Over the past three years, as I’ve traveled every corner of this district, I’ve heard the same things, no matter where I am or who I’m listening to. People are worried about being able to afford to pay their rent or mortgage, putting food on the table, and going to the doctor when they need to without worrying about the cost. I want to serve in Congress to make sure no one has to face those challenges.

You can count on me to fight for you, because my story is your story. I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, to not be able to find insurance because of a pre-existing condition, to watch medical debt pile up and have no idea how you’re going to get out from under it. If you vote for me, you will be sending someone to Congress who will approach every decision with one simple question: Will this make life better for central and western New Yorkers?

My commitment to being a champion for the people of our district is why I was the first House candidate in the entire country endorsed by Joe Biden. He knows our area better than anyone who has ever held national office; he lived here, went to school here, got married here, and has family here. That’s why I’m so honored to have his endorsement. Joe Biden knows I will be a tireless advocate for working families. I will work with him to cut taxes for everyone making less than $400,000 a year and raise taxes on millionaires, billionaires, and giant corporations to make sure they finally pay their fair share. I will work with him to expand access to affordable healthcare, starting by lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare and offering a public buy-in so you have a choice between public and private insurance.

I’m also proud to have the endorsements of our region’s most trusted leaders, including President Barack Obama, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, State Senator Rachel May, and Assemblymembers Pam Hunter, Bill Magnarelli, and Al Stirpe. They know that we deserve a representative who will always be on the side of central and western New Yorkers, and that’s the type of Congresswoman I’ll be.

The alternative is John Katko, a man who’s been in office for almost six years and has voted against making healthcare more affordable and more accessible for us. He voted to gut the Affordable Care Act, putting healthcare for 300,000 central and western New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions at risk. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and voted to defund Planned Parenthood five times, after promising us he never would.  He voted for $750 billion in corporate tax giveaways — to the same corporations who bankroll his campaigns — adding $2 trillion to our debt and putting Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block. We deserve better.

The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher. We are facing the worst health crisis in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a climate crisis that literally has our country on fire, and a racial justice crisis that we are generations past due in addressing. And at the top, we have a President who’s making it all worse. He has refused to get the spread of this virus under control. He foments hatred and fear. He is making us less safe with every passing day.  John Katko looks at these four years of the president’s failed leadership and his judgement is that we should “stay the course.” Donald Trump is the most dangerous and corrupt President of our lifetimes, and John Katko endorses him.

This race is about who is going to best represent you in Congress, whose judgment you trust, and who is going to be a champion for you. As I’ve made clear, I will always stand on the side of working families in central and western New York. That’s why I don’t take a dime of corporate PAC money. Congressman Katko, on the other hand, has taken millions from corporate PACs -- big pharma, big oil, big banks, the insurance industry, the gun lobby -- whose interests don’t line up with central and western New Yorkers’. That’s why we see him cast vote after vote on taxes, on health care, and on the environment that benefit his corporate donors instead of us. We deserve better.

We need leaders who are going to work to bring us together instead of tearing us apart, people who will work to lift us up because they understand the challenges that we face. And I do. I hope to earn your support and your vote, because together, we can bring America back.

Dana Balter is the Democratic Party nominee in the 24th Congressional District. She lives in Syracuse.

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