Meeting with Elise Stefanik

Ten women from Lake Placid and Saranac Lake met with Rep. Elise Stefanik on April 1 to discuss several concerns.

Although securing a meeting date was a weeks-long process, it was worth the effort.

We encourage others to schedule meetings with Congresswoman Stefanik and to communicate their experience with fellow constituents.

Healthcare — particularly proposals that would leave millions uninsured and do nothing to address affordability and accessibility — was discussed. We asked the congresswoman to reach across the aisle to craft a “Medicare-for-all” plan, eliminating or strictly regulating for-profit insurance — a major cause of high health care costs in the United States.

We spent considerable time discussing climate change and the environment, especially as they relate to the economy of the North Country, which is dependent on wilderness, clean air, and clean waterways for tourism. We emphasized that the future lies not in an economy based on oil and gas production and burning of fossil fuels, but on the production and installation of renewable energy alternatives.

We encouraged Stefanik to support NIH funding, which is essential for local biotech businesses and our research institutions such as the Trudeau Institute.

Finally, we expressed concerns regarding any decrease in funding for preschool special education, Head Start, and the free and reduced lunch program.

Early education and service assistance for the 0-5 population provides a necessary start for future generations of community members; therefore, we also emphasized the restoration of Early Intervention funds.

Stefanik was gracious, extending the allotted time to complete our dialogue. We are pleased that she will host a series of “Coffees with the Congresswoman”, open to all.

We look forward to seeing her and fellow constituents at one of these events soon.

GABBY ARMSTRONG

TRISH FRIEDLANDER

Lake Placid