Open Letter to the 23rd Congressional District

Dear Residents of the 23rd Congressional District,
As we get closer to Election Day we continue to hear what the remaining candidates for Congress think of each other. Actually, for the most part we continue to hear and see what the sponsors of the remaining candidates think of the other candidate or his sponsors.

I would like to take a moment to thank Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava for her knowledge of the issues and for the class she displayed during her involvement with this campaign. Unfortunately, for her campaign, it is a great example of one of the major reasons for my campaign.

Our current political infrastructure is clearly broken when those with the biggest bank accounts are the one’s either on the ballot or still in the process of campaigning because they are able to “out shout” the other candidates through “Attack Ads” and messages that play on your fears of Nancy Pelosi or George Bush. I write this letter to offer more about me and to share again my thoughts on key issues facing the 23rd Congressional District instead of why you should be afraid of the remaining candidates and their sponsors.

Reapportionment may lead to the end of our great district. This could mean that those who live in Plattsburgh will be lost in a future district that includes Albany. Those in Hamilton and St. Lawrence Counties may lose their voices to a district dominated by Utica or Syracuse and for those of us living in Oswego County we may join a district with Syracuse or have our voices lost to a district dominated by the concerns of the Rochester area.

Why is it that none of the candidates will address what they would do to influence the New York State Senate to preserve a voice for our district? This would be a top priority for me if elected.

I doubt that will come as a surprise for those who know me and know that my love of liberty is what drives my involvement with politics. That love of liberty and wanting to preserve the representation of this district is what drove me to start this campaign.

I know that while our district is nestled between the beautiful sunrises over Lake Champlain and the award wining sunsets of Lake Ontario, along with the Adirondacks I so dearly missed while living in the Midwest, that the greatest resource of our district are it’s residents.

For those residents, I would be the candidate that realizes we are better off for celebrating our differences rather than using them to create fear and division. If elected you can be assured I would vote to support and continue what our Founding Fathers dreamed of when drafting the 1st & 2nd Amendments and stand opposed to legislation that undermines either one of them.

I believe deeply in equality and the fact that our nation will be in its finest hour when we are a plural nation that is open to all people and committed to the protection of everyone’s rights. That means protecting and providing equal rights to all of our citizens regardless of their gender, spiritual path, ethnicity, sexuality, age or ability.

While it is important to be aware of opportunities to attract and recruit manufacturing jobs to our district, we must also realize that our district is fortunate to be home to some of the greatest institutions of higher education in both New York and the United States. President Obama has shared how he would like every American to have at least one year of higher education.

While that would be a significant goal, my question is how do we utilize our wonderful educational institutions to provide everyone in our district with the opportunity to earn a degree. Then we can position our district to be home to jobs that are using and developing information technology, biotechnologies, engineering design, green power development and medical research. Making our district a home to these industries would then provide many additional opportunities for economic growth in the service, retail and housing markets while increasing the tax base and therefore completing the cycle by providing better funding for our public school systems.

Leadership is a process, it is a relationship between leaders and collaborators, and it is the responsibility of everyone in our great district. It is not something that one person can achieve or do on their own.

I would work to represent the many voices in our great district along with involving them in the process. I wish to influence the House of Representatives to protect the rights and freedoms of the residents of the 23rd Congressional District while working diligently to bring more opportunities to the district to strengthen our economy as our district continues to influence New York, America and the world.

We are a district that served as a final stop on the Underground Railroad and a district that has played a role in the creation and defense of our great nation from the Revolutionary War, to the war that confirmed our status as a nation state in 1812 to leading the battle for Operation Iraqi Freedom and removing the Taliban from Afghanistan. Our district has a proud and honorable history and if elected I would be dedicated to providing a voice for its bright future from the St. Lawrence Valley to the Mohawk Valley.

If you believe in this vision, please “Write In” Mike Paestella for the 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday when you write out your ballot. To learn more visit “Paestella for the 23rd Congressional Seat” on Facebook.


Mike Paestella