HOW WE DIFFER ON THE ISSUES
At a 16% approval rating, we have 435 Representatives in Congress that are failing to do the people's business.
Here is how I differ from the incumbent.
BUILDING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
The contrast of our regional economy to that of the nation’s could not be more divergent. While unemployment has been falling across the nation, in distressed areas of the 16 CD the numbers are going in the other direction. They are actually touching double-digits (January 2018) when underemployment (those who have stopped looking for work) is considered. For the past 30 years the incumbent has not solved one substantive problem in the District—not one. By contrast, I have not only proposed an economic plan to jumpstart the local economy, I have begun engaging our local institutions (business and education) to begin work force development.
HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE PROSPECTS FOR UPWARD MOBILITY IN THE UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES? Answer: Attract capital to invest directly into those communities; spark entrepreneurship to be the engines of job growth; and nurture them through an incubator so that they lift the economy of the surrounding region.
We also need to build new pathways for our students to become job creators. Entrepreneurship is a life-skill that every student will need to survive in the 21st century. To that end, community colleges and local chambers of commerce are the first step in opening up those doors to success.
As your congressman, I will continue to take innovative steps to bring diverse groups together (see MYB $$eed Tank with Westchester Community College) to build the ecosystem of the regional economy.
FOREIGN POLICY CONTRAST
As Democrats, the incumbent and I share many similar values. In foreign policy, for example, I believe we need to ensure the safety and security of the one and only Jewish state. But there are some foreign policy issues where we differ. They are as follows.
PROTEST OF SYRIAN NO-FLY ZONE, AUGUST 28, 2016
About 40 residents of the 16 CD turned out to a press conference in Hastings to protest a bill that supports a ‘no-fly-zone’ in Syria. It promotes more militarism under the cover of humanitarianism. The name sounds innocuous –Syrian Civilian Protection Act. But the devil is in the details.
That is why voters across the country are fed up with career politicians; they insult the intelligence of the voters. Our incumbent who introduced this bill is no exception. Thanks Peace Action New York State, Concerned Families of Westchester and the Hudson Valley Progressive Alliance, for helping expose a fraud—A Democrat who in 2016 is espousing a Bush/Cheney war mentality; and, he is trying to slip this bill past ( using the equivalent of the cover of dark ) the voters of the 16 CD and the general public.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
The incumbent's opposing view was made clear in his remarks on July 09, 2015. “At this point, we all know the refrain: no deal is better than a bad deal. But let’s see what the alternative would be. The alternative to a deal would surely mean some kind of military strikes on Iran’s nuclear plants, and would also involve sanctions. I think when we weigh whatever final deal there is, you got to weigh with the alternative and see which alternative we like better.” Rep. Elliot Engel. -- Committee on Foreign Affairs The incumbent was one of a handful of Democrats who voted against the President and against the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
The incumbent has been wrong on foreign policy for the last two decades. He was wrong on Afghanistan; he was wrong on Iraq; he was wrong on Libya; and was wrong on the Iran Nuclear Deal. Let him know he is wrong for the 16th Congressional District.
Derickson K’s position: As outlined in my published article [Economics and International Order Drive “Musical Chairs” – Alliances in the Middle East—October 7, 2015] “A sane and nuanced foreign policy agenda will not only relegate war as an important but last resort, it will allow us to focus more of our resources on the domestic economic interest of some 320 million Americans.” Read the full article here.
Protect the rights of future generations. Lead on a global treaty to halt climate change. Protect our public lands, water supplies, parks.
Label GMOs appropriately—Full disclosure on product and food contents allows consumers to make informed decisions on what they purchase and what they consume. The incumbent recently voted to support the Roberts-Stabenow “GMO labeling” law that stops short on achieving that objective. The law which allows disclosure via a QR code or via the food manufacturers’ websites discriminates against large percentage of the general public, because most shoppers won’t have the time to scan labels with smart phones. And, consumers should not have to dig for it. More than 70% of low income populations, and more than 65% of the elderly, will not have access to these labels.
As your Congressman, I will fight for full disclosure and to end that form of discrimination.
The incumbent voted for “three strikes you’re out” and mandatory minimum sentencing legislation. These crime laws, ushered in in the 1990’s, have directly contributed to the overpopulation of our federal .prisons and the exploitation of inmates via the “Prison Industrial Complex. By contrast, I believe there are more effective approaches to address low-level drug offenders. Crime is multi-faceted and the range of solutions is without boundaries. An effective approach needs to focus on both prevention and treatment. Mas incarceration is problematic for a couple of reasons. One is because of the unfairness of system that doles out lengthy prison sentences for low level offenses. The second is because of the high cost to tax payers - $80 Billion. That translates to $40K to $60K per inmate –that could be spent on tuition at a reputable college. Many of our federal inmates (2.3 million Black and Latino men and women) may have mental health and addiction challenges and can be better served by treatment at a far lower cost.
Just compare the two perspectives --think of the downstream implications of getting a record for low drug offense –long sentence—can’t get a job after because of a record, versus diagnosis; treatment; education. Note: The foregoing argument does not take away emphasis on strong family values and prevention.
The criminal justice system is not the answer to drug abuse. Addiction is a health problem and we should start treating it that way. We need to get our priorities right. Whether it’s war on drugs, or mass incarceration, both are robbing our minority and lower income communities of their political power.
As your Congressman, I will Stand Up for Criminal Justice Reform and Roll Back Antiquated Federal Drug Laws.
GUN CONTROL AND KEEPING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE
Our nation's schools should be the safest spaces in our communities. They should not be the place of horror. I cringe at the scenes of the horrific school-shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. Unfortunately we have seen these scenes before, and we will see them again... unless our congressional leaders show the courage to act.
Whether it’s mandating a thorough background check on any firearm sale, and reinstating President Obama-era regulation that blocked the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses, the public demands legislative action.
We lead the world in violent gun-deaths because more guns are accessible and available to the public in the U.S.
Unlike the incumbent, I am deeply proud to be associated with the narrative of taking guns off the streets, and fighting crime in the district. It’s a local solution that’s effective. When you take one gun off the street, you have potentially saved a life. We need to get guns out of the wrong hands.
As your congressman I will continue to lead the fight locally, in getting guns off the streets. And, I will propose sensible, but tough gun-control legislation that will respect second amendment rights.