Mitrano Looks To Home-Field Advantage In Bid For Congress
Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano is familiar with New York’s 23rd congressional district and wants to represent its people by winning the Democratic nomination at the June 26 primary election and facing against incumbent Republican Tom Reed this fall.
Mitrano mentioned she is the only candidate who has resided in the western, central and eastern areas of the district, making her a suitable representative of the people she has lived around.
“I’m more authentic to this district than Tom Reed is,” Mitrano said.
Through her education, experience and expertise, she believes she “speaks directly to the needs of this district.”
One of her focuses is bringing economic opportunity to the area and stimulating job creation. One of the ways she intends on doing this is by making technology a priority, namely high-speed Internet and net neutrality.
If and when she first gets to Washington as an elected representative, Mitrano wishes to work with Democrats and across the aisle with Republicans in order to instate place-based policies, legislation that would in theory address the needs of certain areas of the 23rd district.
These place-based policies could establish high-speed Internet and reduce the need for some to live in more urban areas. Mitrano is also passionate about net neutrality, has worked for it since 2004 and would like to see legislation passed to restore it. Since it was an administrative law that was repealed, net neutrality is now in the hands of Congress, and Mitrano is ready for it.
She feels that 21st century businesses may be reluctant to start operations in the district unless internet policy and speed are improved. Mitrano is also concerned with affordable healthcare, educational reform in both K-12 and higher education, conservation of natural resources and infrastructure development.
“That altogether is the foundation for attracting investment and 21st century jobs,” Mitrano said.
Mitrano grew up in Rochester where her father owned a small downtown restaurant. She worked there during her childhood and went on to graduate from the University of Rochester. She moved to the 23rd congressional district in 1981 and then attended the State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating with a doctorate in American history.
Mitrano began teaching American, religious and social history at the University of Buffalo and Cornell University. After then attending Cornell Law School, she practiced and also taught family and social policy at Cornell.
In 2001, she became the director of information technology policy at Cornell. Mitrano shaped the whole information technology framework at the university, which later became a model for other higher education institutions to follow.
Mitrano also created a consulting company for information privacy and security and served as the academic dean for a cybersecurity certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“I became concerned with the state of democracy in this country, particularly concerned by the needs of the people in this district,” Mitrano said.
Since she has a background in social, family and internet policy, Mitrano says she has a vision of what can be done in the future.
“I have a forward vision and a professional track record of results,” Mitrano said. “I sincerely believe I can do it.”
Through her educational career, Mitrano noted that she became accustomed to how one makes a law. Having done so in an institutional environment, Mitrano wants to flex her legislative muscles in Congress. She says she knows how to balance stakeholder interests and make something fair and appropriate thereafter.
“I’m the only candidate that has that kind of direct experience,” Mitrano said.
Highlighting that she is the only Democratic candidate for this seat who has a track record of professional success in public service, including on that of a town planning board, library board of trustees and county broadband committee, Mitrano feels she stands out amongst her opponents. Through her experience working with others, she feels she has the negotiating tools necessary to work through political division and find common ground.
Affordable healthcare and quality education are Mitrano’s priorities for citizens. She also wants to work to support small dairy farmers, who have experienced turbulence of late with an impending plant closure and low dairy prices.
“We need a farm bill that addresses their needs,” Mitrano said. “It’s time for a representative to represent people’s needs.”
Mitrano wants to support the needs of the working and middle-class. She noted that she is tired of politicians representing party philosophy or loyalty to the president instead of the people.
For her political inspirations, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln took the top spots. Mitrano specified Lincoln as having had an impact on her as he spoke to a future vision for the United States. Through the “sheer quality of his personality,” Lincoln was able to lead the union effort and lay down a foundation for a united future.
“He led the country at its most critical moment,” Mitrano said. “He was a healer. I hope to bring something of that quality to this district.”
As someone who feels uniquely situated to bring unification to the district in ways that can help it, Mitrano hopes to become its new representative.
“I feel like I’m at home when I’m in Chautauqua,” Mitrano said.