Translating the President’s budget into Erie County numbers

As one of only four countywide elected offices, it’s imperative that the County Clerk make his or her voice heard on the important issues that face the residents of Erie County– whether it’s something that crosses the clerk’s desk or not.

I pledge to re-establish a strong public advocacy role for the office. I promise to be a leader who will fight to protect our community’s most vulnerable and work to sustain the environment that continues to fuel our region’s recovery.

Locked in the details of President Trump’s recently released budget are a long list of cuts that would leave the people of Western New York reeling, and leave institutions like Roswell Park, efforts to cleanup Lake Erie, and and our community’s fight against the opioid epidemic devastated.

Programs serving Erie County’s children and the elderly are devastated under the federal budget proposed by President Trump.

In addition, Trump’s budget would slash funding to healthcare for seniors and children, as well as eliminate the Home Energy Assistance Program.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns, who is now running on the Republican line for County Clerk, has been strangely silent about these cuts and their impact on our community.

This budget is an assault on Western New York and our families. I envision the County Clerk as a strong advocate on behalf of citizens and taxpayers, and I will speak up when decisions are made at any level of government that will harm our community.

As Erie County Clerk, I will work closely with other elected officials and community leaders to fight these cuts and to ensure that Western New York gets the funding our tax dollars pay for.

· Trump’s budget eliminates the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which funds pollution cleanup, watershed restoration and other work.

· The presidents of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo have stated Trump’s proposal to put a cap on medical research overhead, “…shuts off the lights in the labs we have now.”

· Trump’s budget would do away with the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, which has funded local projects such as Cars on Main Street and the extension of Metro Rail to the DL&W Terminal.

Western New York is experiencing a revitalization that few of us could have imagined even a few years ago, and that turnaround started with the waterfront and the comeback of downtown Buffalo. Cars on Main Street opened up our central business district, and the Medical Campus is fueling a boom in supportive businesses and housing. We have worked too hard and waited too long to stop now. We cannot allow Donald Trump to stop us in our tracks. I am prepared to fight for Western New York.

Where is Michael Kearns’ voice in this fight? He’s abdicating his obligation to fight for Western New York, as he joins Team Trump at the expense of our community.

· Trump cuts funding to the Office of National Drug Control Policy by 94% and eliminates the “Drug-Free Communities Support Group” and the “High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas” grant programs.

· Trump cuts $839 billion from Medicaid, which provides 200,000 people in Erie County with healthcare, including 60% of all nursing home patients.

· Trump’s budget includes a 19% Cut to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which currently serves 9,000 kids in Erie County.

· Trump ends the Home Energy Assistance Program, which currently serves 225,000 people in Erie County.

· Trump’s budget eliminates a program that trains private contractors on lead removal and may eliminate a $970 million Home Partnership program that provides funding to remove lead paint from homes.

· Trump would cut $9 million from local after school programs.

What really distinguishes our region is a sense of community that is almost palpable. ‘The City of Good Neighbors’ is more than a slogan when our fellow citizens are in need. Cutting programs that service children and the elderly just to provide a tax cut to the top 1% goes against our values.

I oppose these heartless attacks on our most valuable. I have chosen to stand with the people of Erie County.

By his silence, one can only assume that Mickey Kearns is standing with by the cuts offered by Donald Trump.