It’s been a busy few weeks working on upstate priorities in Washington, D.C. and at home in NY-19.
Hearing from people in our region shapes the work that I do in Congress: from addressing the lack of investment in rural communities, to making college more affordable, to holding my 27th town hall. Here are a few highlights:
- LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
- SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY AND HONORING OUR LEADERS
- ACCESSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- CONNECT WITH US
It’s been a busy few weeks both in the district and in Washington. In addition to introducing several bills, I convened discussions on the issues important to our region, including strengthening our rural infrastructure and combating the opioid epidemic plaguing upstate communities. I also held my 24th, 25th and 26th town halls.
Investing in rural infrastructure is investing in our communities. Small businesses, families, schools, and health care providers across upstate suffer daily from a lack of access to broadband. That’s why I brought FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to Hudson to hear directly from folks about the issues they face getting connected and how the federal government can support local efforts to expand broadband access. Following our conversations, I introduced legislation to address two of the biggest challenges we face: 1) inaccurate broadband maps; and 2) inadequate internet speeds. Investing in rural infrastructure and ensuring connectivity for upstate communities will continue to be a priority as long as I represent you in Congress.
The opioid crisis is deeply prevalent in upstate New York—the 11 counties in our district are home to some of the highest overdose rates in the state. In Dutchess County alone, my home county, overdose deaths have increased by 83 percent since 2016. I have discussed this crisis at length with my Health Care Advisory Committee. Recently, I held a panel bringing together first responders, medical professionals, non-profits, and those in recovery from across the district to discuss the different ways to meet the challenge of this crisis.
I also visited with hospitals and substance abuse treatment centers as well as with veterans living with chronic pain who rely on pain medication and opioids from injuries sustained while serving our country. My discussion with veterans was an important one that highlights the complexities of addressing this crisis: there are millions of Americans living with chronic pain, and we can’t abandon them in our fight to correct the fall out from the pharmaceutical industry pushing the over-prescription of these highly additive substances in cases where they weren’t warranted. All of these visits and conversations inform my work to address this crisis at the federal level while supporting the work happening on the ground.
I hope to see you all at a town hall or at an event during the in-district work period soon! My staff also holds mobile office hours each week to bring resources from my office closer to you. You can find more details by clicking here.
I am looking forward to continuing to tackle the issues impacting our communities. Thank you all for joining me in this process and I hope to see you at a town hall in your neighborhood soon!
It was a busy and exciting August—including the enactment of my first bill, the Family Farmer Relief Act, holding seven town halls throughout the district, international travel, meeting with organizations doing important work across the region, and working on legislation critical to NY-19. I always enjoy connecting with people all across the district, and the opportunity to hear about the needs on the ground.
The last two weeks in the district focused on the priorities of seniors and older Americans, as well as an in-district work week on expanding access to affordable housing. If you’ve attended one of my 23 town halls, you will know that I am deeply focused on addressing inequality and empowering our communities with real economic opportunities from the ground up.
Seniors in Upstate New York continue to confront the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs as well as threats to Social Security and Medicare. I heard from seniors across the district about the need to ensure a safe and secure retirement for future generations. My conversations continue to focus my work in Congress to address the rising costs of prescription drugs and to expand access to affordable health care to everyone. Serving the interests of our seniors includes ensuring that their earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare remain protected and solvent for generations to come.
40 million Americans live in poverty, and one of the most critical ways to lift families out of poverty is to ensure there is affordable housing. During my last in-district work week, I focused on this issue and met with organizations and local officials committed to finding solutions. I also visited with residents of public housing to hear from them about the ways in which more support could be provided. Coming out of those conversations it is clear that far too many members of our community are struggling to find quality, affordable housing. Addressing this need is essential for upward mobility for working families, and economic growth for our communities.
I am looking forward to another active month in the district in September and thank you all for joining me in this process. I hope to see you at a town hall in your neighborhood soon!
For the first time, New York State voters will be provided with nine days of early voting before the November 5, 2019 general election. In April, the State budgeted $10 million dollars in early voting aid to localities to reimburse county Boards of Elections for their cost to implement early voting. With the promise of this funding, county election boards diligently worked in a short time frame to develop a plan to provide maximum early voting opportunities to voters.
Just sixty days before early voting begins, after the counties were required to designate their early voting sites and recruit the necessary poll workers to operate these sites, Governor Cuomo has cut the counties’ access to that funding 80%. Instead of spending time training poll workers and conducting voter outreach around early voting, county boards of elections now have to go back to the drawing board to design a new early voting plan with far fewer resources. This unilateral decision by the Governor Cuomo will have a chilling effect on voters who wish to vote early--they will now have longer distances to travel and longer lines.
I urge the Governor to reconsider this decision and to fully fund the $10 million aid to localities for early voting. Early voting is just one of the dozens of election reforms enacted this year. New York’s election administrators need consistent, dependable funding to implement these groundbreaking election reforms.
KINGSTON, NY—Today, Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced his twenty-second town hall since being sworn in, and second town hall in Broome County in the town of Deposit. Following this town hall, Rep. Delgado will have held two town halls in all eleven counties in New York’s 19th Congressional District. Residents of Broome and surrounding counties are encouraged to come by the Deposit State Theater on Tuesday, August 20th at 6:30 p.m. with their questions and to share their priorities with Rep. Delgado.
“The first priority of my job is to listen and learn from those I serve in every corner of New York’s 19th Congressional District. Town halls are essential to my commitment to being accessible and accountable to the residents of NY-19, and transparent in my decision-making process and priorities.” Rep. Delgado continued, “I am proud to have held twenty-one town halls since being sworn in and look forward to returning to Deposit on Tuesday to hear from folks in Broome.”
