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Community Members Speak Out about Politics

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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -

Each speaker in the SUNY Broome dining hall had three uninterrupted minutes to share their concerns with fellow community members and politicians on Wednesday. 

The college's Public Voice forum was an opportunity for people to talk openly about political issues.

Karl Wokan, of Vestal, used his time to discuss healthcare and his experience as an employee of the New York State Commission of the Blind.

I saw what happens when people don't have health insurance. They lose their vision and they can't regain that vision. What do we accomplish by doing that? People in this country should have health care. I know a lot of people say 'well that's not an entitlement' but truly healthcare is. I have fairly good health insurance and I want other people to have it too. Just because I have it doesn't mean I shouldn't care about another individual.

— Karl Wokan

Politicians in attendance were Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Broome County Legislators Bob Weslar and Mary Kaminsky, and Broome County Clerk Richard Blythe. 

SUNY Broome plans on sending recordings of the meeting to politicians who did not attend; including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.