Jobs Creation & the Economy
The American dream is still attainable, but it has changed, thanks to globalization and rapidly changing technology, and we must keep up with the pace of this change by offering New Yorkers more skills, more jobs, and more wages.
As former Nassau County Executive, I have a track record of creating and retaining thousands of jobs, and spurring economic development by bringing tech, sports and entertainment, tourism, and infrastructure jobs and projects to Nassau County.
As your Congressman, I will continue to fight for more skills, more jobs, and more wages for our communities. I will start a skills revolution so our workers have the training and knowledge needed to compete in today’s complex global economy. I will fight to support middle class working families here on Long Island and Queens who need higher paying jobs and better work opportunities so they can earn enough money to afford to live here. I will fight to get the federal funding back to our district for much-needed infrastructure projects to enhance our roads, bridges, and public transit systems, and create clean energy jobs for workers installing solar panels, manufacturing wind turbines, and building battery operated cars. Lastly, I will fight to prepare our youth to work in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields, to combat the tide of jobs outsourcing overseas, and ensure our future prosperity.
New York State is a net donor to the federal government and the third congressional district is one of the largest tax contributors nationally. The money we send to Washington is distributed to other states where they invest New York State’s tax dollars in their roads, bridges, and tunnels. We need to start bringing our tax dollars back to our district, and investing in our own roads, bridges, and tunnels.
New Yorkers are driving more miles than ever before, and today, our rough road conditions, gridlock, and congestion are costing motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually statewide. We need to create better road conditions for drivers, and develop more viable public transit options for the 70% of district three commuters who are driving themselves to work every day.
As Mayor of Glen Cove, I navigated the complex bureaucracy in Washington, bringing $50 million in federal funds to a small city on our North Shore and as County Executive, I brought federal funding in the tens of millions back to Nassau County. I know how to bring our hard earned tax dollars back to our communities—I’ve done it—and as your representative in Congress, I will fight to keep more of our tax dollars in our district so we can reinvest in our infrastructure, and bring jobs and economic growth to our community.
Clean Energy & the Environment
Today, climate change is affecting our national, economic, food, and water security, and we must take decisive action to reclaim control of our energy future. The threat of climate change has proved itself as one of the defining issues of our time, and we are already feeling its undeniable consequences. As your Congressman, I promise to support policies that will increase our energy independence, lower our energy expenditures, and transition the country toward cleaner, more cost-effective energy sources.
As the former Mayor of Glen Cove, and the former Nassau County Executive, I have compiled a distinguished record as a passionate supporter of the environment. During my tenure, I successfully got a $150 million environmental bond passed overwhelmingly by the residents of Nassau to preserve the beauty and sanctity of the Long Island Sound. I initiated 12 brownfield clean-up projects, including the demolition of pollutant incinerators, and the remediation of contaminated properties in our green spaces, and achieved dramatic results for our community improving our parks, the quality of our drinking water, and preserving our open spaces. I was named the 2008 NYS “Environmentalist of the Year,” by the League of Conservation Voters, and received the 2009 Environmental Quality Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, among several other honors and recognitions for my work as a defender of the environment.
In Congress, I will continue to fight so that we all can enjoy the beauty of where we live, and will protect New York families and communities from pollution by leading our transition to sustainable energy consumption and production. Investing in clean energy sources will safeguard our economic and national security, and will improve our overall public health. Perhaps most importantly, by becoming more energy independent, we can transition away from foreign energy sources, and lighten America's footprint in volatile regions of the world, eventually extricating ourselves from decades-long oil wars, and removing the United States as a scapegoat and pretext for violence in treacherous conflict zones.
Senior Citizens, Medicare and Social Security
My father is 95 years old and my mother is 92, and unfortunately, I know firsthand the struggles too many of our senior citizens bravely face every day. My parents were fortunate enough to secure long-term health insurance and have adult children living nearby who can help out with their every day needs, but too many of our senior citizens lack healthcare security, and do not have the support of loved ones nearby.
Today, 20% of our district is made up of residents over the age of 65, and another nearly 20% of the local population will be ready to retire within the next 20 years; after working hard and paying into Social Security and Medicare programs for a lifetime, seniors have earned these benefits and deserve to retire at 65 with healthcare and economic security. We must act now to protect our current and future Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries.