Details for Rep. Delgado’s upcoming town hall can be found below:
Tuesday, August 20
Broome County Town Hall
Deposit State Theater
148 Front Street
Deposit, New York 13754
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, August 16, Senator Jen Metzger will host a constituent coffee hour at the Lucky Dog Store & Café in Hamden followed by a bike ride to the The Delaware County Fair in Walton.
The August 16th Itinerary Includes:
• 9:00-10:00 AM - Constituent coffee hour at the Lucky Dog Store & Café in Hamden (35796 NY-10, Hamden, NY 13782)
• 10:30-11:30 AM - Bike ride to the Delaware County Fair in Walton (Fair St, Walton, NY 13856) Should you choose to stay, DC Fair tickets are $8.
**Please be advised that this event is a one-way bike ride. Participants will need to make arrangements to get back to their cars after arriving in Walton.**
What to bring: Bike, helmet, bike lock, water, sunscreen, & insect repellent.
Background: Organized by Senator Metzger’s office, the Summer '19 Hike, Bike, & Kayak Tour is a series of outdoor recreation activities set to take place within her Senate District, which includes Sullivan County and portions of Orange, Ulster, and Delaware Counties. Most events will begin or conclude with a constituent coffee hour at a local coffee shop or community space.
I want to update you on the many opportunities I’ve had to engage with folks across NY-19 as well as the work I’ve done to elevate and address local concerns in Washington. Hearing directly from you is paramount to my work in Congress and I thank all of you who took the time to reach out to our office and attend one of our many events across the district.
From working with local veterans, to holding our 15th and 16th town halls, to an informative trip to the border and introducing legislation on infrastructure, small businesses, Lyme Disease research, and family farms, it’s been a very productive summer.
I also wanted to make sure you know that I’ve announced my seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twenty, and twenty-first town halls in Otsego, Columbia, Montgomery, Sullivan, and Delaware Counties. Click here to find out when I’m holding a town hall your community.
Below you’ll find the latest information on legislation I’ve introduced and that the House has passed this past month, as well as updates from our work around the district.
We have some big news to share! We recently opened our fifth office in the district. It is located in Hudson and will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as well as by appointment. We are working hard to be accessible and accountable to everyone in NY-19. Thanks for tuning in!
- DISTRICT UPDATE
- BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO THE BORDER
- LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
- SURVEY YOUR PRIORITIES
- CONNECT WITH US
Monday, July 22, 2019
The 2019 legislative session is over! It was incredible to be part of this historic session and I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish for the people of New York. 53 of my bills advanced through committee, with 47 of these passing the Senate and 29 passing both houses. It was particularly gratifying that the vast majority of my bills--nearly 75 percent of them--passed unanimously in the Senate, demonstrating strong bipartisan support.
I introduced 87 bills in total this session, spanning a range of issues, including education, mental health, support for our family farms, climate change, rural broadband, campaign finance reform, Lyme disease, the opioid crisis, and more. For those bills that didn't come to the floor for a vote this year, I will be working between now and the next legislative session to lay the groundwork for their passage in 2020--among these, rural broadband access (S5696/A6679A), a ban on corporate contributions to campaigns (S1013A/A5488), a bill that would reduce NY's excessively high utility fixed charges (S6241/A8118), and the Freedom from Fossil Fuels Act (S5200/A7479).
This past week, the Governor signed into law several major pieces of legislation that were passed in the final weeks of the legislative session, including the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Equal Pay legislation, and the Farm Laborer Fair Labor Practices Act (discussed below). Many bills still await his signature, and may be signed any time between now and December 30. Any left unsigned by the end of the year are effectively vetoed--hopefully, these will be few and far between.
Now that the session is over, I'm looking forward to spending more time in the district and visiting with the many communities I represent! In addition to my regular office hours in our Middletown and Liberty offices, I am traveling around the district to hear from people about what's working and what we can improve, as I develop legislation for the next session. I am also planning a variety of community events, including a Narcan training, which can save a life from an opioid overdose; a legal clinic on tenants' rights; and a series of health screenings in collaboration with local healthcare organizations--all free and open to the public. I'll keep you posted via my website and social media about dates, times, and locations!
It has been, and continues to be, my honor to represent the 42nd District, and I truly thank you for allowing me the privilege. I hope to see you this summer and fall in my travels around the district!
All my best,
Senator Jen Metzger
42nd Senate District
In this Newsletter:
- Legislative News
- Update: CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda
- Meet our Summer Interns
- Welcome To Our Liberty Office
- Upcoming Mobile Office Hours
- Around the District
- Services that Support our Communities
Welcome to my News from the 19th newsletter! I enjoy connecting with you to send updates about my work in Congress to ensure I am transparent, accessible, and accountable to everyone in NY-19.
Since I wrote you last, I have had busy weeks in Congress, both introducing legislation as well as travelling around the district and holding fourteen town halls to hear from people directly about their concerns and what they would like to see from me in Washington.
During the last work period, I introduced several pieces of bipartisan legislation to address priorities important to the district. Notably, I introduced legislation to assist family farmers and make more farms eligible to declare Chapter 12 bankruptcy, to require companies to publicly disclose use of PFAS and PFOA chemicals, to increase access to lifesaving buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction, and legislation to make it easier for military spouses to find employment. These issues are deeply important to me and reflect the priorities I hear from folks in Upstate.
In addition, I am proud to announce that I opened my fourth district office in Liberty in Sullivan County. I also have district offices in Kingston, Delhi, and Oneonta as well as mobile office hours with members of my staff across New York 19.
Read on below to learn more about this busy legislative season and my in-district work period where I focused on hearing from students and school administrators as well as workforce development programs. Thanks for tuning