Luisa Parker

for Congress

Welcomes You!

This mid-year election will be a very important one in the history of our congressional district. So much will be decided based on the choices made at the ballot boxes in November.  

As a Nation we have seriously been put through the wringer during the past year - from Russia's continued interference in our democratic processes, to the utterly disgraceful conduct of our representatives in Washington!  So much work still needs to be done, to risk continuing on this path can only harm us in the long-term. We only have to look at the mayhem in our schools; the willful introduction of toxins and pollutants in our waterways; the inability for many to make a living wage; the inaccessibility to affordable quality health care; the pharmaceutical companies allowed to run amok with their price gouging; the numerous threats to Medicare and Social Security; our worsening infrastructure issues; politicos allowing the dark money that line their pockets to determine their policy-making or lack thereof; the attempts to end New York's PELL Grant; the increases to the national debt; and last but not least, the persistent and systematic attack on women... the list goes on!  Sounds pretty dismal, but there's hope.   

Together We Can Stem this Tide by:


Making the I'mpossible Possible


Make It Happen 

November 6th!


Consider Making a Contribution of Any Amount to Luisa's Campaign

Issues

EDUCATION


I am a firm proponent of Early Education. I believe we do our young ones a disservice when not offering the option of Universal Pre-K and Kindergarten
Sadly, still today, disparities exist among public school districts with regard to what is on offer educationally, and even nutritionally - oftentimes depending on where students call home. I vow to do all within my power to remove these disparities wherever possible. I support raising federal Title I funding for our students living below the poverty line or who have special needs. 
The price of attaining the American Dream of a college education has become outlandishly high, to the point that fewer and fewer students can aspire to obtaining a college degree. Yet, inexplicably, adding insult to injury, Rep. Faso recently voted to reduce New York's PELL Grant Program by $3.3 billion, placing the college dream even further out of reach. I favor protecting future funding for the federal PELL Grant; and loan forgiveness programs for those who then go on to serve in our underserved communities. 
Still, there are many pathways to learning, thereby allowing higher education to remain an option for everyone. This being the case, I support tuition-free public universities, trade schools and community colleges. 

HEALTHCARE

We have thousands of uninsured and under-insured  living in the Hudson Valley. All it would take is one catastrophic health event to bring financial ruination to a family or individual. Similarly to Medicaid or Medicare, a single payer health system would make all the difference to surviving a devastating life event. This is why I favor universal healthcare and wholeheartedly support House Resolution 676 which calls for a Medicare-for-All system.


In Women's Health, insurance plans should be required to cover the cost of contraception.


 The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Program brings actionable data and strategies to communities to
make it easier for people to be healthy in their homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.The report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, helps counties understand what factors exist that influence how healthy residents are and how long they will live.   

The Rank for Health Outcomes which gauges length and quality of life showed many of our region's counties to be at acceptable standings. Unfortunately, we still also continue to have a ranking that is second to last among the 61 counties statewide!


Under Rank for Health Factors (based on weighted scores for health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors,and the physical environment) our region's rankings improve, but It is imperative that funding resources be secured for the following:

  •     keeping local hospitals operational; and
  •     funding mental health services.


Area hospitals were placed in jeopardy when Rep. Faso proposed subjecting them to multi-million dollar cuts. This proposal was done in concert with propositions calling for devastating reductions to Medicaid, to the tune of billions of dollars.  Fortunately, the attempt failed.


As regards mental health services, we must work together to eradicate the stigma that still exists around the spectre of mental illness. Depression, drug use, and suicides are on the rise among our young people, as the rise in our death rate and the horrific behaviors we witness almost daily in the media can attest to. The importance of providing quality mental health services has become especially urgent.

ENVIRONMENT

Constant vigilance is required for monitoring these corporate polluters who have no regard for our rivers, streams, and public lands.  For them, high profits take precedence over our basic health and wellness, nevermind simply maintaining the basic natural beauty of our region. I am fully behind funding the EPA, once redirected to uphold its true mission, to do the work needed to help preserve our most most valuable natural resources.


We have already paid a terrible price for poor government oversight.  We need only look to the drinking water crises in Hoosick Falls and Newburgh, and the toll it has taken - healthwise - with elevated PFOAs within our communities! These outrages have resulted in residents having to submit to voluntary blood tests and needing to drink bottled water. Even now, we still don't know what the long-term impact is. Yet, the bad actors continue polluting our waterways, with other worrisome activity being or about to be conducted, i.e., proposed fracking waste water disposal, and additional coal dust dumps.  


