Dana Balter for Congress

"It's time to return government and politics to the hands of the people where it belongs."

Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate

Meet Dana Balter

HOW THIS JOURNEY BEGAN

When I was still too young to name what I was doing, I was already fighting for the underdog. My younger brother, Jonathan, has cognitive disabilities. Not even two years separate us in age and as we grew up together, he taught me about the struggle to overcome and that I had an important role to play in that struggle. When Jonathan couldn’t learn to tell time at school, I set up a “classroom” in our basement and tried to teach him myself. When neighborhood children teased and bullied him, I stood with him and shut them down. When my parents advocated for him year after year, demanding that he have the best opportunities to thrive, I watched and learned. As Jonathan’s sister, I was both nurturer and shield. From my earliest memories until today I have been inspired to stand firmly and passionately for dignity and access for all.

Shaped by these childhood experiences, I began my career in the field of special education, working at a nonprofit organization that provides support services to adults with cognitive disabilities. There I began as a teacher, became the Director of Education, and finally the Director of Marketing and Communications. Through my role in marketing, I met parents of children and adults with disabilities across the country who were desperate to find appropriate services for their children. They were terrified that there were no options for independent and fulfilling lives after high school. The relief in their eyes when I explained what our programs offered and the hope with which they walked away from our conversations were both gratifying and heartbreaking. No parent should have to face such uncertainty for their children; necessary services should be abundant and easily accessible. I decided that I needed to make change on a larger scale; I needed to get into policy-making. And because, for me, all things begin with education, I went back to school to study it.

I HAVE THE NECESSARY EXPERTISE

I earned my Masters in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut and am currently a PhD candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  My academic work has focused on education policy, public finance, and accountability in government.  I am now serving as a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor at the Maxwell School, teaching courses in citizenship, policy, administration, and democracy.

Since the November 2016 election, I have been working hard as a community organizer, advancing a progressive agenda for Central New York. Traveling the district doing that work, I hear from so many people who are frustrated, angry, and scared. They are feeling threatened by our current administration and ignored by our current representative. I am deeply connected to the issues facing the people of the 24th district and deeply committed to finding solutions.

I’M STRONG ENOUGH TO FIGHT FOR YOU

Less than a year into my PhD program, I found myself facing a debilitating physical illness. I was forced to suspend my studies. Not one to stay on the mat when life knocks me down, I spent years researching treatments and doing everything I could to get better. It took almost eight years, but I fought my way back to good health and re-enrolled at the Maxwell School. Despite having to start all over again, I am resolved to earn my degree. I learned some important things on that journey. I faced the threat of not being able to find insurance because of a pre-existing condition; the fear of financial ruin because of healthcare costs; and the obstacles that make accessing our public social service supports so difficult. I truly understand the kinds of battles that families are fighting every day and the need for humane government policies that can help them. It was sheer stubborn determination that brought me through and I will put that same determination to work for you. Your struggles will become my mission and together we will be unstoppable.

I’M RUNNING FOR CONGRESS BECAUSE…

In the wake of the November election, I felt that our nation was fighting for its very soul. I thought about all the times I’d sat in a movie theater, a library, a history class and said to myself, “What would I have done? Would I have been strong enough to stand up and say no? Would I have been brave enough?” Well, now it’s my time. The people I love, the country I love, the values I love are all being threatened and I cannot stand idly by.

I’m standing up to fight for the things our community needs most: adequate, affordable healthcare for every person; an equitable, high quality education for every child; policies that promote economic justice and meaningful employment; an insistence on racial justice and demand for equal treatment under the law for all people; protection of our natural resources and responsible stewardship of the Earth; a restoration of respect for our democratic institutions and American values. If you entrust me with the task of promoting the public good on Capitol Hill, my job will be to amplify the voices of our community and ensure that no one is left behind.

Why Karin supports Dana Balter...

