What Katie's Fighting For:
We are living through a moment where the polarization in America is stronger than it has been in decades. If we desire progress, we must acknowledge the root causes of this divisiveness and take action.
By and large, we are arguing over who has access to resources and how people make money, while watching the wealth gap grow wider every day. In order to address the root cause of our society's ills, we have to meet people's basic needs and address income inequality while fighting corporate corruption. Only then can we create healthy communities and economies while creating a better future for our children. Only then does the American Dream exist.
I believe that access to affordable healthcare is a human right. I also believe the biggest obstacle to affordable and effective healthcare is the power and influence of the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies. We must rein in this disturbing display of corporate interests and greed and achieve healthcare for all. In the meantime, we can provide the most coverage for the largest amount of people by providing the American public with a Medicare buy-in option on the Obamacare exchange. This can serve as the bridge to universal healthcare in America.
The North Country also faces unique challenges: We must invest in our rural hospitals and health centers to ensure they can continue to serve our communities and advocate for policies that address the quality of care and staffing crises in our region’s nursing homes. In the 12 counties that make up NY-21, there are only seven hospital beds reserved for opioid detox. I will fight for resources to address this massive need as so many of our neighbors struggle with addiction. We also have the largest veteran population in the state and not one VA hospital in the entire district. Our brave servicemen and women deserve quality, easily accessible healthcare and services close to home.
Healthcare programs like CHIP and Medicaid must be protected and reinforced in order to ensure the health and well-being of our children and seniors. Through Medicaid funding, many children, including my own, have access to speech and occupational therapies. Seniors and caretakers of elderly parents rely on Medicaid for home care services and nursing home costs.
For many young men and women, Planned Parenthood is their sole healthcare provider. I stand with Planned Parenthood and the important work they do in keeping our communities healthy through family planning services and cancer/STD screenings.
Small businesses + Economic development:
As a small business owner, I know the economic issues we face here in the North Country intimately.
As your representative, I will work to free small businesses from the burden of paying for their employee's health care, advocate for increased access to micro-lending to empower start ups and women entrepreneurs, and demand fairness in our tax code. Small businesses like my own should not be held to the same tax structure as large corporations: I propose a fair and graduated tax that takes into account scalability and size while assuring that access to micro-lending becomes a reality. It’s time to empower and value small business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs as the backbone of our local economy.
To create a business friendly environment that attracts and retains young people, we need basic community infrastructure to support our workforce. I'll fight for good local transportation through innovative ride sharing programs, quality & affordable childcare initiatives that emulate programs in New England where nursing homes and daycares work together to provide a better quality of care for both, and I'll fight for comprehensive broadband and cell phone coverage here in the North Country.
Nearly 28 percent of North Country households and businesses are without broadband. With a rapidly increasing importance of digital communications, we are not maintaining competitiveness with the rest of the state. This inhibits not only small business owners and professionals, but children and students trying to compete in the digital age.
We are in a unique time when many millennials and seasoned professionals are returning to the area with the option to work remotely. We need these people–young and old–to stay and must provide them with every function needed to support a lifestyle in this technologically driven era.
Every day we entrust the future of our children to the teachers and school leaders and yet often they have little say over earmarked funding. Those who best understand their communities and student bodies should keep local control to create the best educational opportunities for our kids.
In NY-21, we are fortunate to have incredible programs like BOCES and CV-TEC where students can pursue technical skills training and direct-entry career paths. By expanding these models of learning, we can invest in internship programs, empower our students, and allow businesses to train for positions that need to be filled within our communities. This will both create a pipeline of future employees and help keep young people here in the North Country.
Every child deserves access to well trained teachers and no child should be subject to under qualified teachers due to their socio-economic status. As public school funding follows the student if they switch schools, we must hold charter schools accountable to the same standards as our public schools to maintain the integrity of our education system.
Special interest groups should not be funding our elections. We have to address the hurdles keeping so many driven and committed citizens from running for office. At a time when income inequality is approaching an all-time high, we don’t need more millionaires creating policy in America.
Not only do I hold a deep reverence for the land, especially here in the North Country, but I understand that our environment is critical to the local economy. We rely heavily on tourism here in the Adirondack region and the quality of our soil and water is critical to the farming industry in surrounding areas. I oppose legislation that threatens our right to clean air and water, period. I'll fight every day to ensure our lakes, rivers and streams are protected, to protect our future generation's access to a healthy environment and economy, and the reining in of corporate greed that threatens our future in so many ways.
I support an end to fossil fuel subsidies, keeping oil in the ground, and reviving the American economy through clean, green jobs that will lead us to a '100% renewables' energy future.
I haven't waited to get elected to show leadership on local issues. I led the charge when a shady rail company employed extortion tactics aimed at our local Adirondack communities, threatening our economy and environment. You can find comprehensive coverage of this issue on our Press page and sign the petition (below) to ensure Iowa Pacific Holdings is brought to justice.
Call to Action on Rail Car Storage
The Adirondack Park is not a junkyard, and the residents of the North Country deserve a voice in determining how our land is treated and protected. We know Iowa Pacific intends to store 22 miles of rusting, decaying, vandalized and toxic rail cars inside the park, sitting on the banks of our rivers and in our protected wilderness. This is not a partisan issue. All across Warren and Essex counties, and beyond, community officials and residents have come together in opposition to this misuse and abuse of our environment and region.
The Surface Transportation Board recently cemented their legal authority and federal jurisdiction over the Tahawus rail line – and Iowa Pacific Holdings, the company responsible for parking thousands of dangerous disused rail cars on the 22-mile stretch of track – when it granted the company “common carrier” status in 2012. The ruling allowed Iowa Pacific to rebuild and use outdated segments of rail lines to transport WWII-era materials for refinement in New York. Now, the company intends to use this federally-granted authority to turn the Adirondack Park into a parking lot for contaminated and unsafe tanker cars that pose a health risk to both the environment and surrounding communities.
Together we can call on Elise Stefanik to break her silence and finally take action to protect her constituents.