Against the wishes of his constituents, Rep. Faso voted to overturn the Stream Protection Rule to allow coal companies to pollute our waterways. We need to increase the monitoring and penalization of these companies that willingly dispose of their hazardous chemical wastes at the expense of the health of residents in their communities. I resolve that any companies failing to keep best business practices and insisting on breaking laws must be held accountable. 


Yes, I know we in the 19th Congressional district have our day-to-day challenges and setbacks, but overall we claim this beautiful part of New York as our home. We need to work hard to preserve it for us, our children, their children, and so on.


On the national landscape, I firmly support taking our place back at the table, at the Paris Climate Accords.   

OUR SISTERHOOD 

We cannot succeed as a nation if we continue to discriminate against ourselves. More than half the population is female! We need specific legislation to protect women’s rights and to assist in leveling the playing field. Additionally, we must commit to supporting childcare, universal pre-k and kindergarten, contraception coverage and paid family leave; because women should not be made to sacrifice their careers because they love and care for their families. Besides, men will ultimately benefit too. It's a win:win scenario. In this age of the #metoo movement, it's about time. Those pink hats sure look good on us, Ladies.

Human Rights & Civil Liberties 
Every American – regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or identity – is entitled to the same human rights and civil liberties. Our civil rights must be respected and protected as they are fundamental to our democratic society. I believe every human being is entitled to fair and equal treatment under the law, and should have the expectation of the constitutional pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.  This would include a home, an education, employment, and the preservation of mind, body, and soul.

Campaign Reform

Corporate money and Super PACs need to be severed from our political system. Government should work for the people. It should be about the will of the people and wanting to represent the people; not legislating policy based on the interests of Corporate America and lobbyists, or who will give you the most money to finance your next electoral bid for office.


There are current members of Congress in office who have held their seats for practically a lifetime. And yes, there is a degree of legitimacy there when it comes to claiming the importance of institutional knowledge, but one can become a little too complacent, a little too comfortable, a little more susceptible to the wiles of these big money hounds and thus, less inclined to uphold the oath of office ; thus my reasoning for being against lifetime appointments.


I am equally vested in being against the repeal of Dodd-Frank.  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act 2010 was adopted because Wall Street could not be trusted to regulate their own greed at the expense of the American people. They still can't. Dodd-Frank legislation should be protected; yet, Congress wants to repeal it. Dark money needs to be pulled out of politics and Congress must increase taxes on the wealthy in an equitable manner rather than resorting to these underhanded practices that ultimately fleece middle-income Americans. 

Employment 
Employment continues to be a mixed bag for the residents of our congressional district. It really does run the gamut from those of us struggling to make ends meet, below the poverty line; to those who are doing alright with a bit of penny pinching here and there; to the fairly well-off; to the down-right affluent. For some of us, there are work opportunities abounding and if not, an easy commute to the nearest urban hub.  For others of us, not so straightforward.


I support raising the minimum wage to a living wage because every working man and woman deserves to earn enough to sustain his or her livelihood. I support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. I believe a woman's right to equal pay should be protected at the federal level. I stand for the rights of workers to collectively bargain and organize and to expect safe conditions in their place of work; and I also support federal legislation for paid sick and family leave.


Unemployment is down and job revitalization is coming to the Hudson Valley region. More secondary schools are helping students explore alternative pathways to success, including attending trade schools. Infrastructure and new opportunities in renewable energy and broadband will ensure more jobs, as will increased interests in small business development; and renewed interests in agricultural fields. The aforementioned along with the toll our aging baby boomer population and survivors of the opioid epidemic will take on our healthcare systems will generate even more jobs. 


Hot tip: I am told accounting and actuarial services are the jobs of the future! 

Infrastructure 
We must make the concerted effort to invest in our roadways, reservoirs, bridges, rail systems, ports, water treatment systems, and far too limited public transportation system. High speed rail is something to be pursued as well.


Our infrastructure is antiquated and all too often reacting to emergency repair situations instead of proactively planning for repair, improvement, replacement. The government's current plan to privatize infrastructure reducing what was the federal government's 80% share of cost to 20% and having private businesses finance the lion's share of what's left is simply ludicrous. It would mean more liability for the taxpayer, i.e., more and costlier tolls for using the roads and bridges that the private company just repaired for you to drive over! Broadband access will also be instrumental in our region's future ability to generate jobs and attract new business.


