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2020 Congressional Representative Closing Arguments: Allison Fine

On June 23, New York is holding its primary elections. You can currently vote through mail-in ballot. Polls are open from 6a to 9p. Visit the Rockland County Board of Elections to learn where to vote.

by Allison Fine

I don’t have any interest in, or time for, petty politics–and I’m guessing you don’t either.

My motivation for running hasn’t changed since the outbreak of COVID-19 or the events since the tragic murder of George Floyd, but what’s on the line sure has.

We have so much work to do to build a new green economy with a growing middle class that provides opportunities for everyone. We have to make sure we are uprooting systemic racism and creating new systems and structures to create a more just world. And we have to make sure tech is used well and for good.

I was hoping we were going to have a debate about big ideas in this race. Sadly, too many candidates are using safe talking points and small ideas. I built an entire field of online activism. I have worked with thousands of grassroots organizations tackling the hardest social problems of our time. I have taken on the rabid right wing on choice. We need to win the future–and I know how to do that. I grew up in this district, raised my 3 children here, and care deeply about our future. I am a successful entrepreneur, community leader and past president of Temple Beth Abraham, national leader for social justice, and a pioneer in the use technology for social good.

I am the only candidate in this race who is not a career politician or government worker. There is nothing usual about this moment in time and we should not settle for business-as-usual politicians. We need better leadership, bigger ideas and less petty politics.

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My top priority is rebuilding the middle class because without it we cannot have a functioning democracy. We need:

  • Portable benefits for every worker including paid sick leave, access to unions, access to retirement plans, and comp time;
  • Universal affordable health care, with a public option to get us there;
  • Federal government negotiating lower drug prices through Medicare;
  • Federal minimum wage of $15/hour and eliminating the tipped minimum wage.

In addition, 2/3 of new jobs come from business start-ups. We need to jump start entrepreneurship by:

  • Significantly increase capital available to new businesses through the Small Business Administration.
  • Create a federal Entrepreneurship Corps to support new business owners.
  • Establish a start-up visa; immigrants start more businesses than native-born Americans, so creating pathways for them to come to the US would create an opportunity for more businesses to form and create new jobs.
  • Provide health insurance and other benefits for entrepreneurs from when they start their businesses to provide them with the safety net that they would have if they were employed by an established business.

We also need to help working families by having universal pre-K and safe, affordable childcare.

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And we need to shift our priorities away from imprisoning, surveiling and punishing people of color to focus on education, social services and job training.

Finally, we need someone in Congress who truly understands how to harness technology and make sure we own our data and we are keeping our kids safe online.

We have a once-in-a-century opportunity to remake our economy and our democracy–let’s not waste it!

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