Delgado says he’ll be accessible to constituents
In opening his district office, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado said he never wants residents to feel like they can’t reach him.
U.S. Rep Antonio Delgado unveiled his new district office at 256 Clinton Ave. on Sunday, Jan. 13, with a packed open house that featured a speech and a meet-and-greet session with constituents.
A storefront space on the first-floor of the building was packed with area residents, campaign volunteers and local officials, including Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, who spoke briefly before Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, appeared out of a back room to loud cheers.
Delgado focused much of the speech on being available to constituents.
“Constituent services go to the heart of this job,” he said. “I can go to D.C. and cast a vote and that vote matters, but I can’t always control what we vote on and what’s put in the bills, but what I can control is how I connect with you,” Delgado said. “I don’t want you to ever feel like I’m not beholden to you.”
Delgado said his Kingston office is the first of many permanent and mobile offices planned for the 19th Congressional District, which comprises all of Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Sullivan, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego counties; most of Dutchess County; parts of Rensselaer and Montgomery counties; and a small section of Broome County.
Delgado praised Kingston.
“Kingston is special in a lot of ways,” Delgado said, adding he proposed to his wife, Lacey Schwartz, a Kingston High graduate, in Kingston.
“This place for us is home on a lot of levels,” Delgado said.
He added that he never wants residents to feel like they can’t reach him.
“We have a lot of dynamics in our political climate that cut against that,” he said, “and I think part of what I’m trying to do, and what we could do for years, is to come is a real genuine community of service where you can come if you’re a small business owner and you want to try to figure out how to get that grant.
“If you want to figure out how you can empower yourself, if you’re a farmer, and you’re dealing with the trade policies of the administration, and you want to get that subsidy, and get some relief to get through that, you can come in here,” he added. “If you’re looking for help, Social Security, and you want to figure how to get that, we’re here to serve you.”
Lauren Reed, a math professor at Bard College who canvased for Delgado before November’s election, said Delgado’s new office offered a stark contrast to oneterm U.S. Rep. John Faso who had an office at the 721 Media Center that drew frequent protests.
Delgado defeated Faso in November’s election and was sworn in earlier this month.
“This is really exciting to have someone who cares about the people of this district,” Reed said. “I’m in my 50s. This is the first time I got involved with a campaign.”
Callie Jayne, executive director of Rise Up Kingston, said before Delgado’s speech that she wanted to come out and visit his new office and hear his priorities.
Euginia M. Coppola owner of Apple Mountain Montessori Nursery Daycare and Preschool, traveled from Plattekill to discuss public school reform with the congressman. Coppola said she was deeply concerned about how schools don’t give children enough freedom when it comes to learning and doctors prescribing too many prescription drugs like Ritalin to children.
“America has the most drugged children in the world,” Coppola said.
Actor Griffin Dunne, right, known for his recent role in the NBC drama series “This is Us,” was among those visiting with U.S. Rep Antonio Delgado during his meet-and-greet session at his new office at 256 Clinton Ave. in Kingston.
U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado speaks with attendees at Sunday’s open house for his district office in Kingston.