Economic Stimulus and Revitalization 

There has been loads of recent excitement over Resorts World Catskills' highly anticipated  opening, and though it finds itself in direct competition with ten other gambling casinos in the eastern market, the general consensus is that it will hold its own, especially come the summer and autumn seasons when the water park and golf courses are expected to draw in even more visitors. Positions continue to be filled.


It has been tough going for Hudson Valley's dairy farmers over the past few years, with milk prices continuing to dip below production costs and no government subsidies in sight to offer any degree of relief. Many of them are now facing severe hardships - this after years of making annual premium payments to the Dairy Margin Protection Program - a program introduced to them as insurance against the catastrophic  losses caused by a failing market.


There is approximately $100 million dollars in the fund which has remained basically untouched, in the U.S. Treasury, with less than $1 million paid out in 2016 and even less paid out in the preceding year, or the year following .  A refund plan, through the Premium Refund Act, is being proposed to return these unused premiums back into the pockets of our dairy farmers. The plan is being spearheaded by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.


In the interim, the 2018 Farm Bill has been published and released and provides some actionable steps for the sustainability of our local farms, but unfortunately, our smaller farms will not benefit very much as far as subsidies go.


In the United States, over 800 million acres of land are used for agricultural purposes (plants and livestock), and of these, just over one half of a percent, or 6 million acres, is used for organic farming. This would prove to be a great niche industry in our region once developed, but would require us to invest in converting from chemical intensive agriculture to organic. 


As your representative, I  would advocate for a bill that invests in organic agriculture that protects the land; and I would encourage Hudson Valley residents to do the same. Growing more organic crops equals less expensive organic produce in the supermarket. Today, approximately 80% of certified organic foods are being imported into the U.S. We need business innovation and policy change to support organic food growth (a $25 billion industry)! Agritourism is also an area we should continue to cultivate in our region. 


Small business continues to be the driving force dominating the economic landscape for us living in the Hudson Valley. Small business owners bring unique services to our local business districts and  often support their communities financially and materially, through in-kind services, or merely by their presence. It is equally important to support them.


Workforce Development: Lastly, I cannot reiterate enough, the importance of investing in our youth to prepare them for these jobs and others. Whether they follow along an academic path: going to university or community college; attend a vocational program; enlist in the military; or train as apprentices, they will be job-ready and well-prepared for the future.

IMMIGRATION



I support everyone who enters the country legally and abides by the law.

 

I believe in pathways to citizenship and seeing as America, with the exception of our Native American brothers and sisters, is a nation built on the backs of immigrants, I cannot see us turning our backs on the 180,000 DACA recipients and their families who were promised citizenship if they abided by the rules of law. They did their part, now we must do ours.   


Our current immigration policies are based on family reunification policies originally adopted in 1965 as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The law was drafted in response to the overt racism previously in place hindering the entry of Asians and Africans into the U.S.,  and doing away with the national origin quota.  As a result, nearly 60 million people have come to live in the United States. Culturally, there was a significant impact as many cultures began living in extended family units, their families comprised of many more than the nuclear: mom, dad, and children.


Recently, the proposed reshaping of the policy, referring to it as chain migration (thereby giving it more negative connotations) and cutting portions out of it that favor family, while claiming to want to protect the nuclear family is hypocrisy at its purest. Furthermore, it would once again restrict the entry of people of color, including Hispanics and Asians, into our country.

GUNS

I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe in the right to bear arms. I also love people, especially children, more than guns, so...

I support extensive Common Sense background checks  and gun safety practices, and am in favor of limiting future ammunition round sales for automatic assault rifles, ultimately removing these weapons of war off the shelves if the American people so choose.


I also believe gun manufacturers and the NRA have too much say in Washington and have hamstrung far too many members of Congress who count on their money and so have not made any attempt to keep our nation's children protected from gun violence. Instead, they would rather say, contritely: "This is not the right time to talk about this"; refuse to take action; and repeat the cycle with the next mass shooting, All this while this hot button topic of automated rifles continues to percolate.


Apparently, no further recourse remains but to draft a

referendum, to be placed on the ballot, so the American people can vote on this issue once and for all. In the interim, embracing common sense universal background checks, along with the Fix Nics Act, are a good first step. 


More recently, with the movement fostered by the youth following the Parkland, Florida shootings, we have been called to action. It's about time.

MEDIA