Northern New York: Building a Thriving Economy

Northern New York is a beautiful place with strong communities, but we face economic challenges: changing market landscapes, low population, remote locations, short growing seasons, and long winters. But New York’s 21st Congressional District also has many assets: an integrated military base, our close proximity to Canada, a relatively low cost of business overhead, growing nanotech and tourism industries in the southern end of the district, transportation companies and factories establishing themselves in Plattsburgh, and agricultural businesses and farms throughout the district. Tedra is committed to combatting the district’s challenges with legislation that capitalizes on our district’s assets to build thriving economy.

Self-Reliance and Economic Development

Residents of Northern New York hold the shared values of self-reliance, hard work, resourcefulness, independence, and mutual aid. Tedra believes that Congress should help individuals put those values into practice by passing legislation that eliminates regulations that harm local businesses. According to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), our region has a high rate of business start-ups; as local businesses produce and sell local products they increase regional self-reliance by reducing imports. Economic expert Michael Shuman’s 2015 study of the North Country Regional Development Council’s seven counties concluded, “Unemployment can essentially be wiped out if even 15% of [the North Country’s] potential for self-reliance were realized.”

As a self-reliant local entrepreneur herself, Tedra is committed to promoting and supporting local businesses. She will fight for legislation that provides funding for research and training in such industries as service, technology, and the sciences. She will also work to improve infrastructure, such as increasing access to high-speed internet and cellular service, and improving roads and bridges, so that these businesses can compete. By encouraging entrepreneurship and creation of jobs and infrastructure for the future, Tedra will help Northern New York succeed in a changing global market.

Tedra believes that we can stabilize Northern New York’s economy by stanching the outflow of dollars to pay for goods and services that could be produced locally. Regional businesses not only create jobs but build Northern New York’s long-term wealth by keeping dollars in our communities. Plus, businesses that serve regional markets are less likely to ship jobs overseas. Tedra will fight for legislation that provides our district with its fair share of federal funds to encourage economic innovation.

In addition to new businesses, we need to strengthen existing industries and promote their expansion. Current legislative efforts focused on immigration and healthcare threaten to destabilize two of Northern New York’s vital industries–agribusiness and healthcare delivery. To support regional farmers, Tedra is committed to immigration policies that allow them to steadily employ their workers. In addition, Tedra is committed to facilitating job creation through programs like Arms to Farms, which helps local veterans transition to careers in agriculture after leaving military service.

To ensure the financial stability of NY21’s healthcare delivery system, Tedra pledges to listen to our region’s hospital representatives, healthcare workers, and economic experts to inform her policy decisions. Tedra believes that all her constituents should have access to portable healthcare coverage, whether salaried or self-employed. These policies would benefit constituents and spur job creation in Northern New York’s established industries.

Northern New York’s higher learning institutions are valuable as important economic drivers and sources of education for district residents. Tedra would work with our university and college administrations to create internships and training programs matched to existing local jobs. Tedra knows that creating opportunities for young people to establish themselves in Northern New York is essential to our region’s economic future.

Tedra believes that strengthening our economic drivers and spurring job creation requires that we grow organized labor throughout the district. These jobs are crucial to sustaining living wages and benefits for working families. Tedra would support programs like Helmets to Hardhats, which helps veterans successfully transition to civilian life by providing training for a career in the construction trades.

Natural Beauty, the Land, and Economic Development

The region’s geography and natural beauty is a significant potential revenue source. As the NCREDC reports, “More than 120 million potential visitors live within a day’s drive of the region.” Agriculture and forestry are also economic regional strengths, and a promising trend lies in the interest in local food production. Commercial kitchens, food hubs and aggregation, and farm-to-table or farm-to-school programs are all parts of an emerging and revitalized local food system. Tedra knows that we must protect our natural surroundings to maintain tourism, agribusiness, and local food production.

In addition to agriculture and tourism, Northern New York produces a great deal of clean energy, traditionally from reliable hydroelectric and increasingly from solar. Wind has promise as well, but needs local control to benefit, not tear apart, communities. We produce more electricity than we actually consume, and the surplus helps the rest of the state’s utility customers. Tedra will fight to make sure Northern New Yorkers are getting their fair share of the economic benefit.

In addition, investment in energy efficiency is known to have a “multiplier effect” throughout the local economy, and Tedra is committed to promoting both conservation and renewable energy for economic and environmental benefits.
Northern New York needs representation that will make sure federal policies optimize our region’s existing industries, citizens, and environment. Tedra knows the region’s history and will fight to guarantee an economic future for Northern New York that is built on diversified industries and thriving citizens.

More Issues

Join Tedra