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In his first appearance in this region since winning the congressional seat for New York’s 24th district, Michael Arcuri addressed members of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the greater Geneva community last night as the final guest in this semester’s President’s Forum Series.
The war in Iraq, health care, tax relief, student loan relief, restoring the upstate economy and stem cell research were all topics discussed by the Congressman-elect with an audience of faculty, staff, students and local residents. In the town and city of Geneva, Arcuri received 68 percent of the vote, the largest margin anywhere in his district, which spans from Geneva to Utica.
Having served as the Oneida County district attorney for the past 12 years, Arcuri said he will go to Washington to join the 110th Congress with several objectives. He led his discussion calling for a new direction in Iraq. “The situation is bad and getting worse. I support the findings of the Iraq Study Group that proposes drawing down forces and allowing the Iraqis to take over.”
Arcuri discussed his commitment to improving health care particularly as it relates to the millions of Americans lacking insurance as well as those who are paying skyrocketing premiums. He said that addressing health care-related issues is fundamental to his larger plan of keeping businesses here in New York as they struggle with the exploding health care costs.
He called for restoring the $12 billion that was cut from student aid to “encourage our young and displaced workers to have opportunity to get an education.”
Restoring the upstate economy to a strong high-technology base is also critical. He recognized this region as having one of the highest percentages of college students in the country, yet as an area that continually fights to keep young people in this region after graduation. Arcuri expressed an immediate need for New York to focus on expanding its job base in order to provide opportunities for graduates.
Following the talk, he entertained a series of questions that ranged from impeachment to appropriations funding.
A story about the program was printed in the Tuesday, Dec. 12 issue of the Finger Lakes Times. Read Arcuri speaks at HWS forum
You may listen to the event in its entirety by visiting the WEOS podcasts directory.