WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s Direct Support for Communities Act made it into the $3 trillion HEROES Act, a second round of proposed federal aid at the coronavirus threat continues, his office announced after Friday’s passage.
The vote was 208-199, with only one Republican vote, that of Long Island Congressman Peter King, who is retiring.
Delgado’s piece of the bill “creates a formula to ensure governments of all sizes – including rural counties, towns, villages, and hamlets across Upstate – receive federal funding to support essential and front-line workers responding to this crisis,” the 19th District Congressman said.
Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, is now conducting a telephone town hall, taking questions and connect folks with resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To participate, call 855-905-3295 right now; the event began at 5 p.m.
Today, lawyer and Army veteran Kyle Van De Water made it official: He plans to run against first-term Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado in New York’s 19th District.
Van De Water has been doing what he did in Worcester last week: asking for and receiving support of most of the county committees in the nine-county district.
“With the complete support of my wife and children, our family and friends, and now the majority of the Republican county committees that make up the 19th District, I am excited to announce that I am running for Congress,” he said in a press release.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Congressman Antonio Delgado’s Sunday, Jan. 19, address at the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission’s MLK Day commemoration. Delgado represents the 19th District, which includes Otsego County.
Dr. King has long been my North Star. The power of the man spoke to me even before I fully grasped the magnitude of his legacy. And to stand here today, provided with the opportunity to honor his life – having myself become the first African American to represent Upstate New York in Congress – is incredibly humbling. For I know that without him, there is no me.
But to be clear, I’m not here to talk too much about the past and how it brought us all here today. I’d rather speak about the present, or even better, what Dr. King once called the “fierce urgency of now.”
You see, Dr. King long warned us about the moment we find ourselves in now. Indeed, he gave his last warning nearly 52 years ago, on April 3, 1968 – the day before he was assassinated. At the time, he was delivering what would become his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” at Mason Temple Church in Memphis Tennessee. He was in Tennessee to support the sanitation workers strike for job safety, better wages and benefits, and union recognition. Importantly, by that time, Dr. King had made a critical shift in his strategy to achieve justice and freedom for all. Rather than focus just on the legal and political obstacles for black Americans, he took on broader issues like poverty, unemployment, education and economic disenfranchisement for all of the nation’s poor – black, white and brown. And it was in the midst of promoting his Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. King was summoned to
Memphis to lend his voice to the sanitation workers’ strike.
In his speech that night, Dr. King said the following. “The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity.” He continued, “If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent.”
Now the way I read this, what Dr. King is saying is that as inequity grows in a democratic society, so too does the illegitimacy of that society’s democracy. And after a while, the inequity can be so extreme, that the people stop believing in democracy all together – which, is a very dangerous place to be. Why, you might ask? Well, at that point, only certain voices need matter, and only select groups need abide by the rule of law, or warrant protection under the law. And what you end up with is a society where might makes right and where greed triumphs over fairness. It’s a scary situation, and its one we are not too far removed from today.
We’ve stopped believing in democracy, and it’s not without good reason. Let me explain. When I was growing up, America was number one in the world in upward mobility. Now, we are dead last in the western world. As a young kid I had a better than 50/50 chance to end up better off than my parents. Now, more and more of our young people are worse off than their parents. Tragically, as more and more wealth has been generated in our economy, economic inequality has only worsened. Consider the fact that while the economy has doubled in size over the last 40 to 50 years, and worker productivity has increased, wages have remained stagnant over that same period of time. The wealth remains concentrated at the top. Indeed, the top .1 percent owns one-fifth of all the wealth, and the top 1 percent owns 29 percent, which is more than the combined wealth of the entire middle class. Meanwhile, the bottom half of all households own just 1.3 percent of total household wealth, two-thirds of Americans are living pay check to pay check, and half the country couldn’t survive a $500 medical emergency bill without going into debt.
It is hard to believe, but 95 percent of all the economic gains post the Great Recession have gone to the top 1 percent.
These numbers are staggering, and when combined with the fact that unlimited amounts of money are allowed to influence our elections and the decision making of elected officials, the result is that a great many of us our actually shut out of our democracy. It is no longer government for the people and by the people, but rather government for the powerful few and by the powerful few.
