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A letter from Jeremy Announcing his Candidacy

 

Dear Neighbors of the 56th District,

When I was growing up in Rochester, it was common to run into Louise Slaughter at Wegmans. Folks would often stop her in the cereal aisle to talk about problems they faced. Whether it was a veteran looking for benefits, a mom worried about schools or someone in need of a job — the Congresswoman took the time to listen and then she delivered.

If you needed an advocate, Louise was on your side. If she didn’t have the answer, she’d find out. If she couldn’t help, she’d connect you to someone who could. It didn’t matter your party registration, on what side of town you lived, the color of your skin or how much money you had. All that mattered was that you were a neighbor in need.

Her colleagues on Capitol Hill loved Louise’s southern wit and policy grit, but in Rochester she was our neighbor and friend. She didn’t just show up for the camera, she was a down-to-earth person you would see while out for dinner, shopping, or enjoying the local arts with her beloved husband, Bob.

I first met the Congresswoman when I interviewed her for a middle school social studies project (I wish I could find that video!). A decade later, I went to work for her in Washington and then here in Rochester. Congresswoman Slaughter was my first boss — setting the bar high for a career in public service.

Fresh out of college and low on the totem pole, I was assigned to answering the phone, driving the Congresswoman to events and responding to constituent letters. It wasn’t glamorous, but all of these tasks shaped my career. Nearly 20 years later, I most remember her compassion and commitment to helping families, and I strive to model my career in public service after that legacy.

Recently engaged, my fiancé Diane and I have chosen to start a family here in Rochester. We love life here in upstate. We work here. Someday, our children will go to school here. A lot has changed for working families in Rochester since Louise entered politics — jobs have gone away, schools are underfunded, childcare costs rise steadily, young people are moving away, seniors are living longer but can’t afford to stay in their homes.