In their ongoing efforts to expose Amesbury residents to candidates running for state and federal office, the Amesbury Democratic Committee hosted Congressman John Tierney for a visit, where he sat down with more than a dozen residents to talk about local and national issues.
Tierney began the conversation by talking up his perception that government is being viewed in a positive manner.
“There’s a plan to move forward here, and peoples attitudes are improving,” Tierney told the group.
He cited efforts by House Democrats to stop the slide into economic depression and the fight to recover from the deep recession despite the fact that Democrats were often in the minority. During those same years, 8 million jobs were created and unemployment hit its lowest level since 2009.
In order to move forward with a progressive program though, Tierney emphasized the need to elect a Democratic majority in the house, much like the 2007-2010 Democratic-majority house that was the most productive legislative body since 1965.
After his opening remarks, the discussion turned to local issues, where Tierney pointed to several federally funded local initiatives, including the reconstruction of the Whittier Bridge, the new Transportation, Senior, and Veteran’s Center located on Elm St., and even the downtown revitalization of Amesbury that happened in the late 1990’s.
Tierney also explained how the federal government reaches us in ways that not many are familiar with. For example, most commercial products are developed and invented thanks to previous government research.
“Steve Jobs didn’t invent anything,” Tierney said. “All of the components of the iPhone were created as result of government research.” Jobs’ genius was to design those components into a cohesive package that moved technology forward, he explained.
Tierney currently is seeking his tenth term as 6th District Representative. The district stretches from Amesbury and Salisbury in the north, to Lynn in the south, encompassing all of Cape Ann, and reaching Billerica in the west. In 2012, he narrowly won reelection, beating his Republican opponent by only one percentage point.
In talking about the upcoming election, Tierney mentioned one particularly challenging demographic.
“In non-presidential years, the women’s vote drops off by 37%,” he said.
To counter that, his staffers will reach out to single, non-educated women with children, hoping to educate them on how progressive-based programs can help them.
Finally, the conversation turned to the enormous pressure that college graduates face paying off mammoth-sized student loans.
In response, Tierney explained new programs in place that ease the burden tuition re-payment, including the requirement now that loaning institutions only collect 10% of the student’s post-college salary, and that loans are forgiven after 20 years.
For more information visit johntierney.com