Posted by Sue Jones on Jul 15, 2019
Pictured l to r:  Sharon Hamilton, Austin Morgan, and President Cheri Krull
 
Today’s speaker, introduced by Sharon Hamilton, was Austin Morgan, first-generation graduate of Cornell University, an educator, a former business manager, and a former legislative analyst for the New York State Senate. Today, he is the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for the State Senate in the 57th District. Austin is from a proud working class family, born and raised in Freedom, NY. His campaign is centered on the ideals of equality, freedom, and community. Most importantly, Austin is ready to put people over politics when he joins the State Senate majority. He is ready to get to work fixing today’s problems, while creating a future that works for ALL of us.
 
Austin received a degree in rural poverty and child development from Cornell and assured us all he is the only candidate who understands Albany, having worked there as a legislative analyst. He reminded us our district suffered a tremendous loss when Cathy Young resigned and he assured us he is ready to carry forward her legacy. As the next Democratic State Senator, he promises to join the majority and fight to make sure our rural voices and values are heard.
 
Austin is for promoting small business, investing in local economies. He promises to grow our farms, defending small family farms against corporations, promoting farm-to-school programs and partnering with Cornell.
 
Morgan was passionate about improving our infrastructure, investing in roads, bridges, rural broadband and vital medical transport services.
 
Morgan was also passionate about reversing our population loss – attracting new opportunities, and promoting trade education as an alternative to college. He is for term limits, campaign finance reform and transparency.
Austin took questions from the audience regarding the increase in minimum wage with no relief for businesses. He felt the wage increases are deserved, but could have been phased in over time.
 
He was questioned about term limits which he does believe in.
 
He answered questions about illegal aliens receiving driver’s licenses and stated he felt this was more of a federal issue and would NOT have voted in favor of this.
 
Priorities for Chautauqua County were listed as:
1) business – reduce unfunded mandates making it easier for them to open and profit
2) roads – crumbling around us – must be improved
3) lowering of taxes
4) more money for Chautauqua Lake, which has disappeared since Cathy resigned.
 
When questioned about skyrocketing health insurance costs, he indicated there is NOT much that can be done at the state level, it is more of a national problem.
 
In answering Justin Hanft’s questions, he suggested a program be started in the 10th grade, where students agree to work at a trade – instead of going to college, helping to fill open jobs and anchoring young people here.
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