Yehudis Gottesfeld, an Orthodox woman from Rockland County, has tossed her hat into the ring of people vying to replace Westchester and Rockland’s retiring congresswoman, Nita Lowey. At press time, she was the only active Republican candidate in NY-17.
As a chemical engineer, Gottesfeld explained that her recent entrance to the political scene started with a request for help on an environmental issue. She was inspired. “I got up and said, ‘That is it!’ I reached out to a Republican group and said I think it is time we had a seat at the table.”
After attending Rockland Community College, Yehudis graduated The City College of New York magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in chemical and nuclear engineering. She worked for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and conducted chemical and environmental engineering research at Columbia University and The City College of New York.
Gottesfeld sees anti-Semitism and other hatred between parties as the most pressing issue facing the district. “There is so much hatred going on. I am from Rockland County and we just had anti-Semitic attacks in our community,” adding, “At the end of the day, we are really all the same. We go to the same schools, we play in the same areas, we eat the same food.”
High taxes are another local concern for Gottesfeld. She recently spoke to a man living in Rockland who can’t afford to pay them and may now be forced to move.
Internationally, Gottesfeld cites security and safety as the most critical issue. “We want to make sure everyone has the freedom to live as free Americans, and that we don’t have acts of terrorism such as 9/11. We want to always maintain safety and security for the people.”
Gottesfeld will advocate to adequately fund border security, the defense apparatus and public safety personnel. If elected, Gottesfeld noted her areas of concern on the national level include the environment, taxes, education and healthcare.
“Here in Westchester, we have higher rates of breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is mostly due to pollutants in the environment,” explained Gottesfeld. “That is something that I think we should be focusing on.”
She believes we must ensure families benefit from a growing economy. “America is enjoying some of the best economic conditions in history. To support this economy, I will work to keep taxes low, reduce needless red-tape and support smart trade policies. This protects American workers while enabling consumers to enjoy low-priced goods. Citizens deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money. Tax policies should encourage, not punish, work, investments and savings.”
Gottesfeld plans to work to make common-sense changes to tax policy that will remove barriers for economic growth while also making taxes fairer for all Americans.
Gottesfeld continued, “Our children are the future of our great nation. They should be provided every opportunity to succeed, regardless of their zip code. To improve education opportunities, we should empower families, more than the government, to let them make decisions for themselves and their children.”
On health care, Gottesfeld wants to reduce costs using free market solutions. “Health care costs are astronomically high, and needlessly so. Government, providers, insurance companies and drug companies have nearly eliminated competition from the marketplace.”
Gottesfeld plans to protect the most vulnerable and prioritize reducing health care costs and prescription drug prices. Gottesfeld supports price disclosures, fair billing consumer protections, allowing health insurance purchases across state lines and reversing the artificial inflation of prescription drug prices charged to Americans when the same drug is available at cheaper prices in other countries.
“I hope to reduce the healthcare crisis. My brother was born with heart complications. He was in the hospital most of his life, causing my family to deal with drug policies and the healthcare industry,” she said.
Summarizing why she deserves voter support, Gottesfeld explained, “I think [the people] want someone who understands both sides and hears both sides. I want to help people in ways that don’t hurt people. You want someone in Congress who understands environmental issues as these issues will be coming up. You want someone who is able to understand the technology and understand what works and what doesn’t. You can actually make policies that work rather than policies which are just lip service.”
Gottesfeld concluded, “Everything I have done is to help people and to make their lives better. You want someone with that mindset to make policies; someone who still believes in a free market economy and still believes people are the best ones to make the decisions for themselves and their families.”
To learn more about Yehudis Gottesfeld, visit her website at www.yehudisforcongress.com.