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Listening, empathy top Tonko priorities

The Democratic nominee for the 21st congressional district believes listening and empathizing are key for making change in government.

I've learned through my years at the State Assembly that this is all about communicating well, first and foremost; hearing, listening, empathizing with those whom you serve.

Building those solutions together and being a sales representative for your area by taking that message to your colleagues in whatever setting [you are in], said Paul Tonko. Tonko served in the state Assembly from 1983 to 2007, representing Montgomery and Schenectady counties, and also served as the former energy chairman of the state. He is also the former CEO and president of NYSERDA.

He said he wants to address issues facing Washington including the creation of a single payer health insurance program to cover every American, introducing a new approach to energy policy, bringing troops home from Iraq, working on education reform and improving the economy.

"I've learned through my years at the state Assembly that this is all about communicating well " first and foremost, hearing, listening, and empathizing with those whom you serve. Building those solutions together and being a sales representative for your area by taking that message to your colleagues and convincing them that these are sound approaches, sound ideas and high priority issues," said Tonko.

Tonko served as chairman from 1992 to June 2007 on the New York Assembly Standing Committee on Energy, and recently, he was called upon by the Congress of the U.S. to testify before the subcommittee on Domestic Policy, with regards to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Tonko is a lifelong resident of the city of Amsterdam, and a graduate of Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering.""

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