New York Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand addressed a significant crowd on the deck at Rek'Lis Brewery in Bethlehem on July 3. (Photo by Angel Larcom) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2019BETHLEHEM — New York Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand visited Rek'Lis Brewery in Bethlehem on July 3. This event was her second for the day, after a stop in Lancaster, and it was the first day of her week-long tour of New Hampshire.
She was introduced to a packed crowd by State Rep. Sue Ford and spent nearly an hour describing her track record, her stance on a variety of topics, and answering questions from attendees.
"One of the things I looked for in a candidate was someone who cares for children and for families, someone who would make an effort," said Ford. "I found that candidate in Kirsten Gillibrand."
Gillibrand opened her presentation with bold statements about her track record.
"The reason why I am running, and the reason I am going to win, is that I take on the fight that no one else does and I win," she said. "I've taken on the Pentagon twice over the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and over sexual violence. I was the first member of Congress to make my tax records public."
A graduate of Dartmouth and the UCLA School of Law, Gillibrand worked on Hillary Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate Campaign and was selected to be her replacement in the New York Senate after Clinton became the Secretary of State. She has a long track record of fighting against sexual assault and for women's reproductive rights.
While she has become more liberal in recent years, Gillibrand was considered at one time to be a Centrist Democrat with conservative positions on finances and guns. She was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, and she voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. She made national headlines ten years ago when she publicly stated that she and her husband sleep with guns under their bed.
While at Rek'Lis, Gillibrand hit all of the major topics from reproductive rights and lobbyists to gun control and the climate, and she did it in less than ten minutes before opening the mic up for questions from the public.
"I will stand up to do the right thing no matter what," stated Gillibrand. "What President Trump has done is divided the country. He's divided us on every issue; racial, religious and socio-economic. America was always known as the beacon of light in the world. Pres Trump has reduced us. He doesn't stand up for our values."
"We need a President who is brave enough to take on the battles that other people won't, and that is who I am," she continued. "I would rather have a working mom in the White House than a misogynist."
"One of the things that separate me from other candidates that are running is that I actually get stuff done and I bring people together," continued Gillibrand. "I also pass legislation. In the last congress, I passed eighteen bills that Trump signed into law. They were common-sense legislation."
Gillibrand was asked about her position on narcotics, chronic pain, and the seven-day dosage limits currently placed on doctors when prescribing opioids.
"We want doctors to be able to prescribe you all the medication you need; we are just trying to decrease the number of opioid deaths," she replied.
When asked how she would you handle the situation on the Mexican border, Gillibrand had a strong response, stating "I think what Trump has done to separate children from their parents on the border is inhumane, un-American and an outrage," she said. "It's not making us safer; it's making us less safe."
Her proposed solution: "I would make sure we are supporting comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the ten to twelve million people already here. I would not be funding the for-profit prisons that are currently locking up families and children."
Gillibrand went on to address questions about health care costs, the legalization of marijuana, wage equality, post-birth abortions, environmental toxins, and public education funding. She wrapped the session with an appeal for voters and posed for photographs with the public.