23 Questions with Kristy Gnibus
An extended conversation with the congressional candidate
As Kristy Gnibus continues to break barriers on the road to congress, as a candidate for the 16th Congressional District, she sat down with the Erie Reader in an in-depth conversation about her journey.
She chose the Democratic party because "of unity and they want everyone to succeed, not just those at the top."
Where she stands with her policies and how she plans to put those policies in action. She believes in having civil conversations with both sides of the political spectrum to create and follow through with policies that will create an even better community. She believes it's time for the 16th Congressional District in PA, to grow from where they are now. Gnibus believes there can be changes in our healthcare system, the welfare system, the education system, and the justice system.
• Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run for office? (0:19)
• What were both of your daughters' reactions when you told them you'd be running for congress? (4:42)
• What main obstacle did you face to get to this point after deciding to take a leadership role in your community? (5:49)
• Why were you more drawn to the Democratic Party and not the Republican Party? (6:50)
• Speaking of unity, with much going on today it's surreal, what was your first reaction when you saw the video of Jacob Blake? (7:58)
• Why do you want to legalize Marijuana? Do you support Gov. Wolf's recent calls for legalization? (9:30)
• Joe Biden is looking to improve on the Affordable Care Act, in which areas do you see an avenue for change? (10:52)
• Why is making schools safe important to you? Do you have any experience? (12:16)
• According to a report done by USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), "each year the U.S. underfunds school infrastructure by $46 billion, resulting in thousands of schools that are outdated, unsafe, unfit, and – in some cases – making kids and educators sick." As someone who has worked in the education system do you have any experience with these discrepancies? Can you give us an example? (13:28)
• There's an estimated $23 billion annual funding gap between white and non-white school districts today, and gaps persist between high- and low-income districts as well. Why do you think that is? How has this gap affected the Erie Community? (15:26)
• How would you cut back on college costs so everyone has equal opportunity to attend? How will you work with the upcoming community college? (17:00)
• What steps would you take to rebuild the inner city schools making it a growing environment for all children? (18:52)
• Western PA is commonly referred to as the rust belt because "back in the early 20th century when industrial manufacturing was at its peak, these booming metropolitan areas were called names like the Factory Belt or the Steel Belt to distinguish them from areas driven by other commerce, like agriculture and fishing. The population and development of these factory towns exploded due to market demands and waves of immigrants taking low-paying jobs. How do we revitalize cities in this district and create new jobs and career sectors for individuals? (20:20)
• Fracking is a huge conversation that's occurring in PA, do you think that's a problem and why? (22:25)
•Can you explain Hash Bail? (26:50)
• Being a former teacher you are aware that there are schools in this area that still have Native American mascots. Native American and federally recognized tribes have said its discrimination and blatant racism. "NCAI calls upon the leaders of professional sports leagues, school systems, state and local governments, and the business world across the country to condemn and abolish these mascots, which cause profound and well-documented harms to Native people, in particular Native youth." It's a violation of state, federal, and local discrimination policies how would you go about making that right? (28:10)
• How will you work to allow reproductive healthcare for all women in Western PA? (29:55)
• How has it been on the campaign trail so far? What has the response been since the Vice article? (30:58)
• What are some goals you have set and hoping to accomplish leading up to the election? (33:26)
• What will be your first rule of action once you are elected? (34:22)
• What is your advice for those indecisive about voting? (35:32)
• What is your advice to young people seeking to make a difference in their community? (37:14)
For more information, go to kristyforcongress.com
Video filmed at the Erie Seventh-day Adventist Church, shot and edited by Simonique Dietz.