Democrat Party candidate for the US Congress Max Rose, responded to the questions of Turkishny News Portal, revealing important details about the candidacy process and Turkish-American relations.
TurkishNY.com: Can you tell us a little about who is Max Rose?
Max Rose: I am a proud Staten Islander and the first veteran of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to run for office in New York City. I live on Staten Island in St. George with my beautiful fiancée, Leigh. As a former healthcare executive at Brightpoint Health, I helped bring a healthcare clinic and 24/7 Recovery Center to Staten Island. I am a graduate of Wesleyan University and the London School of Economics.
I am running for Congress because our politics is broken and our leaders have failed us. Politicians in D.C. are no longer looking out for hardworking Americans and are instead interested in protecting their donors, big corporations, and the special interests. That’s why a hedge fund manager pays a lower tax rate than a firefighter or a teacher and companies like Mylan can raise the cost of an EpiPen by 400% with no consequences.
We need elected officials with the courage to lead and fight for the middle and working class. It won’t be easy, but the troops I served with in Afghanistan accomplished the impossible every day because that’s what our country asked of them. That’s the experience and spirit I will bring to Washington D.C.
TurkishNY.com: Which office are you running for and which areas of Brooklyn fall in your district?
Max Rose: I am running to represent the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 11th Congressional District includes Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Fort Hamilton, Dyker Heights, Gravesend, and all of Staten Island.
TurkishNY.com: Staten Island has many issues that it is facing. One very important matter is Transportation? Please tell us about your thoughts on issue. What would you do to bring resources to the island if elected to US congress.
Max Rose: It is insane that Congress cannot get its act together and pass an infrastructure bill to help alleviate our traffic woes and create good-paying jobs. On Staten Island and in South Brooklyn, residents are stuck in traffic on the Staten Island & West Shore Expressways and must deal with an unreliable R train. Passing an infrastructure bill that will fund and explore major projects that creates jobs, reduces traffic, and provides alternative transportation options is a priority of mine. I will seek a seat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and work with both Democrats and Republicans alike to help make this a reality.
TurkishNY.com: Staten Island has gone from being known as Status Island to Heroin Island. Please tell us your plan to combat this terrible epidemic.
Max Rose: You’re absolutely right. For years we had a District Attorney who was asleep at the wheel and a member of Congress unwilling to go to the mat to pass legislation or fight for funding our law enforcement and substance abuse treatment communities needed. We have new leadership in the District Attorney’s Office under Mike McMahon and as I mentioned previously, I helped bring a 24/7 Recovery Center to Staten Island through my work as Chief of Staff at Brightpoint Health. Brightpoint has been on the frontlines of treatment and I’ll bring my experience to Congress so we can help our loved ones in the throes of addiction get the treatment they need, law enforcement can track down suppliers, and companies who flooded our streets are held responsible for deceptive tactics.
TurkishNY.com: What other issues do you consider to be urgent issue facing Staten Island and Brooklyn? I believe we need to improve our healthcare system and fix an economic system that has left the middle and working class behind.
Max Rose: Despite some progress, our healthcare system has a long way to go before we achieve true universal coverage. For too many Americans, premiums and deductibles are so high that it renders their insurance useless. As a former healthcare executive, I know where our healthcare system is failing patients and doctors alike, and I know how to improve it in tangible ways that will lower costs, improve care, and allow the United States to provide true universal healthcare coverage.
When it comes to the economy, the special interests and giant corporations have used the tax code to rig the system to their benefit even as wages and benefits for the American worker have stagnated for decades. I will push to close loopholes that allow giant corporations and hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than a firefighter or a teacher, raise the floor on the Alternative Minimum Tax to give middle class families a tax cut, meaningfully expanding the Earned Income Credit, and eliminate tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas.
TurkishNY.com: Max have you ever been to NATO Ally of the Republic of Turkey?
Max Rose: I have not, but I look forward to visiting sometime soon – hopefully as a member of Congress!
TurkishNY.com: Can you tell us why does Turkey matter to US national interests?
Max Rose: Turkey matters to the United States’ national interests for a lot of different reason.
As you mentioned, Turkey is a NATO ally and has been a bulwark of stability in the Middle East. Our countries have a strong history of working together against common enemies, including terrorism. That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree on certain issues, but no matter what policy disagreement may arise, I hope whoever is our President and our congressional leaders recognize the enduring friendship between our two nations and do whatever we can to not only maintain our alliance, but improve upon it. As a member of Congress, I will work to ensure that occurs.
We also have a significant Turkish diaspora here in the United States and our two nations share strong economic and cultural ties that are important to honor and remember.
TurkishNY.com: US and Turkey shares a time tested and honored relationship since the cold War and Korean War. Is the U.S.-Turkey Relationship Crumbling?
Max Rose: I don’t believe so, and I would strongly oppose any efforts to undermine our NATO commitments to Turkey. I was deeply disturbed to see President Trump waver on his commitment to NATO’s Article V. The United States’ commitment to NATO members must be ironclad and as a member of Congress I will use my vote and voice to ensure our NATO allies know they can count on the United States.
TurkishNY.com: With its secular modern society and mostly Muslim identity does ‘Muslim’ Turkey belong in ‘Christian’ Europe?
Max Rose: It should not matter the majority faith of any given nation. If a government actively abides by democratic principles and the rule of law then it is in the interest of the United States and European governments to foster closer ties with said nation – whether it is Turkey or any other country.
TurkishNY.com: In District you have over 8000 households of Turkish Americans and a growing Turkish American community on Staten Island and 12000 Albanian American households on Staten Island. What can they do for you?
Max Rose: It’s not what they can do for me. It’s what I, as a member of congress, can do for them. I want to pass an infrastructure bill that reduces traffic and creates jobs, make our healthcare truly universal and more affordable, reform our tax code so the middle and working class are paying less, and bring resources back to the Island to help turn the tide in the opioid and heroin epidemic. If your readers believe in a government that’s able to do that and wants an elected official with the courage to lead who will get it done? Then all I ask is they give me a chance to earn their vote in November of 2018.