Otsego County’s congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will host a telephone “town hall” meeting via Zoom at 6:16 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.
He will brief attendees on the House’s COVID-19 relief package, which he said would deliver an estimated total of more than $400 million in direct federal funding to counties, towns, and villages across the 19th District. He will also answer questions from the public.
Participate, dial (855) 905-3295 to join the town hall, or view by clicking here.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado’s State of the District address Monday, Jan. 4, the day after he was sworn in for a second term at the U.S. Capitol.
Accessibility, accountability, transparency. To me, these are not just words—they are my creed. I can’t promise that we will always see eye-to-eye on a particular issue.
But I can and do promise you that I will listen to your views, that I will treat them and you with respect, and that, whether we agree on an issue or not, I will explain my position to you.
As I look ahead at my second term in office, these principles will continue to guide me.
I will remain a member of the Committees on Small Business, Agriculture, and Transportation & Infrastructure – not the most high-profile committees in Congress, by any means,
but by far the most important for the needs of our district.
That’s where I want to be.
Using my leverage on these committees, I will redouble my efforts to help our 27,000 small businesses and self-employed individuals thrive despite challenging economic
I will keep fighting to ensure that our more than 5,000 farms – the backbone of both our upstate economy and our rural way of life – can compete in today’s farm economy.
And I will keep pushing for investments in our region’s infrastructure – from roads, to rail, to broadband, to cell service, to hospitals, to public schools, to affordable housing – so that we can ensure a healthier, safer, and more productive future for ourselves and our children.
Our first order of business in this new Congress, however, will be to confront the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While public health experts tell us that the darkest days of the pandemic have yet to come – and it is essential that we remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to keep our loved ones safe – we can find hope in the fact that the scientific community has produced a safe and effective vaccine in record time.
As of today, New York has administered more than 275,000 vaccine doses with almost 500,000 more doses on hand. While the vaccine rollout in New York and across the nation has gotten off to a slower than anticipated start, I’m confident that our state and our country will continue to accelerate the rate of vaccinations in the coming months.
To that end, it is imperative that Congress provides more funding for state and local governments to support those on the ground doing the heavy lifting of coordinating the vaccine’s distribution.
“As some of you know, I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine here in D.C. on Dec. 18, and I will receive my second and final shot here this coming Friday. I took the vaccine upon the advice of the attending physician and consistent with continuity of government guidelines.
But I also took the vaccine to show that the vaccine is safe, and to demonstrate my trust in the public health officials whose expertise and advice has so often been ignored and undermined by those in elected office since the pandemic began.
As I travel back and forth between home and Washington and then make my way all across the district engaging with constituents about the health and the safety of the vaccine, my goal is to build trust and faith in this treatment. When I look someone in the eye and urge them to get vaccinated, I want them to know that I’ve done it, myself.
We have seen the impact of inconsistent leadership on important measures like mask-wearing, and I believe it is critical to clear up any confusion there may be around the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
I will continue to put my faith in this treatment while also ensuring that New York State, and the local governments therein, from counties to hamlets, have all the federal support needed to continue to roll out the vaccine at home.
In closing, I want to say how honored I am to be representing New York’s 19th District for another term. It has been the privilege of a lifetime. On Sunday, I took a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of this office.
Tonight, I make another pledge to you: that I will continue to listen to your concerns and priorities for our nation; that I will always put what is right for our community above what is easy but wrong; and that I will strive to be an effective representative for everyone in our district.
Thank you, and God bless you.”
Congressman Delgado, now living in Rhinebeck, is a Colgate and Harvard Law School graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and an experienced litigator on his election in 2018.
ONEONTA – Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will give the keynote address at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the State breakfast, held over Zoom this year at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
According to organizer Alan Rubin, Interim President/CEO, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, are also confirmed to be in attendance, with more speakers to be announced.
The event, which is sponsored by Community Bank, is free.
Some 60 Democrats hailed incumbent Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, on a campaign and sign-distribution stop a few minutes ago in Cooperstown’s Pioneer Park. Top photo, he chats with Layla Butterman, 8, of Oneonta, who attended with her dad Dan, who is running for state Assembly against incumbent John Salka, R-Brookfield. Others, from left, are party activists Melinda Harden and Richard Sternberg, both of Cooperstown, and former Cooperstown mayor Jeff Katz. Inset, Paula Diperna, who ran for Congress from Otsego County’s district in the 1990s, advises Delgado on climate policy. Delgado is being challenged by Republican Kyle van de Water, a Dutchess County lawyer. Delgado continued on to a campaign event in Canajoharie. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, yesterday joined U.S. Sens. Chris Coons and Ben Cardin, Democrats from Delaware and Maryland respectively, in introducing the Small Business Debt Relief Extension Act to extend debt relief due to expire at the end of the month through next February.
Hundreds of thousands of organizations nationwide have taken advantage of debt reliefs in his Small Business Repayment Relief Act that was part of the CARES Act, Delgado said.
“Still, it is clear from my conversations with owners and employees across NY-19 that folks need more support,” he said. The new bill allows “more entrepreneurs to access relief and further extending qualified loan payments for businesses hardest-hit.”
Otsego County’s congressman, Antonio Delgado, D-19, today issued a survey asking his constituents to share any mail delivery delays they have experienced with the U.S. mails.
Delgado said the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has made changes leading up to the Presidential election that “have undermined the American people’s confidence in a 245-year-old institution.”
He’s seeking constituent input in advance of this weekend, when the House of Representatives will vote on the Delivering for America Act, a bill that would prohibit the USPS from making any changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and requires USPS to reverse any initiatives so far that have slowed the service of mail.
Congressman Antonio Delgado, NY-19, has co-sponsored the bipartisan Small Farm to School Act, an eight-state pilot program where public schools would be reimbursed at a higher rate for sourcing school lunches from small farmers under the National School Lunch Program.
“Our family farmers are essential to our way of life in upstate New York, and we should be looking for every opportunity to support our small businesses and farmers, while helping our young people access more nutritious food,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado, member of the Agriculture Committee. “The Small Farm to School Act which would reimburse schools at a higher rate for sourcing their school lunches from local farms and incentivize partnerships between our upstate producers and public schools to help get more locally grown foods into schools.”
ONEONTA – Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will reopen his Oneonta office at 189 Main St., Suite 500, to hold in-person meetings with constituents by appointment.
“My priority remains the health and safety of our community while continuing to serve every person in New York’s 19th Congressional District with transparency, accountability and accessibility,” said Delgado. “In accordance with health guidelines, my district offices in Kingston, Oneonta, Delhi, Liberty, and Hudson are now open for in-person meetings by appointment.”
A visibly pleased state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, above, who announced last week he will retire at the end of the year after 34 years representing Otsego County in Albany, receives a standing ovation from the 140 attendees at the Otsego Chamber’s State of the State Luncheon today at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall. He is flanked by Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, right, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield. Insert, left, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, gave a thundering address after soliciting from the audience three reasons why people are leaving Upstate New York: High taxes, over regulation and no jobs. “Let’s address these three issues and bring people back to New York State,” said Tague, a leading Republican prospect to succeed Seward; he would face Jim Barber, a Schoharie farmer, who has won Democratic backing. “I’d have big shoes to fill,” said Tague, then reported his shoe size as 14 1/2, triple E. Seward said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year.” He won’t be at the head table, he said, “I’ll be in the audience with you, asking tough questions.” Also speaking were Mayors Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown and Gary Herzig of Oneonta. (Jim Kevin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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.