Rep. Anthony Brindisi is the incumbent Democratic candidate for New York’s 22nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brindisi is originally from Utica, New York, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School.
1. What do you see as the biggest concerns of people in this district? How do you propose to address those concerns?
“This community is tired of a broken [Washington, D.C.]. Whether it is on [COVID-19] relief, health care, bringing jobs back, money in campaigns or any other issues, we are all tired of partisan politics and a broken system. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to show up in this community, work with both parties to get things done and stand up to anyone on behalf of our district. My record is clear — I’ve worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done, including six bills signed into law. These laws improved mental health care for our veterans, reduced health care costs and brought good-paying jobs back to our region. I plan to build on that success and work to push through other priorities in Congress. These priorities include getting money out of politics, thoughtfully addressing the climate crisis and creating an economy that works for everyone.”
2. What is your plan to address systemic racism in the United States? What needs to change at the federal level?
“The murder of George Floyd sparked a much-needed conversation in our country. Unfortunately, Mr. Floyd’s story is far too common for people of color in our country. We need to do everything we can to eradicate prejudice from our society. At a federal level, I supported the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which created more accountability for law enforcement by banning chokeholds, requiring body cameras and creating systems to hold bad actors accountable. I’ve marched with Black Lives Matter activists, met with law enforcement in our community and spent time listening to make sure we find a solution that works for our region. We will not fix this problem overnight. It will take buy-in from everyone and working together to find solutions that work. It should not be controversial to say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and I am ready to work with anyone to make our federal policy reflect that.”
3. What do you think should be done to address climate change? What steps do you think should be implemented to address this issue?
“Our climate is changing, and we are seeing the dramatic effects play out right before our eyes. Whether it’s flooding in our area, wildfires out West or catastrophic storms hitting our coasts, climate change is here. This means we need to act now to make sure we can preserve our planet for generations to come. As your federal representative, I am working to expand renewable energy opportunities for our region. I supported bipartisan legislation to develop vital carbon capture and removal technologies to tackle our carbon dioxide emissions. And I’ve called for the [U.S.] Department of Homeland Security to create an interagency working group to establish clear plans and best practices for tackling the climate crisis. The global climate crisis is one of the defining issues of our time. We must do our part to protect our planet for future generations.”
4. What would you do in your capacity to combat the COVID-19 pandemic? How do you think another pandemic like this one could be prevented from happening again?
“During the pandemic, I’ve worked with Democrats and Republicans to send five COVID-19 relief bills to the president’s desk. But people continue to struggle, and we need another relief package now. In any future relief package, we need more checks for working families, money for schools, funds for state and local governments, a national testing strategy and aid for our small businesses. As [Washington, D.C.] politicians bicker, I’ve worked with both parties to present a framework with bipartisan support that can deliver real relief quickly. The pandemic revealed a lack of preparedness for our country. That’s why I introduced the Made In America Emergency Preparedness Act to bolster our supply chain and ensure we are better prepared for the next pandemic. My bipartisan bill will make sure we are making critical medical supplies, like ventilators and [personal protective equipment] in America and that we have a steady supply chain if disaster strikes.”
5. How do you plan to communicate with the people in your district?
“I am proud to have held more than 20 open town hall meetings in my first term in office. I held one in each county of our district each year, and, during the pandemic, I’ve held virtual and tele-town halls to continue listening to voters. Our district deserves a representative who shows up. In her term in [Washington, D.C.], [Claudia Tenney] held one town hall, and she prescreened the attendees. That’s not what democracy is about. As a public servant, I try to be out in our community holding roundtables, listening sessions and talking with constituents about what matters to them. If any voter has a question, they should feel free to contact my office, and we will get you a response because that’s what being a representative is all about: serving the community.”
6. Why should students and young people across New York vote for you?
“Young people should vote. Period. Each year our future is on the ballot, and young people have such an important role to play in making our future a brighter one. I humbly ask for votes from young Americans because I believe we have a shared sense of optimism and desire to change our broken politics. By voting for me, you are voting to build a better Congress, tackle important issues like climate change and reform our system to work better for everyone. My record is clear — it is one of showing up, getting things done and standing up to anyone on behalf of our district. I promise to do that for students and young people across New York.”