BY MICHAEL CAHILL
New York’s 17th Congressional District will be getting a new leader this election season as Congressman Eliot Engel has been drawn out of the district. In fact, because of redistricting the new 17th now contains all of Rockland County, along with parts of Westchester County.
Longtime Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey hopes to continue her tenure in Congress representing the new district. “I have 350,000 new constituents to meet, and I’m working very very hard,” said Lowey during an interview with the Rockland County Times.
Lowey has been a representative since 1989, but until this year, most of her district was in Westchester. Now that’s flipped and Rockland will be her main turf. Whichever side of the Hudson she represents, Lowey says, “It is a real honor and privilege to serve in the United State Congress.”
If elected for another term, the Democrat says wants to help get the economy moving by putting people back to work, getting rid of unnecessary spending, cutting the deficit, and investing in education and infrastructure.
However, her focus is not just on national issues. Lowey says that for her next term she wants to preserve and restore federal aid programs for local municipalities. In Rockland, where the county government is facing a fiscal crisis, federal aid could be a welcome help, she said.
With much of the district now in Rockland County, Westchester resident Lowey has been making frequent campaign trips across the Tappan Zee Bridge. She now knows first hand how bad the bridge can get, and fully supports the building of a new one. Lowey says that she will work with her colleagues in Congress to get the proper funding for the new bridge to avoid extreme toll hikes.
With the controversies over the Hudson-Champlain Power Express project and GenOn in , power is a big issue for the county. Lowey said she supports the building of domestic sources of energy such as natural gas power plants, but is skeptical of hydraulic fracturing. She praised New York Governor Cuomo for his moratorium on the process.
Lowey supports shutting down the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, saying that a nuclear power plant located within 50 miles of 20 million people is unsafe. She favors decommissioning the plant or replacing it with a natural gas plant.
For more information about Nita Lowey visit her website at, http://www.loweyforcongress.com/.