McCarthy Carries Anti-Violence Message To Schools
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy captivates a group of middle school students with her presence and words. The finance director of the district, James W. Knapp, comments on the influence of money in the nonprofit sector. Rep. McCarthy shares with a student that she did not plan on becoming a politician, but her political career began after a tragic incident in 1993 where her husband was killed and her son was left permanently disabled. As a result, she became an advocate against gun violence and focused on education to address the issue. She regularly visits schools in her district to discuss gun control and share her message of hope. Rep. McCarthy draws inspiration from her personal experiences as a nurse, mother, and student with learning disabilities. Although critics label her as a one-issue candidate, her fans appreciate her approachable demeanor. Representative Lynn Woolsey praises her "can-do attitude" during a congressional hearing on special education funding. Rep. McCarthy’s journey to Congress started as a local activist and culminated in her challenging the incumbent in a predominantly Republican district. Her campaign gained national attention and she is now considered a local celebrity. Despite this, she remains humble and open.
A Regular Citizen
Despite a recent series of tragic school shootings that have garnered widespread media attention, Ms. McCarthy highlights the fact that the vast majority of public schools are safe and that most students are not inclined towards violence. Barbara Hohlt, the chair of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, a local advocacy group, commends Ms. McCarthy for her efforts in schools, which have effectively raised awareness about gun violence among students and their parents.
According to Ms. Hohlt, "The fact that she is an ordinary citizen who has become involved in this issue really encourages people to contemplate it." Ms. McCarthy is expected to retain her position in the upcoming elections in November. However, her Republican opponent, Gregory R. Becker, who comes from a long line of politically active family members and is a well-known state assemblyman, remains undaunted by his opponent’s national reputation.
In an interview, Mr. Becker stated, "I am not competing against someone. I am vying for a congressional seat in the fourth district." As a staunch advocate for school choice, he supports publicly funded vouchers for private and religious schools, a stance that Ms. McCarthy disagrees with.
Assuming she is re-elected, Ms. McCarthy intends to continue visiting the 33 school districts she represents. "I don’t view myself as a prominent woman. I simply perceive myself as someone who goes to work each day," she humbly remarked.