I want to thank The Wave for covering my campaign for the Democratic nomination to represent the new 5th Congressional District, which includes the entire Rockaway Peninsula. It is now official that my name will appear on the ballot on June 26, marking the first time Gregory Meeks will face a primary challenge since taking office in 1998. The thousands of voters who signed my petitions, including many from the Rockaways, have sent a message that is loud and clear: they want a choice in the upcoming election.
As your article last week noted, The Wave’s editorial board and I sat down for a wide-ranging interview. I believe primary elections are important because they compel nuanced discussion about the issues, and so I wanted to make a few clarifications. Mr. Meeks was the only New York City lawmaker to vote for the Budget Control Act, which cut Medicare provider payments and eliminated subsidized student loans for graduate students. He also voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Earlier this year, he stated that he was aware his call for “smaller government” could result in the loss of many federal, state, and city jobs. As one Queens newspaper noted, these policies might cause a second wave of people in the area losing their homes.
By contrast, my approach is to preserve essential programs on which everyday people rely. In an economic climate like the one we’re in, cutting Medicare, access to education, and jobs is disastrous. I will instead work to ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share so we don’t endure more reckless cuts. Regardless of the political landscape in Washington, my record will not reflect a philosophy that says the rich should get richer by taking from everyone else. When the everyday Americans who are the foundation of this country have the support they need, we all do better.
This election should be about the economy, and when presented with the choice I am confident the people will prefer my approach. I again thank The Wave for helping spread the word. We may not have the corporate dollars, but we do have public opinion on our side. I invite everyone to visit the campaign site at www.scalaforcongress.com, like us at facebook.com/scalaforcongress, and follow us at twitter.com/scala4con gress. With everyone coming together, we’ll bring some common sense to Congress.