Dear Jeff Klein
Dear Senator Klein,
My name is Abby Fisher, and I am one of your constituents. First, I want to thank you for representing our district for the past twelve years. Although we disagree on many things, I recognize that being a representative for so many people is difficult, and I want you to know that I genuinely appreciate your hard work.
With the recent election of a president who has a deleterious agenda, I have grown to depend on my representation more and more. Votes against reckless healthcare plans and sweeping immigration legislation are not merely important, but vital. Now more than ever, our district deserves outspoken representatives who vote their conscience, and accurately represent the needs of their constituents.
New York is undeniably a blue state, and Democrats have the majority. Therefore, they should be able to strike down potentially destructive policies through a vote. This majority proves a great advantage in opposing President Trump’s harmful policies. One particular area where this is crucial is health care. The time for voting on Trumpcare is fast approaching and your constituents need to know that you will accurately represent them and vote against the new healthcare plan. Nobody should be penalized for a pre-existing condition. Furthermore, nobody should have their coverage stripped away so that President Trump can follow through on his dangerous campaign promise.
While I know you did not vote directly for Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) ensured that bills on this issue would never come to a vote in New York State. Because of the IDC, Despite the fact that there is a Democratic majority, Republicans control the chamber. Because of Democrats in the IDC caucusing with Republicans, it is far easier than it should be for Trump’s dangerous agenda to squeak past. Members of the IDC run as Democrats and claim to support Democratic policy, yet vote along Republican lines. Though some mischaracterize this as overcoming party differences to pass beneficial legislation, the IDC does not truly benefit everyone. This is true when it comes to the healthcare issue, but it’s also a much larger problem.
It is misleading to your constituents when you run on a Democratic platform and campaign with progressive ideologies, yet never allow the pressing issues you claimed to support come to a vote. When you campaign to represent us as a Democrat, but then don’t follow through with your platform, you are not representing us. Your victory in the elections is due in large part to your constituents’ lack of awareness of your voting record, but Senator, people are starting to catch on.
You recently stated in the Riverdale Press that the effects of the IDC had been blown out of proportion and that only a few members of your district had called you with their concerns, but this is just not true. In fact, hundreds have called to express their fear and consternation about your recent actions. It’s becoming clear to your constituents that your personal stance does not reflect their ideology.
If you do not support Democratic ideals and legislation, there’s nothing wrong with that, however, in that case you shouldn’t be representing a blue district. When you run a left-wing platform and then betray those who voted for you by actively contradicting what you campaigned on, it is hypocritical, and unfair to the voters. Throughout the next four years, I ask that you consider the needs of your constituents and vote in a way that is true to your campaign platform. Alternatively, if you wish to continue voting along Republican lines, please run on a Republican platform so people understand they type of representation they’ll be getting should they vote for you. I hope you take my letter into consideration when you register to run in 2018.
This piece was written as part of JWA’s Rising Voices Fellowship.
How to cite this page
Fisher, Abigail. "Dear Jeff Klein." 21 June 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 22, 2020) <https://jwa.org/blog/risingvoices/dear-jeff-klein>.