Letter to the Editor: Anybody Can Talk the Talk, Adam Schleifer Walks the Walk

In New York’s 17th Congressional District’s crowded primary to succeed Nita Lowey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, there is only one candidate that has the necessary experience in fighting against fraud, abuse, and inequality towards working and middle-class families. That candidate is Adam Schleifer.

As a consumer protection regulator under Governor Cuomo, Adam worked against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders who were known for targeting senior citizens, people of color, veterans and low-income citizens. Most notably, he stopped MoneyMutual from profiting off trapping New Yorkers in impossible cycles of debt and from using trusted celebrity Montel Williams as an endorser of these loans.

Adam continued his career in public service, as an Assistant United States Attorney where he prosecuted healthcare fraud, financial crimes, and Ponzi schemes, such as one targeting a church and its elderly members. Adam also prosecuted crimes of sexual assault, child pornography, and sexual extortion, protecting and working with vulnerable victims of these horrific acts. Adam prosecuted many federal felony firearm offenses, taking dangerous and high-capacity assault weapons out of the hands of criminals. Adam also worked on the well-known “Operation Varsity Blues” where wealthy parents of high school kids, such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin, were accused of using money to influence their children getting into top colleges.

Adam has proven himself to be a fearless advocate for our most vulnerable communities and throughout the duration of his career in public service. Adam’s plan is to bring economic justice to working and middle-class families. From hardworking families and the elderly to the disability community, his policy ideas will help millions of Americans.

“Working and middle-class families are the backbone of our economy, but we have not always treated them as such,” Adam states on his campaign website.

Adam’s Economic Justice Plan calls for five main initiatives: establishing paid leave for all working Americans; direction of federal funds to support 21st century small businesses; protecting Social Security benefits; strengthening unions; and implementing universal pre-K for all children who wish to attend.

Adam understands that a lack of paid family or medical leave can lead to financial hardship, discrimination towards women, and negative health outcomes for working people. Therefore, in Congress, Adam will support legislation like the FAMILY Act, which provides workers with paid leave to attend to serious personal illnesses, the birth or adoption of a child and sick loved ones.

Adam recognizes the need to support small businesses in our communities after the strain they faced during COVID-19. Adam will prioritize small businesses by directing federal funds to support them, with an emphasis on those that are minority-owned or focused on addressing climate change. Adam’s plan includes increasing the amount of federal contracting funds awarded to minority owned businesses and increasing the amount of federal incentive programs that allocate grants to small businesses developing solutions to address our environmental crisis. This plan would both support small businesses and work to tackle racial inequality and climate change.

Adam will advocate for the 178 million Americans covered under Social Security by working to protect benefits that have been threatened by President Trump, who has proposed slashing $45 billion dollars from the budget. Trump’s cuts threaten Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income that serve disabled children and adults. Adam will do everything in his power to halt these cuts and protect our disabled citizens. He understands the importance of this issue because it is personal for him, having a brother with special needs. In addition, as described in his tax plan, Adam will repeal Trump’s state and local tax deduction cap that limits how much money families in Westchester and Rockland county can deduct from their federal tax obligation.

Adam notes the decline in union membership over the past 30 years, falling from 20 percent in 1985 to under 11 percent in recent years. Adam understands that strengthening unions both protects ordinary citizens and boosts our economy. In Congress, Adam will support the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which safeguards workers’ right to unionize, collectively bargain, and stand up to “right to work” laws.

Adam believes that no child should be denied the opportunity to attend pre-K based on socioeconomic status. He has laid out a plan to implement a universal pre-K program that would create an option for parents to send their three- or four-year old child to a full-day, full-year public pre-K taught by credentialed teachers. This plan proves to be necessary in our district, as only 20 percent of 4-year-olds in Nyack are able to access pre-K despite the strong cognitive and non-cognitive benefits associated with attending.

Economic justice is an issue that needs immediate action. In the United States, the gaps in wealth between upper-income and middle- and lower-income families are rising, and the share held by middle income families is falling. Income inequality in the United States has increased since 1980. These trends will only continue under the Trump administration.

We need a candidate who has legitimate experience in standing-up to corporate greed, fraud in our healthcare system, and criminal abuse. We need a candidate who has dedicated his life to standing up to bullies, fighting corruption and advocating for the needs of ordinary Americans. On June 23rd, we need Adam Schleifer.

Alexa Heller
Briarcliff Manor, New York


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