In response to this cold reality – where perceived scarcity becomes the norm – it is human instinct to want to close ranks and only look out for yourself and those closest to you. When faced with a zero-sum game – even if just an illusion – we take sides, lose our center – and become hollow at the core. Partisanship and divisiveness intensify and democratic norms like mutual toleration erode. Rather than accept our partisan rivals as legitimate we treat them as enemies or traitors and exhibit no restraint – anything goes. This type of environment allows for the rise of strongman politics and demagoguery, where those seeking political power appeal to the desires and prejudices of disaffected people rather than by using rational or fact based arguments.
To be clear, race-baiting, fear-mongering and scape-goating become the predominate methods for political ascent. And the result is a more hostile environment that’s feeds off of anger, and ultimately leads to hatred of the other – from racism, to anti-Semitism, to Islamophobia, to xenophobia.
And as far as I can tell, this is where we find ourselves today – this, my friends, is the urgency of now. Hate is on the march, and our very democracy is on the line. So what’s the answer? The answer, my friend, is the power of love. Now stay with me on this.
As Dr. King once preached, “I have . . . decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems.”
It is the only force, said Dr. King, “capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.” For “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that . . . Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
And I couldn’t agree more. When you think about it, love is at the heart of democracy. For love enables us to see the humanity in each other – beyond our surface level differences. Love acknowledges the equality of human dignity in us all. And as Aristotle once wrote, “democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects.”
Thus, as we are all equal in our humanity and before
God, we should also be equal in the eyes of our laws and government.
One person, one vote. We all matter, regardless of the fact we might not look like each other, pray like each other, dress like each other, or eat like each other. We all should be free to speak our minds, practice our religion, cast a vote, and pursue our happiness.
This is America’s promise; and it’s why our land has long been a beacon of hope and democracy for people everywhere. It’s why we gaze upon the Statue of Liberty with pride, and seek to embody its inscription – “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.”
All of this is born out of a profound love for humanity.
And this is why I love America so deeply. I love our steadfast commitment to perfecting our union, through all the ups and downs. I love how we were not founded on language or geography, but rather a set of democratic ideals and principles, designed to morally anchor our collective will, from freedom, to equality to fairness. I love our diversity and how it makes our endeavor as a nation, human history’s grand experiment in democracy. And I love how in America, a little black boy from a working class family in Schenectady can one day grow up to be a Congressman with a rap album and represent a district that is nearly 90 percent white, and the eighth most rural in the entire country.
HUDSON – Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, Sunday present the Micah 6:8 Award to Hudson High School senior Pierre S. Jeune, as an examplar of living by that Biblical tract: “act justly, love mercey and walk humbly with your God.”
Delgado, who represents Otsego County, made the presentation at the Hudson Interfaith Council’s Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service at Shiloh Baptist Church.
Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, Tuesday, Sept. 24, joined at least 61 Democratic congressmen who changed their minds over the weekend and now support impeachment of President Trump.
“Having taken an oath of office before God and my fellow citizens to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, I can only conclude that Congress move forward with articles of impeachment,” the congressman said in a statement released at 8:23 a.m.
The change of position was prompted by the president having “admitted to soliciting the Ukranian president to investigate a political rival. In doing so, (Trump) used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to help him win an election,” the statement said.
In developments that afternoon, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the House Democrats will launch an impeachment investigation into the president. That evening, the president said on Wednesday he would release a full transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Within minutes of Delgado announcing his decision, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement saying the freshman congressman “jumped on the socialist Democrats’ baseless efforts,” adding, “In a district President Trump won by more than 6 points, Antonio Delgado’s decision to pursue impeachment will be a political death sentence.”
The New York Times was reporting today Delgado was one of 61 congressmen who shifted into the pro-impeachment column in the past few days. Overall, 196 congressman now support impeachment, 77 oppose it, and 162 have not yet returned The Times’ calls, the newspaper reported.
