Kirsten Gillibrand on Welfare & Poverty

Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)


$50 million annually to end food deserts

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her Healthy Food Financing Initiative Reauthorization Act, legislation that would help end food deserts. Food deserts are areas where a significant portion of residents don't have easy access to a grocery store and affordable, nutritious food. Instead, they are forced to rely on corner and convenience stores, which often sell little to no fresh produce, meat or dairy and whose prices are higher than those of a typical supermarket.

Gillibrand's legislation would provide $50 million annually in mandatory federal funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).

"An easily accessible grocery store is a basic necessity, but for years, some residents of Buffalo haven't had consistent access to one," said Senator Gillibrand. "That means that they have to travel miles outside their neighborhood just to buy staple groceries, and for residents without a car, that can mean a multi-hour journey by foot or public transit. It's unacceptable."

Source: Senate press release on 2024 New York Senate race , Jan 26, 2024

We used to care about the least among us

Under his administration seven children died in his custody. Under his administration families have been torn apart. This party is talking about real ideas for the future. But we must not forget about our values. We used to believe in this country you should treat others the way you want to be treated. We used to believe in this country we should care about the least among us. Let's remind the American people who we are, why we are democrats, and why we're running for president.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Special Counsel for HUD under President Clinton

I went to hear Andrew Cuomo, who was then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, speak at a Women's Leadership Forum event. He gave a fired-up talk about public service, why it mattered, and how we should all be working to make the world better. To which I responded: "Great." I wanted the life he was pitching, but no one was giving me a chance.

So after the talk I walked up to Andrew, introduced myself, and said, "Mr. Secretary, I loved your speech. I agreed with everything you said. But I have to tell you, it's not so easy. I've been trying to break into a career in public service for a couple of years now, and I cannot get my foot in the door.

Andrew said, "Well if you're really serious about it, I'll have my chief of staff set up an interview for next week." I flew to Washington. Andrew interviewed me.

"I'll make you special counsel. I'll pay you the highest salary I can under the federal rules, because I know you're leaving a well-paying job. Will you take it?" [She took it.]

Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p. 34-5 , Sep 9, 2014

Served briefly under Clinton as Special Counsel for HUD

After nine years at Philip Morris and a short stint at HUD, Gillibrand joined [a private law firm]. But Gillibrand never disclosed anything about Philip Morris when she ran for Congress and gave few details about her short tenure at HUD. Here's how she described herself in her campaign literature:

"Throughout her career, Gillibrand has demonstrated their commitment to public service. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo. Gillibrand played a key role in furthering HUD's Labor Initiative and its New Markets Initiatives, working on strengthening Davis-Bacon Act enforcement and drafting new markets legislation for public and private investment in building infrastructure in lower income areas."

No mention of what she did before she served in the Clinton administration (that is, defend Big Tobacco). And no explanation that she served at HUD for just over one year of that 8-year administration.

Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.191 , Apr 13, 2010

Support school breakfast for low-income children.

Gillibrand signed bill favoring school breakfast for low-income kids