There is a widening gap between Congress and the people it represents: financial inequality, ideological differences, and social distinctions. Most importantly though, it’s an informational/educational gap that makes our representatives today misunderstand their priorities, which – aside from being our voice and making decisions that are best for their constituency – are to protect our interests and security.
Security doesn’t just mean military and police protection, although they are nevertheless important. Security also means financial security, both in terms of providing opportunities for people to succeed and making sure our information is safe from criminals. These can and should come in the form of investments in alternative energy and cybersecurity measures.
In the Congressional election this November, the representative from NY-23 must understand that our district has the potential to become the Silicon Valley of alternative energy, in the form of incentives for solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing companies to move to our region. We have hardworking people ready to build and our farmers and businesses have a lot to gain from this measure.
In terms of cybersecurity, Congress desperately needs to take it more seriously. The Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus has not put out a news release in over five years. This is embarrassing coming from the nation that leads in electronic purchases. We need a representative with a background in cybersecurity to revamp that caucus and ensure that Americans can rely on their debit and credit cards for everyday use.
Lastly, our region needs better WiFi and cell phone services. Our representative must make this a priority so that our businesses and our people can connect to the outside world. It seems like a lot of folks have been forgotten because they live far away from the town or village. They have as much of a right to decent service as anyone else. Where there is service, there is opportunity.
All indicators over the past decade have pointed to our Republican representative, Tom Reed, not giving a hoot about either of these concerns. He seems perfectly content with remaining in the past instead of securing a safe future. And this is a safety concern. Safety from cyber criminals and safety from financial insecurity. We don’t need proposals for bringing environment-harming fracking jobs to New York State; we need alternative energy jobs that are feasible and clean. We don’t need a lack of WiFi and phone services, we need more of them. The Democrats, and Reed’s opponent Tracy Mitrano, have addressed both of these issues and put forth platforms in support of these measures, so when will the Reed and the Republicans get with the times?
The choice is clear this November. We need to vote for someone who supports alternative energy and cybersecurity (Tracy). To vote otherwise (Reed) would only be harmful for our region and our people.