Alison McLean Lane (D-14, Albany County Legislature) Bernie Sanders
When did you become political? Was there any specific events in your life that caused you to become actively involved? I became actively political in 2006 because I was disappointed in our country’s participation in the Iraq War and the financial expense and human cost we were dedicating to it; when instead we could be solving the issues we have in our own country. I no longer wanted to complain, I wanted to be pro-active and do something. I joined the Colonie Democratic Committee and started actively participating.
Do your political affiliations reflect those of your immediate friends and family or not? Do you discuss those things?
Almost my entire immediate family and my parents, family are FDR Democrats, however my friends are of every political party and I relish our political diversity. I have learned that I cannot decide my opinion on a matter unless I have heard all sides. My parents never pressured me to become a Democrat and thoroughly allowed me to make my own political decisions and have my own opinions and we do discuss politics often. My father often talks about his greatest political memory seeing Franklin Delano Roosevelt, drive through the main street of his small town in VT in 1939. His mother, Rose McLean, an independent businesswoman who ultimately owned two convenience stores, one of which was on the corner of Sand Creek and Osborne in Colonie, took her three sons out to main street in Williamstown VT and proudly waved to him as he drove by. My father, now 86 years old, tells me that he remembers this moment as if it was yesterday. We are passionate about politics in my family, in fact, my mother’s youngest sister, Ellie Krackeler Dillion, is one of the founders of the Malta Democratic Committee. That being said, I think one of the symbols of our strength as a nation is our diversity, including our political diversity.
What are the issues in this election that are most important to you and how will they affect you and your loved ones?
There are multiple issues that have brought about my support for Senator Sanders. For one, I did not vote for his opponent 8 years ago because she voted for the Iraq War, which ultimately cost our country $2 billion a day, and my opposition to that vote has never wavered. Poverty is something that affects my own legislative district; the school district my children will attend in the Fall has a student body of which 36% live in poverty, and 11% are homeless. Though some of the highest property values are right here in Menands, we also have the largest shelter for homeless families in Albany County only a mile away. It should be upsetting to every person in New York State that we have one of the largest economies in the world and yet there are homeless children and Veterans right here in Albany County. If we address the poverty issue in our country, we will see significant reductions in gun violence, crime, drug use and drug dealing, domestic violence, mental health issues, and an increase in good educational and health outcomes for children. It is not a mystery why there is significant gun ownership in Cananda, yet they don’t have a gun violence problem – they also don’t have a poverty problem. I also support a single-payer health care system, which if implemented in New York would immediately save us $47 billion, as well as the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall – the repeal of which contributed to the Great Recession in 2008. As Chair of the Veterans Administration Committee, Senator Sanders has stood form on Veterans issues, such as working in a bi-partisan manner with Senator McCain to pass needed legislation allowing Veterans to access private doctors outside of the VA system, as well as obtaining millions in appropriations for the National Guard when their ranks were overextended by repeated tours in Iraq. Redirecting the money we spend on these intervensionist wars and protracted undeclared wars around the globe to the issues we face right here, will change the outcomes for all our families – including my own.
How do you see your candidate’s platform as addressing those issues?
Senator Sanders policy agenda is the same today as it was when he started in elective office 35 years ago. He is consistent in his agenda and his integrity is intact, unlike many politicians of today. Additionally, that he has worked at the local government level, means he understands how federal policy affects local municipalities. I firmly believe that no one should run for state-wide or federal level offices unless they have some experience in local government.
What was the most memorable part of the rally/rallies you attended?
Meeting Seantor Sanders in person before the rally at the Armory, and the positive feeling of the entire audience at the armory.
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