NY - 10th District

Priority issues

Lindsey has been deeply immersed in New York’s 10th District her entire adult life. Listening to people talk about their greatest needs and aspirations for the district and the country is her ongoing commitment and passion. Lindsey’s priorities are based on her own convictions and the innumerable conversations with local New Yorkers—she has both the will and know-how to act on these issues in Congress. This short list of priorities is a road map of where to begin.

Climate change is the most important challenge of our time. Period. We need look no further than the 10th Congressional District’s miles of coastline to see the urgency of climate action. Over one-third of properties in Lower Manhattan will be at risk from storm surge by 2050, the sea level is projected to rise six feet by 2100 and 20 percent of Lower Manhattan’s streets will be exposed to daily tidal inundation, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation. To stave off the worst effects of our rapidly shifting climate and to prevent further global destruction, we need bold actions and committed leadership—Lindsey excels at both. The science is clear: we do not have time to sit on the sidelines and wait. We must act now. We need to unleash a massive mobilization of investment to transform not only our infrastructure but our communities, too. Addressing climate change is as much about environmental justice as it is social justice. A pragmatic Green New Deal can bring about the dramatic change we need, while also providing good jobs and living wages to those fighting on the front lines of climate change. Lindsey helped shape the policies that generated this growth while serving under Governor Cuomo, and she will take this experience with her to Washington DC. Our success at home in New York is the result of strong, progressive policies and we need Lindsey’s experienced, bold leadership in Congress to move our country towards an equitable post-carbon economy before it is too late.

New York City is in the midst of a housing crisis. With as much as a third of residents severely burdened by unaffordable rent and public housing in an inhumane state of disrepair, it is becoming increasingly impossible for many to stay and thrive in New York. Lindsey successfully secured hundreds of millions of dollars in increased funding for NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) buildings during the last state budget cycle, making her intimately aware of the challenges and serious advocacy needed to create and maintain fair and affordable housing. Fundamentally, this will involve the federal government returning to its role of financially supporting the federal public housing it built, as well as expanding transformative and reliable programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Housing Choice Vouchers Program (Section 8 Vouchers). When we fail to deal with housing issues head-on, as we have for decades, we put children, seniors, veterans, and others who need our support the most in peril. It is no surprise that with a years-long waitlist for section 8 housing vouchers, the Coalition for the Homeless estimates that there are over 60,000 homeless people, including over 15,000 families with more than 22,000 homeless children sleeping in shelters each night in New York City. Put simply: we need to find ways to keep all New Yorkers in New York and in the kind of conditions we would expect for our own families. Lindsey is committed to making this happen.

Our greatest asset is our people, and we’re working harder, faster, and longer than ever. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a surprise that workers are unable to make ends meet even while holding multiple jobs. In a time where our labor community is facing assaults daily on their ability to organize and advance, our workers should be able to cover life’s basic costs with comfort and confidence. A national living wage should be tied to inflation and re-assessed bi-annually at a minimum to ensure that the value of a dollar makes it to every worker. Lindsey worked hand-in-hand with the business community to pass the most ambitious minimum wage increase in the country and will work tirelessly to ensure that the federal government does the same. Also, as a working mother, Lindsey knows all too well the challenges of pregnancy and parenting while working full-time. These challenges are often made even more difficult if one encounters health problems, such as post-partum depression, like she did. Lindsey also knows the heart-wrenching emotional and logistical challenges of caring for an ailing loved one. No one should have to choose work over taking care of a newborn or a sick relative. While serving in New York government, Lindsey was instrumental in passing New York’s Paid Family Leave and she will not stop until the U.S. adopts a similar federal policy.

Mental health is as important as physical health, yet we face tradeoffs in self-care and are too often forced to weigh paying out-of-pocket for mental health services against other payments, like food and rent. At this moment in time, during which there is wide recognition of healthcare as a human right afforded to all Americans, it is imperative to highlight and support mental health. We must ensure that all New Yorkers have access to good quality mental health treatment and coverage regardless of ability to pay. We need to provide wraparound services in mental health treatment within schools, prisons, and other community centers, as well as increased training for medical professionals, first responders, and other government employees. While state and local programming is critical, federal aid is necessary for innovation and systemic change to combat mental illness. Lindsey’s family has experienced severe mental illness and Lindsey personally battled post-partum depression. This firsthand knowledge, coupled with her significant professional experience working with public and private partners, will be instrumental in advancing this desperately needed agenda in Washington.

