By Dave Renzi
Jobs. It’s the most important issue on the minds of Central and Northern New York voters.
With our economy in trouble, and rising prices for food, gas and heat, families are worried about balancing their budgets, if their jobs are safe, and their financial future secure.
Just-released figures from the state Labor Department show the news isn’t good: there were 2,000 fewer jobs in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties than just one month earlier. All three counties have unemployment rates well above the state average.
Throughout my campaign for State Senate, I have been sharing ideas about how we can create good-paying jobs for our communities by cutting taxes and red tape, and investing in growing companies.
We need these opportunities so families and individuals can enjoy the life they have imagined ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a fulfilling job, comfortable home and the good things they always have wished for themselves and their children.
Years of Albany’s high taxes and overspending have made it tougher for our region to attract the good-paying jobs we need. But the advantages and assets that have always drawn industry and jobs to the area are still here ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we simply need to better utilize these resources, and create economic conditions where jobs and opportunity can grow.
* Our region is rich in energy resources ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ hydropower, nuclear, wind and other alternative energy sources ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that should be used to lure new industry.
* Every year, our well-trained, highly productive workforce is enhanced with talented and well-educated graduates from our respected colleges and universities.
* Lake Ontario, abundant rivers, lakes, woods and fields offer world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, and already contribute to a vibrant tourism industry that has plenty of room to grow.
* Our proximity to the international border makes us a natural gateway for companies looking to take advantage of global trade opportunities.
With the upheaval on Wall Street, it’s become increasingly clear that New York State ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ which grew to rely too heavily on profits from stocks and investments ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ can no longer afford to ignore the needs and opportunities of Upstate.
A more balanced focus and a commitment to lower taxes, less red tape and the right investments, Upstate New York can lead the state out of its economic stagnation, and bring a brighter future to our communities.
Dave Renzi is a candidate for State Senate in the 48th District, which includes Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.