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Sen. Gillibrand Holds Town Hall Meeting In Troy

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by Troy's Hudson Valley Community College Wednesday for a town hall.

Folks who wanted to ask questions picked up raffle tickets at the door. The Democrat, a native of Rensselaer County, told the gathering "elected leaders owe us transparency."   "You can talk about any issue that you want to address, any question you have I will do my best to answer. But I think democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand action."

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Gillibrand fielded constituents’ questions on a variety of issues.

"As a millennial I am really concerned about climate change and the environment. I wanna know what you're planning on doing as a senator, representing our state."

Gillibrand:  "Global climate change has affected this community with extreme weather. How many floods have we seen in the Hudson Valley and Capital Region? How many changes have we seen in our environment? It's harming families. It’s harming communities. It's knocking down every tree in an apple orchard. It's ruining farms. I mean it's real."

"We still are in a situation left over from the Cold War, where one person, and we all know who that is, has the authority to initiate a nuclear conflict. What is there that the Senate hopefully might be able to do to address the situation?"

Gillibrand: "I don't agree with the president's response. I don't think increased saber-rattling is wise. I think we should be looking for alternate solutions."

"My question is about the Affordable Care Act, I'M 63..."

Gillibrand: "What the Republicans said they wanted to do was to have universal coverage but lower costs. It's not possible to lower costs with universal coverage unless you move to a not-for-profit system."

Gillibrand also weighed in on manufacturing, the concept of a "renewable future" and D.C. politics.  "And what's happened, when we used to make those wind turbines, we used to make those solar panels, you know who's making them today? China! They're eating our lunch. It is outrageous."

"If President Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, I think it will be a constitutional crisis and there will be immediate accountability."

Gillibrand also stood up for working Americans.  "You need to have a living wage to reward work in this country. Nobody should be working two jobs and still be living in poverty."

The event was the fifth in a series of town halls Gillibrand is hosting around New York.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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