As former County Executive I have a record of working to protect and care for our senior citizens: I created effective programs that reached more than 30,000 senior citizens, and provided them with support and resources through community outreach initiatives, financial assistance, affordable housing, and wellness programs. In Congress, I will continue to fight for those who need it most: I will work to strengthen both Medicare and Social Security, and resist any efforts to privatize or weaken these programs. It will be a priority for me to fight the pharmaceutical companies and lobby to bring down prescription drug costs for seniors.
Protecting our Country and Fighting Terrorism
I am committed to protecting our core values as Americans, and as a member of Congress, Homeland Security will be one of my top priorities. The realities of terrorism have hit New Yorkers too close to home, and we have endured more than a decade of post-traumatic stress after the attacks on 9/11 by extremists motivated by hatred and bloodshed. In order to ensure our future well-being and establish peace and stability in the Middle East, we must impose a multi-pronged strategy to curbing the growth of terrorist organizations, and stopping the spread of extremist values at home and abroad.
As your Congressman, I will be committed to fighting terrorism at home and around the world by thwarting immediate threats to our safety and security. I will work tirelessly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to prevent radicalization here in the United States, and will collaborate with our allies in the Middle East and Europe to destroy ISIS, counter international terrorist threats, and assert long-term, sustainable peace and stability over our allies’ territories.
State of Israel
The US-Israeli partnership has been in place for more than 60 years, and our unique relationship is one of the great sources of America’s strength. Our bond is strong, but over the past eight years, it has been tested like never before. In Congress, I will be a spirited voice fighting to renew and strengthen this key strategic partnership.
I will vigorously support intelligence cooperation and military aid to Israel. It’s in our best interest to do so: any hint that this cooperation could be at risk is a dangerous signal to Israel, and emboldens our shared enemies. I will vote to fund a renewed 10-year commitment of a minimum $3.1 billion annually for military assistance to Israel, as well as additional funding for foreign aid to support our financial aid for defense.
We must continue to cooperate with Israel, helping to finance the development of technology like the Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling defense systems that help Israel protect itself. In my congressional district, I will work to promote partnerships between the Israeli tech sector and our own private sector and research institutions to enhance not just military applications, but clean energy, bioscience, and medical advancements. Waze is only the beginning.
As a country we must be better about putting our veterans needs first. We can never fully repay the debt we owe our service men and women, but we must do all that we can to ensure their smooth and successful transition to civilian life when they return home from service.
When I served as Nassau County Executive, we recognized that the unemployment rate for veterans was higher than that of civilians, and in December of 2008, I spearheaded the county’s Warriors to Work program, a public-private partnership that helped match veterans with open jobs in the local business community. I oversaw Nassau County’s participation in a series of Veteran Stand Downs, which aim to support homeless vets in need, and through this and like initiatives, helped hundreds of needy veterans find jobs, training, treatment, shelter, and housing during my time in office.
In Congress, I will continue to fight for policies that help our service men and women transition smoothly from the battlefield to life at home. I will press for reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs—the recent scandals in healthcare at the VA are an example of government bureaucracy and corruption of the insidious kind—and ensure that our service men and women have timely access to quality healthcare services when they need it most. Finally, I will fight for better services and support on behalf of military families who serve alongside our armed forces. It’s high time we treat our national heroes and their families with the compassion and respect they deserve.
Quality, affordable, higher education is one of the most important paths to achieving the American Dream, but the cost of college is daunting, and for too many of our students, it has become insurmountable. We all have friends and family who have had to delay, defer, or drop out of college because the costs are simply too high. For those who do to attend university, devastating loan debt creates major barriers to fiscal health and financial independence for many years beyond graduation.
I support Hillary Clinton’s “New College Compact” that will make community college free, and allows students to attend public four-year colleges without having to take out any student loans for tuition, books, or fees. In Congress I will fight for legislation that holds colleges and universities accountable for bringing down their tuition costs and improving the quality of their curricula. Finally, I will work to reduce the debt burden on our young people so our college students can become part of a new generation of business owners and entrepreneurs who can help create jobs and grow our economy.
All Americans should have access to affordable quality healthcare, but too many in Washington would rather engage in political posturing and pandering, rather than engage in a frank discussion about how to improve the current legislation. Many of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, such as the ban on pre-existing conditions, or allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until their 26th birthdays, are common sense policies that should not be repealed. That’s why I believe we should build on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act. We need to mend it, not end it.
I believe affordable healthcare is a basic human right, and support the Affordable Care Act, while acknowledging its current flaws. As your Congressman, I avow to work with both sides of the aisle to reform our nation’s healthcare policy, reduce the cost of healthcare, improve the quality of healthcare services, and fight the rising costs of prescription drugs.