PENN YAN — People should not put rioters and protesters in the same group because that prohibits a meaningful conversation to fix divisions within the United States, according to Democratic Congressional Candidate Tracy Mitrano.
Mitrano spoke with WNYNewsNow this week to discuss police reform and improving the bonds among all communities in America.
She accused her opponent, incumbent Congressman Tom Reed, and the Republican Party, of purposefully linking rioters with peaceful protesters to confuse the issue.
“There’s a First Amendment right to protest. There’s a legal Constitutional right to protest, don’t put it in the context of criminality, there’s the line,” she said. “You cannot loot. You cannot burn. You cannot tip over statues. Show me one case of that in this district.”
Local cities and towns don’t have the same issues overall as cities like Atlanta, and so leaders need to discuss what is common in the local experience, she explained.
“Why doesn’t Tom Reed talk about protecting our police by having responsible police departments,” she asked. “Most law enforcement officers are good people.”
The discussions should start by talking about “what is going on in our district instead of cities that are very different. “We don’t have cities like what’s going on in Atlanta.”
She charged that Reed is using Republican talking points to divide and to spread fear.
“He (Reed) gets his talking points from the Republican Party so people feel fear, feel divided. He wants to divide people,” she said.
One of the first solutions is to defeat Reed and President Trump, she said, adding this would change the conversational dynamic.
“We don’t let ourselves go down the rat hole of zero sum total between police and everyone else,” she said.
She condemned Reed for not supporting the Justice and Policing Act.
“Ask Tom Reed why doesn’t he support the Justice and Policing Act. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be for that law except the Republicans told him to vote against it,” Mitrano said.
She said she is meeting more and more people who don’t vote party line as she makes second challenge to unseat Reed.
“People I know, moderate Republicans, unaffiliated people who vote for the person not party, Democrats, people of good will, we all want the same thing, We want a good, decent, stable, accountable, responsible government.”
Reed has spent the last 10 years helping himself but not doing anything for the people of his district, Mitrano said.
People want a positive direction and to be positive forces to improve things,Mitrano said.
“They want a path forward to something positive in their lives instead of dividing and anger and mixing up message between looters and peaceful protesters, for example,” she explained. “The only thing he’s done is reiterated what President Trump has done until his numbers have started to tank, and then he’s been silent. He has no independence, he has no original ideas. He’s in it for himself and he does not care for the people of this district. I just see the results and the results are he’s done nothing for us.”
Mitrano said her campaign should appeal to people looking forward to a betterfuture.
“If people are r voting for the future, if you’re voting for the future, you would have to look at our campaign and compare it to Tom Reed, who has done nothing for 10 years,” she said.