Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the forum will take place at the Ithaca town hall. In fact, it will be at the Southside Community Center.
Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95, Democratic nominee for the 23rd congressional district in New York State, will host an open forum at the Southside Community Center on Friday, Sept. 28.
Mitrano worked as the Director of Information Technology Policy at Cornell University from 2001 to 2014. According to her website, she is responsible for some of the “first-generation” higher education information security policies.
She has also served as an Internet2 expert for the University of Massachusetts, the University of Delaware, Tufts University, SafeGov, the New York Public Library, and other organizations.
The Rochester native’s campaign centers around issues like health care, net neutrality, infrastructure and civil rights.
Mitrano’s focus on health care resulted from her family almost going bankrupt paying the medical bills for her mother who became ill and her older brother, who is developmentally disabled and blind, her website said.
In an op-ed she wrote for The Sun, Mitrano said that “money from Cornell’s endowment that might have funded financial aid is now diverted to support tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations.”
She said that her platform is informed by her years spent in higher education. She further went on to talk about how 45 percent of undergraduates at Cornell leave with some debt despite “Cornell’s commitment to need-blind admissions and generous financial aid packages.”
According to Mitrano’s op-ed, 2016 graduates of the Vet School graduated with a median debt load of $152,000, and many students who go on to law or medical school have average debt loads of around $200,000.
“I believe that every student loan should be interest-free and that profit-obsessed banks should no longer influence how Congress sets interest rates,” Mitrano said.
According to her campaign website, Mitrano was the first member of her family to go to college. She earned a B.A. from the University of Rochester, a M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Binghamton University, and her J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1995.
Mitrano is running against incumbent Tom Reed (R-N.Y.). Reed has been a member of the House of Representatives since November 2010, according to his campaign website.
He currently is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for addressing issues of tax policy, trade, health care, and Social Security. He is also on the Trade, Health and Human Resources subcommittees. He serves as co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, the House Manufacturing Caucus, and the Problem Solvers Caucus, his website said.
Reed’s term and campaign are focused on job creation, reducing regulations on small businesses, developing an “all of the above” energy policy and reforming the tax code.
The election will take place on Nov. 6.