Congressional candidate Antonio Delgado hosted a meet and greet with students and members of the New Paltz community at Huckleberry on Oct. 5.
Between 30 and 40 people attended the event, to share stories and voice their concerns about the district to Delgado. The event doubled as a voter-registration drive, urging attendees to vote in this highly-contested upcoming general election.
“When students come and talk to me about their own views of the future of our country, I see them best represented in the values and platforms of Delgado,” said Deputy Mayor KT Tobin.
Delgado is the Democratic nominee for New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties. He is running against Republican incumbent John Faso, who was first elected in 2016.
Numerous members of the New Paltz community were in attendance, including SUNY New Paltz students, local residents, children and members of the New York Public Institution of Research (NYPIRG). Delgado individually introduced himself to almost every person in attendance, before rallying the crowd in a semi-circle to speak formally.
“We are at a tipping point in this country, where the level of inequality has reached staggering levels,” Delgado said. “We’re living in a time where people are being pushed into the cracks. That’s not just politics, it’s cruel and immoral.”
Delgado addressed a number of prevalent issues to the audience, including climate change, universal healthcare, affordable higher-education and the ongoing opioid crisis. In order to meet and effectively overcome these challenges, he called for serious reform within the legal system.
“A lot of folks understand that climate change is a real issue,” Delgado said. “We’re doing nothing about it because we have people in Washington D.C. who are bought and paid for by industries of yesteryear.”
Delgado went on to note the need for political reform as well. He discussed the shallowness of many politicians and the need to stress fair, non-partisan decision making.
“[Politics] has just become a game for too many people. It’s just a power grab for them. Too few people have the wealth and resources to influence decisions,” Delgado said. “We need to get to a point where we are encouraging, systemically, bi-partisanship.”
“It is clear to me that Antonio Delgado possessed a robust understanding of public policy, and is more than qualified to serve as our district’s representative,” said first-year political science major and attendee Garrett Tanis. “In a political landscape dominated by shallow soundbites, I found Antonio Delgado’s detailed answers to be incredibly refreshing.”
That same night, incumbent Faso held a $5,000 dollar fundraising event with Vice President Mike Pence in New York City. As a response, the Delgado campaign held a “NY19 Grassroots Fundraiser” at Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY, following the meet and greet. Attendees were charged $19 as a criticism of Faso’s big money campaign.
“These policies are allowed to continue because they are banking on young people not voting,” Delgado said. “The more people who show up to do the work, and truly want to inject real-life into our political process, the better.”