New Paltz resident Steven Greenfield will be on the ballot for the Green Party chasing the position of congressman for the 19th District in November.
This 17-year district resident is a former member of the New Paltz Board of Education and has served with the village’s volunteer fire department. Back in May of this year, Greenfield qualified for the Green Party ballot line, defeating a petition from a Gardiner Democratic committeewoman Barbara Sides to remove his name.
Greenfield is the only candidate in the district with experience in both elected and appointed positions in public office. He has experience with numerous aspects of the public sector, including implementing public policies and orchestrating public contracts.
In a previous interview with The New Paltz Oracle, Greenfield justified his eligibility for the position.
“My background in economics and travel inform me that all of these issues and interests are interrelated and easily improved,” Greenfield said. “My approach is stepping outside the realm of partisan conflict and speaking solely to efficient solutions.”
Greenfield has a simple approach to addressing issues within the district: “Show me the problem and I’ll start solving it.”
Among Greenfield’s numerous campaign points, Greenfield is strong supporter of affordable higher education for students. He emphasized the detrimental effects that student loan debt has on young people’s futures.
“Not only have you lost your freedom to pursue life as it suits you with your education,” Greenfield said. “But we as a society have lost your productivity and creativity in any other realm where the pay isn’t immediately certain at the age of 22.”
Additionally, Greenfield is a fierce proponent in drastically increasing the minimum wage and establishing a single-payer national healthcare system to establish quality of life assurance for every American. Greenfield also attacked other candidates for accepting corporate money to fund their campaign.
“I will introduce legislation to cancel student debt and make all public colleges free. The other two candidates won’t do that,” he said.
“ [Corporations] are going to finance the kind of candidates that support their interests. That initial starting point of viability is established by the institutional donor pools who tend to donate equally to both parties. They’re investing, not donating.”
He specifically questioned Democratic candidate Antonio Delgado’s motives for joining the congressional race. Like many of the other candidates in the Democratic primary, Delgado has no experience in public office at all.
“Antonio Delgado was making $335,000 a year at his Wall Street law firm before moving here to run for office,” Greenfield said. “Congress only pays $170,000 a year. Why do you walk away from that, to a place you don’t know, for half the pay and no potential for career growth at all?”
While Greenfield acknowledges the pitfalls of running with an independent party, he’s happy to be the Green Party candidate.
“The tragic state of our two party system is that Republicans candidates always vote Republican and Democrats may not feel comfortable with their candidate, but don’t want to give Republicans a chance to win,” he said.
“[Green party members] will take the risk to fight for issues they find important, even though it may not be fully supported.”