Dana has my full support, not just because she is AGAINST John Katko's faux "moderate" positions, but because she is FOR guaranteeing health care for all, protecting our environment, economic and racial justice, and other important progressive issues. Dana's experience and advanced degrees in public administration with a focus on policy, finance, and accountability in government give her an excellent background to serve. She knows every issue inside out and handles herself well in public, making her a strong candidate in the race.

Why Peter supports Dana Balter...

We need a representative who represents the people of Central New York, not the big money from Wall Street! Dana Balter is knowledgeable about the challenges our state and country are facing, and she is not afraid to speak up. She has the capability to advocate for critical issues like health care, equal rights for all, and environmental concerns.

Why Carol supports Dana Balter...

Plain and simple: I support Dana because integrity matters. Especially in the current political climate, when decency has become anything but common!

Why David supports Dana Balter...

I support Dana because she will work hard to stop Trump from dividing this country and destroying our democracy. She is not taking corporate money, so we can rely on her to represent us here in Central New York, which our current representative is not doing. She's our best hope for getting back to the pursuit of equality and for reviving the American Dream for all.

Why Jackie supports Dana Balter...

If I could, I would vote for you even if you weren't my Aunt! You are so amazing for going for it and doing everything you can to enact change!! I'm so proud to share the Balter name with a woman like you!

Why Mark supports Dana Balter...

Here are the reasons which made me an early supporter of Dana Balter for Congress in New York’s 24th District: -She’s values-driven, and she was acting on her progressive and loving values long before she ever thought of running. -She’s a kind and balanced person. She is not seeking this position to accumulate power, advance herself, or prop up a weak and troubled ego. She does not need this job; she wants it as a vehicle for resisting evils rampant in our current politics, such as greed, and racism and she is only motivated by the prospect of service to the people of her district. -She understands the intricacies of social policy, because, as a scholar and a college professor, she studies and teaches them. -She’s opposed by the Democratic machine, God bless her. -And she is electable!

Why Donna supports Dana Balter...

Dana has an excellent understanding of the issues that are important to you and me in Central New York. She has the intellect, the skills and the passion to be a great Representative for the 24th District.

Why Maurice supports Dana Balter...

I am supporting Dana Balter to Represent 24th District because she is the candidate who knows how to address my issues. She's as good of a listener as she is a speaker and she listens to the needs in our community. It is important that we have a candidate who will not only hold town halls, but one who will use those town halls to listen to the constituents and use that information to better address the needs of the community. She is the candidate who will do that, and that is why I am supporting Dana Balter for Congress!

Why Jennie supports Dana Balter...

Had the pleasure of meeting Dana Balter on the eve of the Women’s March in NYC. Smart, compassionate & eager to build on our collective shared values to bring about real progress in government. At a time when we suffer through partisan politics, divisive leadership and a bully in our big house, she is a breath of fresh air. Good luck Dana Balter!

Why Jim supports Dana Balter...

Dana is smart, driven and compassionate. She will help restore dignity to Congress and be a true representative of the people.

Why Janice supports Dana Balter...

I have been involved with politics and politicians for over twenty years and I have never been as impressed by the background, temperament and knowledge of a candidate as I am with that of Dana Balter. She has been preparing for this opportunity since birth, I think, and no one is readier to take on the issues of the people of Central New York. Her ability to get to the heart of matters, to listen and actually hear people, and to articulate solid solutions is exactly what we need and want in a Representative. Dana will serve us well.

Why Sally supports Dana Balter...

After just one meeting I was so impressed with Dana's ability to express and address the issues that matter to all Americans. She is willing to not just state position, but to dig deep, understand the issues America faces today and look for solutions that work for all people, not just a select few. She will be a new breed of representative.

Why Jonathan supports Dana Balter...

I first came across Dana at meetings and protests following the 2016 election. I was struck by her knowledge of the issues, her eloquence, her obvious passion for justice, and her commitment to do the hard work to advance the work of justice for the people of this community. I support her wholeheartedly on universal healthcare. It is the obligation of a just, prosperous and decent society to ensure that the least of these should not be denied quality health care because they can't pay for it.