“This is a far cry from the bipartisan and unifying message we heard in the Congressman’s slick campaign commercials less than two years ago,” German said. “He was elected to work across the aisle and govern. Today, the Congressman abandoned his commitment to governance in order to appease the most extreme elements of his base. This is exactly the type of behavior that inspired me to run. Politicians will never fix Washington.”
The Otsego County Democratic Party issued a statement praising Delgado’s “judgment and commitment to the critical oversight role” in changing his mind and now supporting President Trump’s impeachment.
“Beginning an impeachment investigation is the appropriate response when there is credible evidence that the laws of this country may have been violated by a sitting President,” it continued.
Casale said, “I wish the Congressman would focus on doing the work of the people of his district instead of taking us down another rabbit hole. It wasn’t enough to waste the taxpayer’s time and money on the Muller investigation, now we are on to a new bogus charge against the President.”
ONEONTA – 19th District Republican Congressional candidate Tony German said his prospective opponent, freshman incumbent Antonio Delgado, joined “the AOC wing of the Democratic Party” by coming out yesterday in favor of President Trump’s impeachment.
“With no impeachment hearings, investigations, or findings, Congressman Delgado is prepared to remove an elected President from office,” said German, retired commander of the New York State National Guard. “This is a far cry from the bipartisan and unifying message we heard in the Congressman slick campaign commercials less than two years ago.”
For the first time, Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, today declared articles of impeachment are warranted against President Trump.
“Having taken an oath of office before God and my fellow citizens to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said in a statement released by his office today, “I can only conclude that Congress move forward with articles of impeachment.”
KINGSTON – Nick’s Diner proprietor Rodney Thorsland, Oneonta, as well as Jody Zakrevsky, Otsego Now CEO, and Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan will represent the county on Congressman Antonio Delgado’s 19th District Small Business Advisory Committee, it was announced today.
All 11 counties in the district are represented.
“The district is home to more than 27,000 small businesses and self-employed owners, and I am proud to advocate on their behalf as a member of the Small Business Committee in the House of Representatives,” Delgado said.
“There are no second acts in American lives” has been attributed – some say misattributed – to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Antonio Delgado – as he recounts in his splendid commencement address last weekend at his alma mater, Colgate University – is a contradiction in point.
His experience as hip-hop artist AD, The Voice, which he assesses here for the first time we’ve seen, very well could have ruled him out as a prospective Congressional candidate, particularly – as he puts it – in the 19th Congressional District, which is 90 percent white.
Still, his first-rate credentials – they include a mother’s love, which he touchingly revisited in his speech – plus Colgate, Oxford and Harvard degrees. And his experience – as a litigator, not a lobbyist, he’ll tell you – with a top-flight law firm, certainly qualified him as a successor to the consensus-building Chris Gibson of Kinderhook and – projecting ahead – to the canny and effective Sherwood Boehlert of Greater Utica.
That Delgado is black was, in itself, never disqualifying in the 19th District – certainly, not in Otsego County, which – split a third, a third and a third Republican, Democrat and independent – voted twice for Barack Obama, with folks generally, if not unanimously, thrilled to do so.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s commencement address Sunday, May 19, at Colgate University, his alma mater. Click here to read related editorial.
I want to start with a story about my mother, who has often told me that she loves me with every fiber of her being, and there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it.
She had me when she was 21 years old; and did so against the wishes of her doctors. They advised that her heart was not strong enough to survive the pregnancy. Mom disagreed.
Now, she did not disagree because she somehow forgot about that fateful Easter Sunday when, at the tender age of 9, she was rushed to the hospital with a severe case of the rheumatic fever – so severe that she was read her last rites.
With the Mueller Report made public today, Congressman Antonio Delgado, R-19, issued a measured response this evening:
“Now that the Special Counsel’s redacted report has been released, I will review it in full in order to understand any threats to the integrity of our democracy, especially our electoral process. As our intelligence community has made clear, Russia directly interfered in the 2016 election.
“All branches of government must work together to uphold the rule of law, protect our democracy against interference from adversaries and restore public trust in our elections.”
Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, a 2001 graduate of the Pine Plains Central School District, “provides an example to all of us with her dedication and sacrifice for our country,” U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, R-19th, said in a statement released a few minutes ago.