Del­gado says he’ll be ac­ces­si­ble to con­stituents

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Hu­bert bhu­[email protected]­manon­line.com

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.

BRIAN HU­BERT — DAILY FREE­MAN

U.S. Rep. An­to­nio Del­gado speaks with at­ten­dees at Sun­day’s open house for his dis­trict of­fice in Kingston.

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