Cherny: Saving the middle class requires real results - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Cherny: Saving the middle class requires real results

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Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 2:20 pm

As the son of two immigrants, I watched my parents work incredibly hard. But because of good public schools and federal college aid, I was able to go from a kid whose parents didn’t speak much English to working for President Clinton in the White House and serving my country in uniform in the Navy reserve. That ladder of opportunity that is the bedrock of the American middle class is eroding and Washington isn’t doing enough to save it.

Today, Washington is working great for those with lobbyists and connections, but it’s failing the middle class. We’ve seen bailouts for Wall Street but little for Main Street.

In the meantime, people across our community are working longer hours, spending less time with their families, and falling further behind as pay stays flat while costs of college, health care, groceries, and gas shoot through the roof.

As the dad of two young kids, I want them to grow up in an America that offers the same opportunities it did when I grew up.

Anyone can talk about doing things, but it’s not enough to fight the good fight. I’m running for Congress because I have a proven track-record of getting results.

In the Clinton White House, we faced a Republican Congress being run by Newt Gingrich but still created 23 million new jobs, balanced the budget, and expanded health care for children and college aid for middle class kids.

Before the financial crisis, I helped launch the fight for the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. We took on the biggest army of Wall Street lobbyists ever amassed, and we won.

As an Arizona Assistant Attorney General, I worked in our community with Terry Goddard to put corporate criminals and financial fraud artists where they belong — behind bars.

When I was walking door-to-door in Ahwautukee this weekend, I met with individuals who have lost their jobs and don’t see any more opportunity. I talked with parents whose kids attend a crumbling school and don’t see anyone offering solutions.

To move our community forward, I’ll focus on investments that create jobs and improve education. We can’t afford to raise taxes on the middle class and we can’t afford more bailouts. I will introduce legislation to expand the loan programs to help grow small businesses.

Here in Ahwatukee, the YMCA is leading the way on solar by installing solar panels on its roof and I will work to make Arizona the “Solar State.”

We need Arizona to become to solar what Silicon Valley is to computer chips and what Detroit is to automobiles. This will be the engine that can drive our economy forward.

To attract companies to Phoenix, we’ll need the best education system in the country. That means making sure we recruit the best and brightest to our teaching profession and give them the pay and respect to stay in the classroom.

I am raising my fifth-generation Arizona children in our community and I want them to have the education to find jobs here when they grow up.

Our community is going to need a voice in Congress with the experience to fight for the middle class and win. I’m proud that President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Terry Goddard are supporting me. I’d be honored if you would as well.

Please take the time to learn more about our campaign to save the middle class at

• Democrat Andrei Cherny is running for Congress.


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