of 100% by 2026. Chemung County should be helping foster and develop renewable energy infrastructure and manufacturing. The Solutions Project estimates that transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050 creates 174,775 construction & 94,644 operational jobs in New York State alone. Many of those jobs in Chemung County; jobs that are estimated to last 40 years. It’s time to take an in-depth look at the role clean, renewable energy jobs can play in growing and diversifying our local economy.
As a community, we need to develop a countywide system of health care by using the progressive approach of evidence-based practices. We need to focus our attention on addressing the opioid epidemic, chronic disease, lack of access to quality healthcare, property tax funding of Medicaid, lack of public transportation, low health literacy, poverty, unemployment, and cultural stigmas that affect people’s quality of care. We need to bring all the stakeholders of our community together to share resources and knowledge. Our county will benefit from these diverse perspectives with increased awareness and buy-in from the community.
My hope in running for office is to help create an open, transparent, efficient, and fair government. I want to see a local administration that tells the truth to its citizens and earns their respect.
The Chemung County Legislature in its current state is not a transparent governing body. Our Legislature only answers to the County Executive's Office and not to their constituents. The families of Chemung County deserve representation that listens, informs, and works for its people.
All Chemung County Legislative meetings should be recorded and made available online for public viewing. County Legislators should be required to hold district meetings at least once a quarter.
These are just a few simple ways to return the focus of local government back where it belongs: representing the voices and best interests of the people who call this place home.