Watch out for next generation voters


Dear Sen. Klein, my name is Abby Fisher, and I am one of your constituents.

First, I want to thank you for representing our district for the past 12 years. I also appreciate your support for local community organizations and causes. Although we disagree on many things, I recognize that being a representative for so many people is difficult, and I want you to know that I genuinely appreciate your hard work.

With the recent election of a president who has a deleterious agenda, I have grown to depend on my representation more and more. Votes against reckless health care plans and sweeping immigrations legislation are not merely important, but vital. Now more than ever, our district deserves outspoken representatives who vote their conscience and accurately represent the needs of their constituents.

New York is undeniably a blue state, and Democrats have the majority. Therefore, they should be able to strike down potentially destructive policies through a vote.

This majority proves a great advantage in opposing President Trump’s harmful policies. One particular area where this is crucial is health care.

The time for voting on Trumpcare is fast approaching, and your constituents need to know that you will accurately represent them and vote against the new health care plan. Nobody should be penalized for a pre-existing condition.

Furthermore, nobody should have their coverage stripped away so that President Trump can follow through on this dangerous campaign promise.

While I know you did not vote directly for Trump’s anti-Obamacare policies, the Independent Democratic Conference ensured that bills on this issue would never come to a vote in New York. Because of the IDC — despite the fact that there is a Democratic majority — Republicans control the senate. Because of Democrats in the IDC caucusing with Republicans, it is far easier than it should be for Trump’s dangerous agenda to squeak past.

Members of the IDC run as Democrats and then claim to support Democratic policy, yet vote along Republican lines. Though some mischaracterize this as overcoming party differences to pass beneficial legislation, the IDC does not truly benefit everyone. This is true when it comes to the health care issue, but it’s also a much larger problem.

It is misleading to your constituents when you run on a Democratic platform and campaign with progressive ideologies, yet never allow the pressing issues you claimed to support come to a vote. When you campaign to represent us as a Democrat, but then don’t follow through with your platform, you are not representing us.

Your victory in the elections is due in large part to your constituents’ lack of awareness of your voting record, but senator, people are starting to catch on.

You recently stated in The Riverdale Press that the effects of the IDC had been blown out of proportion, and that only a few members of your district had called you with their concerns (re: “You don’t have to be in the GOP to love the IDC,” April 20). But that is not true. In fact, hundreds have called to express their fear and consternation about your recent actions. 

It’s becoming clear to your district that your personal stance does not reflect their ideology.

Last, although I appreciate your support for organizations in Riverdale, simply funding these programs is not enough. Your support for communal projects is admirable, but your power to block President Trump’s agenda is far more meaningful. In fact, as our Democratic senator, it is your responsibility to do both.

If you do not support Democratic ideals and legislation, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, in that case, you shouldn’t be representing a blue district. When you run on a left wing platform and then betray those who voted for you by actively contradicting what you campaigned on, it is hypocritical and unfair to the voters.

Throughout the next four years, I ask that you consider the needs of your constituents and vote in a way that is true to your campaign platform. Alternatively, if you wish to continue voting along Republican lines, please run on a Republican platform so people understand the type of representation they’ll be getting should they vote for you.

I’m not yet eligible to vote, but in two years, a new generation of educated and politically aware teens will hit the polls. If the IDC’s actions continue, you can be sure that we will not be voting Klein.

I hope you take my letter into consideration when you file to run in 2018.