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Richard Hanna's Full Announcement Speech
I am here to announce my candidacy for the New York 24th congressional district, not as a career politician, but an independent man who has never served in public office, a private citizen, a business man who believes there is value in public service and that in order to a secure our future we must stop accepting words over deeds and promises over results. I am positive that our future can be better than our past but not without thoughtful, deliberate and substantial change.
I have chosen this location because areas like this represent the economic challenges we face today as well as the failure of both parties to help us secure the future.
Everything I will tell you in this campaign is connected by one basic belief: that we are privileged as well as obligated to pass down to our children a robust world as secure and full of opportunity as the one our parents passed down to us. This has always been this country's collective dream, not a dream of entitlement but one of possibilities of reward through merit. Of upward mobility and broad based economic and social opportunity that with effort any individual can advance and reach their potential as they choose.
It should be our single minded goal for the people of Upstate New York and this country to love their future again, to restore hope and confidence that our best days will always lie ahead of us.
I have lived and worked in this community my entire life. I have witnessed its steady decline. I have watched its young people and businesses leave seeking opportunities in areas with more growth, promise and stronger economies.
Like you, I have watched baby boomers leave to be near their children because their children cannot thrive here. Those of us who stay shoulder an increasing share of the burden.
I believe we are at a crucial point in our community and this country. For the first time in our history our standard of living and opportunity to improve our individual and mutual well beings is for many in decline. Our children and their children are in jeopardy of living substantially below the level many of us have enjoyed. They are working harder and longer for less.
I believe there is still time to ensure stable families and the rebirth of our communities, but not on our current path. We need to begin with a non-partisan united vision, one that accepts compromise and places the obligation to govern above dogma and demagoguery.
Stalemate, winner takes all politics of both major parties serves no one.
We know instinctively that those things that tear us apart pale when compared to what we have in common. This country has thrived because of our differences, not in spite of them. We must begin to live and act on that knowledge.
If we are to lay claim to a future better than our past, we must raise our expectations and send that message to those we pay to serve as leaders. We should be intolerant of mediocrity, indecisiveness and political opportunism.
You should never doubt that difficult choices will be made.
These choices should be made thoughtfully, not through desperate circumstances left to the next generation, but by us in our time. I believe we must own our future or it will own our children.
The choices we make in the next few years on education, health care, immigration, social security, the environment, foreign competition and national security are more important today than they have ever been.
We are in desperate need of a long term comprehensive energy policy that focuses on new exploration, innovation and conservation.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown us that the military gives us the power to conquer countries but not the power to run them. However, we cannot abandon our fight against the ongoing threat of global terrorism or abandon our responsibilities to the people of these two countries.
We have become a nation that spends more than it earns, imports more than it exports, borrows more than it can pay back, and consumes more than it produces. In short a nation that is mortgaging its' future.
We deserve a thoughtful independent voice representing us, not special interests, but the needs of this district and this country. We deserve to be confident that the good of the public supersedes that of special interests and political careers.
I believe we are entitled to a government that works; leadership with a moral compass and a sense of fairness that fixes our problems and makes hard choices first. We deserve a government that secures the future not just for the next political cycle, but for generations to come.
This country is renowned for its ability to meet challenges, to embrace competition, to meet them head on with excitement.
The loss of prosperity and opportunity in upstate New York is a clear example of the cause and effect between high taxes, excess regulation and economic decay.
We can reverse this trend if we remember that government does not create jobs or growth or opportunity but is responsible for creating the climate for them.
Our children and the future will not judge us by what we say, but by what we do. They won't care if our politics are to the right or left but they will know if we moved our country forward or backward.
We must not be the last generation to love where we live. I am asking you to join me - let's own our future again.