The Harlem Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout at the Lantern Inn in Wassaic this week. She is a Democratic candidate for a congressional seat, in competition with Will Yandik, to represent Dutchess County’s 19th District. Teachout is known for her 2014 tough fight against Governor Cuomo which garnered her more than 34% of the vote. She is an Associate Professor of Law at Fordham, and has been active in opposing broadband monopolies and hydrofracking. Her candidacy has been written up nationally, including in the Washington Post. Terry Gipson came out to support Teachout’s run and to say a few words about his Senatorial run in New York state.
“I am running because we are at a historic level of frustration. People feel shut out of the political process where big donors and lobbyists set the policies. I have the energy and time and I know how to change policy,” explained Ms. Teachout. “I want to get increased support for small businesses in Dutchess County and will fight on the federal level for increased anti-trust laws. I was just told by Saperstein’s in Millerton that they would have to buy $50,000 of product from Osh Kosh to carry their line and they can’t afford to do that and should not have to. It is not right that five companies are buying up and hogging all the business. I want to facilitate better access to loans. Small community banks are the best lenders,” she said looking at a local banker.
Her other big platform is getting increased federal support for infrastructure:wastewater, roads, bridges and flood mitigation. She said she would like to support the influx of young people wanting to start businesses in the Harlem Valley. Ms. Teachout is also known for her strong position on reining in big banks.
“We are at a constitutional moment,” she said and explained about how important the next Supreme Court appointment is. She also wants to increase employment in the U.S. by renegotiating international trade agreements such at NAFTA and TPP so they do not reduce domestic employment.
When asked what she thought of the disharmony in the democratic primaries she said: “I think everyone should say the Serenity Prayer for unity!”
Terry Gipson, who previously served in the New York State Senate, edging out Sen. Stephen Saland, said he has a big agenda and wants to address corruption in Albany and take on campaign finance reform. “We have had two major New York State officials arrested for corruption charges recently, and that needs to stop.”