This is the first installment of MYD’s “Virtual Town Hall,” a series of exclusive interviews with newsmakers, lawmakers, and other fascinating New Yorkers. The format is simple: We ask any five questions. They answer. No edits!
Our first participant is Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. Her district includes most of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Astoria and Long Island City in Queens and Roosevelt Island. Rep. Maloney is the current chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee and serves on the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
1. How can MYD members get more involved in the political process? What advice would you give to young Democrats interested in running for office?
Volunteer on a campaign for an elected official who shares your values. The best way to get started is simply to show up. Volunteer, intern, get to know the people working on the campaign. I am always thrilled when young people become involved in my campaigns – they offer great energy and ideas.
It is never too early to get involved if you are interested in running for office. There is no better way to learn about the democratic process than working on a campaign.
If you’d like to get involved and volunteer on my campaign, you can visit www.carolynmaloney.com to sign up.
2. How do you balance serving public interest with serving public opinion?
I’m very lucky to represent a progressive New York City district. My constituents support issues like reproductive and women’s rights, health care reform, financial regulatory reform and marriage equality. They hold the values that I advocate for everyday. In my district, public opinion serves the public interest.
3. As a member of Financial Services and Chairwomen of the Joint Economic committee, you’ve had a first row seat to the financial crisis. Over the last two years it has become tragically clear that at least some executives are more concerned with personal advancement than the health of their company. How do we get back to a corporate culture that encourages long term fiscal responsibility, and what role can the government play in that effort?
You’re absolutely right – and that is why I have successfully fought for the passage of strong financial regulatory reform in the House. And my number one priority right now is to ensure that this bill is passed in the Senate and is signed by President Obama. This bill will bring stability to the financial industry and ensure long-term fiscal responsibility. These reforms will protect our economy from excessive risk-taking and will make sure that taxpayers don’t spend one more penny on bailing out banks.
4. Do you think members of Congress should be subject to term limits? Why or why not?
Every year that I serve in Congress, I have learned ways to more effectively advocate for the issues New Yorkers care about. If the voters are dissatisfied with their Representative, they have the ability to vote for someone else. But, if voters continue to see results that make a difference in their lives, they should be able to continue to send their Member of Congress back to Washington.
5. If there’s one thing young New Yorkers agree on, it’s the sanctity of Sunday brunch. What is your favorite brunch spot?
My favorite place for brunch is Sarabeth’s on 92nd street. They make the best pancakes!
Who should we interview next? let us know at comm [at] gomyd [dot] com.