New York City is an economic, cultural, and engineering marvel, but we must continue to reinvest in our infrastructure if we are to continue playing a central role in advancing global innovation. This is particularly urgent as New York always has and will continue to serve as the economic heart of the country and beyond. In today’s national political environment, states and localities have largely been left alone to make up for the massive funding holes left by federal disinvestment in our roads, bridges, tunnels, public housing, and transportation. Meanwhile, our city crumbles. New York sends far more to Washington in tax dollars than it gets back each year. We must ensure our federal government works for us, the people, and shoulders its fair share of funding for critical infrastructure projects that are necessary for our region and our country to thrive. In New York, these projects include the Gateway Tunnel, high-speed internet access, regional transit, water, and power infrastructure. In her time serving New York State, Lindsey was deeply involved in building the future New York – everything from overseeing the planning for transit centers such as Moynihan Station to the statewide initiative to get high-speed broadband internet access in to every home. Lindsey has the experience and grit to build the New York of our future.

America’s ability to innovate is central to how we grow as a society and improve our lives while guaranteeing a vibrant future for our children. By investing federal dollars in innovation, we are betting on our people to find novel ways to create what is needed to succeed tomorrow. Unfortunately, we’ve steadily decreased this exact category of public investment for the last several decades. According to a recent report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, the United States is losing significant ground in terms of innovation investment on a global scale. If we don’t change our public investment patterns, we will permanently fall behind on innovation and the jobs of tomorrow. Ingenuity is a commodity we do not have in endless supply unless we feed that ingenuity. It must be renewed through investment in research and our people. We need to get back in the game of investing in innovation at the federal level with a specific focus on basic and applied research. We also need to find every way to support small business growth – the engine behind job growth and the key to getting more women and minorities in business leadership. Between her oversight of investments in tradable sectors like photonics and the life sciences the state’s small business division Lindsey is intimately aware why and how to use innovation to create jobs for our people.

Technology has afforded us many opportunities to connect and solve problems, and to do things faster and more affordably. Yet, technology also requires all of us to think about what our work will look like years from now – in a not too distant future. We need to plan for the future of work and jobs, and we need a nationally-led effort to respond to advancements in a way that protects and honors the role of workers within the work they do. Lindsey is a proven and effective thought leader on the economy and workers’ rights. During her time in New York government, Lindsey partnered with local cities and community organizations to advance statewide workforce development and retraining opportunities, apprenticeships, and lower-cost educational options. She has deepened relationships between community colleges and employers to create workforce programs that respond to the needs of a changing economy by making life-long learning programs available to everyone affordably. In 2016, Lindsey helped the Governor enact one of the nation’s first $15 per hour minimum wage. Lindsey is skilled at implementing the kind of forward-thinking ideas that are on such short display today in Washington and she will get to work immediately on issues about our future work.

Giving young children an early start at education, while providing their parents with built-in caregiving, is an obvious net positive for society. New York City’s Universal Pre-K program has been an overwhelming success, and parents and caregivers frequently tell Lindsey how transformative it has been for their family and their children. We need to invest in our children and families now with a national Universal Pre-K program, and Lindsey is the perfect person to drive home this agenda item as a working mother with a team intentionally built with many working parents.

All too frequently, decisions are made about women’s health that are nearsighted, inadequate, and ill-informed. It should go without saying that women should be making decisions about women’s health, but this unfortunately is still not the case. And we see the life-or-death consequence of women not being at the table advocating for their health most clearly with the maternal mortality rate in America. The United States is alone among developed countries in that more women die in childbirth today than 25 years ago, according to a recent CDC study. Black women face a risk up to 4 times greater than white women. It is untenable that our health outcomes have gone in the wrong direction amidst so many medical advances. Not a single woman, of any color, should die in childbirth. This should be a front-page story; Washington does little to abate these unnecessary illnesses and deaths. We must grapple with these, and other women’s health-related problems head on – everything from NIH research to hospital and patients’ rights protocol. As a mother who has been through the experience, Lindsey is passionate about advocating for women at every level –from protecting their right to choose to ending the maternal mortality crisis.

All too often, the wisest and oldest members of our society are disregarded in policy decisions. Lindsey's own personal experience caring for ailing family members makes this issue close to her heart. We must support our parents and grandparents so that they can live their lives with the dignity they deserve. She looks forward to bringing her sharp policy skills to advocate for these esteemed members of our society and the ones who love and care for them. Social Security helped reduced the poverty rate among seniors by two-thirds and it requires our unabated support. Some still fall through the cracks, and more so among women because of their greater longevity. Focusing on housing policies, women’s health and others will help, but we still need to do more. The tremendous expense of long-term care is often a substantial problem. Lindsey supports efforts to implement a financially sustainable program of long-term care insurance.

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