I have had the privilege of serving as the Member of Congress for the 19th District of New York since January, 2011. I was motivated to run by a passionate belief in American exceptionalism. As the daughter of an immigrant, I was raised to cherish the unique freedoms granted by our Constitution, and to appreciate that those freedoms are assured by the Founders’ design for a limited federal government. The supermajority election in 2008 convinced me that the federal government would overreach and become wasteful and invasive, damaging our economy and threatening our future with intolerable debt. I was determined to do what I could to restore our nation’s promise.
During the campaign I visited every community in the 19th District, and the perspective I gained has informed my service as their Member of Congress. We live in a beautiful and diverse Hudson Valley that deserves a far better climate for opportunity and enterprise. The Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law were important issues in the District. I emphasized that we should honor the goals of these laws—respectively, to assure good, affordable health care and affordable, portable health insurance and to provide a sound and reliable framework for financial transactions at all levels—while repealing and replacing them with alternatives that honor the American way of achieving excellence through choice, competition, and innovation in a vibrant consumer-oriented marketplace.
I’ve lived in the Hudson Valley since 1988. In 1989 I moved to the Town of Bedford with my husband, Scott, who is an obstetrician/gynecologist and physician executive. Our sons were born in Mount Kisco and attended our local public schools: Will is 20 and a senior at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, studying Computer Science and Economics; Jack is 18, a freshman at Johns Hopkins. Scott and I met at Princeton University, from which I graduated summa cum laude in 1981 with a degree in Biology. We attended Cornell University Medical College together, and after obtaining my M.D. degree in 1985 I went on to internship at New York Hospital and residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
My roots go back to the Midwest. I was raised in the small town of Munster, Indiana. I kept very busy at Munster High School, selling the most tickets to our speech team’s chicken barbeque dinner four years in a row, serving as editor of the newspaper, and winning the state championship in Original Oratory as a senior. My parents are both World War II veterans; Mom served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service of the British Army for four years. She immigrated to the United States in 1948, seeking the opportunity she knew our free-enterprise economy would provide. She met Dad in Chicago. He grew up in a village in north central Ohio, served in the Army Infantry in the Battle of the Bulge, and went to Ohio State University on the G.I. Bill. He became a CPA and spent his career at Inland Steel Company. I worked in the mills there for two summers to help pay for college. Dad is my mentor in free-enterprise philosophy: when I was 16 he asked me to read Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, whose message is that we must always consider the unintended consequences of government action. I had been a Republican from “Go with Goldwater”—credit again to Dad’s wise influence—and reading Hazlitt further convinced me that statism corrodes opportunity and individual liberty.
Mom and Dad taught me to work hard; to be honest; to act with integrity and do my best in everything I undertook; and to be a good citizen wherever I was. I’m grateful for their example, and in everything I do I honor them and all the teachers, mentors, and friends who have put their faith in me. I’ve done volunteer work from high school onward, starting with teaching Sunday School at our little church in Munster and extending through service on the National Annual Giving Committee for Princeton. I’ve run a lecture series for our local hospital and I’m a proud Mount Kisco Lion. Today it is an extraordinary privilege to do my utmost in public service to District and nation in the House of Representatives. I do my work with an open mind and with my whole heart, and I aspire to be worthy of continuing to serve in the years to come.