U.S. House District 5 election: Niki Tsongas on the issues
• Stabilize our economy and put us on a course to creating jobs – because this recession has affected people who never expected to need help, and I believe government can be the catalyst to jumpstarting our economy. I believe this because I’ve seen how Lowell used public investment as a catalyst for private partnerships to reinvent itself and create new opportunity for the people living here. I am convinced we can meet the challenges of a changing economy with innovation and ingenuity and protect our communities and people.
• Keep our nation secure, and protect and provide for those who are defending it – because these are the people I grew up with and as a member of the Armed Services Committee, it is my responsibility to support and protect the men and women serving on our behalf, and our veterans whose lives have been changed forever by the experience of war.
• Bring down the deficit - because I understand the tough choices it takes to get out of debt – my husband Paul was a member of Congress before he was able to pay off his student loans! As a member of the Budget Committee, I know we cannot continue to mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren by charging government expenses on the national credit card. Crafting a budget for the nation must be done responsibly and with an understanding of the long term consequences of our choices.
• Provide access to an education that equips our people to compete in a global economy – because while working at Middlesex Community College, I saw how important it is that all young people have access to a quality education, and all people have access to lifelong learning opportunities. I believe there are few issues as vital to our economic future as developing a trained and educated workforce.
• Guarantee a dignified retirement for all Americans – because if you’ve worked hard your whole life like my parents did, you deserve to be able to rely on your savings, pension and the solid foundation of Social Security.
• Declaring energy independence by investing in the jobs of the future – because addressing climate change and reducing our dependence on foreign oil is not just about solving the global warming problem facing the next generation – it has the immediate effect of creating high paying job opportunities if we invest in alternative technologies now. And, companies right here in this district are leading the way by developing solar and fuel cell technology and new ways of transporting energy.
• Hold health insurance, Wall Street, and banks and credit card companies accountable when they try to take advantage of their customers – because we’ve seen a disturbing trend away from investing in productive ventures like clean energy and a move toward greedy and excessive risk-taking too often at the expense of consumers. For our long-term success, we need to guarantee that financial firms have the tools they need to help grow the economy but also have the safeguards necessary to prevent another crisis.
• Strongly advocate for fairness, equality and civil rights and defend the rights of all people - because our nation is stronger for its commitment to defending the rights of all people and for putting a high value on the principles of tolerance and human dignity. That’s why I have advocated for the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well being for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or expression.