DECISION 2012: Ann Marie Buerkle

What are the major issues facing the 24th district?

New York’s 24th Congressional District is a unique blend of rural, suburban and urban needs spread throughout a picturesque landscape. It is home to several lakes — both small and large — farms, nuclear energy facilities, heritage sites, factories, hospitals, universities, and the perhaps the largest intersection of highways connecting countries, cities, and communities. The needs of this district are plenty. However, to a man, the most pressing issue facing the 24th district is jobs and the economy. It is the basis upon which the rest of the issues are built. Our businesses need a strong economy to gain the confidence to expand, to invest and reinvest, and most importantly to create jobs. As the representative to New York’s 24th Congressional District, I would work daily to ensure that the economy in Central New York is strengthened so that we may put people back to work.

How will you create jobs?

Our 7.8 percent unemployment rate — the best we have seen in four years — is unacceptable. We must begin to adopt policies that will encourage growth. In my first two years of Congress, I was a member of the majority which took important steps in creating jobs. The majority authored and passed 53 pieces of legislation which will empower small business owners, fix the tax code to help job creators, increase competitiveness for U.S. manufacturers, encourage entrepreneurship and growth, maximize domestic energy production, and pay down America’s unsustainable debt burden. These are the building blocks for a strong economy that will instill confidence for America’s businesses and create jobs.

You stand at odds with a good portion of your district. How will you appease those voters?

I disagree with the premise that I stand at odds with the district. I was elected because I promised to take a stand for the issues that mattered to the voters in this district rather than avoid the tough choices and to be accessible and accountable to all constituents. My record is clear and demonstrates a willingness to address the most pressing issues that the people of the 25th district face daily. As your representative for New York’s 24th Congressional District, voters can expect the same commitment from me: I will fight for policies that put Central New Yorkers back to work; I will not shy away from the difficult decisions; I will continue to advocate for plans which take an honest look at the future of our social safety nets; and I will continue to do all of this while working with any Republican, Democrat or independent who is committed to a better tomorrow.

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