Potsdam Central School graduate wants to represent district at DNC
Monday, January 13, 2020 - 10:17 am

My name is Jennifer Zhang and I am a college student and recent graduate of Potsdam High School, running to represent our congressional district at the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) as a delegate pledged to Elizabeth Warren.

In this letter, I will answer two questions: what is the DNC? And why should you support Elizabeth Warren?

The DNC is the national convention where delegates from across the country convene to determine who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. It will be held in July 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Delegates whose candidates get sufficient votes attend the convention representing their congressional district, and are pledged to vote for their candidate.

In 2020, the DNC will have an estimated 4,594 delegates, of whom roughly 200 will be from New York State, six from this congressional district. Each presidential campaign is nominating a slate of candidates for these delegate slots. I am proud to be running for a delegate position for Elizabeth Warren.

The North Country faces many problems: local manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, small farms struggle as large agribusinesses dominate food markets, and as a result we are one of the most impoverished regions in New York State. Though we have robust colleges, students face a lack of economic opportunities upon graduation and often move away after earning their degrees here.

Elizabeth Warren is running on a platform of policies that will revitalize our community. Medicare for All will lower net health care costs, while her plan to establish a $25 billion rural health care access fund will improve lives for North Country residents. She has committed $2 trillion to green energy research and manufacturing, focusing on creating jobs in rural areas while also fighting the climate crisis. She has pledged $100 billion over ten years to end the opioid crisis and $7 billion to a nationwide fund to support small businesses. She will review and reverse mergers between large agribusinesses that made food markets less competitive and include representatives from rural areas in all future trade negotiations. Her plan for free public college and to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for each American will allow students to stay in rural areas like the North Country and create new economic opportunities, rather than flocking to cities in search of the highest-salaried jobs to pay off their student loans.

The price tags for these policies can sound frightening. However, Warren has created a dollar-for-dollar plan to finance all of these initiatives. To fund Medicare for All, businesses will pay the government the same amount of money they currently pay for private health insurance plans. Meanwhile, taxes will increase for large corporations and only people with a net worth over $50 million. Over 99% of American households and practically all of the North Country will not pay more in taxes. In fact, Medicare for All will help average households save $12,000 a year in health care costs.

As we look to 2020, I believe that Democrats shouldn’t be solely focused on taking the White House. We should think about which policies will improve our health care system, our economy, and our everyday lives. We must decide whether we want our presidential nominee to simply appear centrist and palatable, or to truly reflect our values and be committed to fighting for us—not the billionaires who have for years controlled American politics through their pocketbooks.

I firmly believe that Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate running and would be a phenomenal president. Over the month of January, my fellow delegate candidates and I will be criss-crossing this district to collect signatures to get Warren on the ballot. Come April, I would be honored to have your support as a delegate in the New York State Democratic primary, and Elizabeth Warren would be proud to have your vote.

Jennifer Zhang

Potsdam