Transcript: Remarks to the COJO Political Forum

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking for a few minutes at the Council of Jewish Organizations Staten Island's Political Forum.  It was a great event with a few dozen elected officials, 2017 candidates, and 2018 candidates speaking.  The 2018 candidates came last, and it was after hearing both convicted felon--and now Republican congressional candidate--Mike Grimm, and some of my Democratic rivals, regretting that both parties have given up on bipartisanship that I spoke the following:

"Good morning.

 My name is Zach Emig.  I want your vote for Congress, I think a few of us do, but let me tell you about why.

I’m a native New Yorker, I live up on the North Shore.  I have four kids, I have three degrees*, I have… I speak two foreign languages, I have one motorcycle.  I’m a businessman, I’m a bond trader in my day job, and I’m a progressive Democrat.

You heard that right, I’m a bond trader in my day job, and I’m a progressive Democrat.  And why, what does progressive mean?  It means I’m aggressive about progress.

Now we’ve heard a lot about bipartisanship here tonight, and that’s such a sweet, sweet aroma isn’t it?  But, if I believed in bipartisanship, like, I wouldn’t be up here.  And I’ll say it directly: because I believe it’s the Democratic party that offers progress for the country, and it’s the Republican party—which controls Washington, DC right now—that doesn’t.

And so I’m running on three main points:

One: Getting money into your pockets.  And it’s the Democratic party and Democratic ideas that are gonna get money into your pockets.  You know, the Republican Congress has a tax plan in front of you, and the bottom tax rate goes from 10 to 12, and they say they’re saying “we’re cutting your taxes”?  Like, I can talk to my seven year olds, and they can tell you which is higher, ten or twelve percent.

So my plan for getting money in your pockets Is cutting taxes for the middle and leaving taxes the same for the millionaires.  It’s about cutting corporate tax rates if the corporations raise the bottom salaries.  It’s about raising minimum wage to get the people who just starting out in position…It’s about strengthening union rights, it’s the Republican party that’s attacking unions across the country.

Second: healthcare in your wallet. Now, I’d love to say it’s been bipartisan in Washington DC to get more people insured, but that’s not the truth: it’s been the Republican party that’s been attacking and trying to get health insurance away from people.  Our own congressman voted to cut 22 million people’s medical care.  I’m sorry, like, it’s really sweet to talk about bipartisanship but they’re the ones that are sabotaging government.

And third, let’s talk about opioids, the opioid crisis here in Staten Island and across the country.  In the time of this conference here, you know, a dozen people across America have died of opioid overdoses.  And you say, what’s the solution, we could, maybe we can have a treatment center here and this and that, and yes, medical treatment helps people.  But… I think we need to be a bit stronger and bolder about this.

Why hasn’t the DEA raided the headquarters of the McKesson Corporation, which is now the fifth largest company in America because it distributes opioids willy nilly to small communities?  Why haven’t they broken down the doors, and led the executives out in handcuffs, and charged them all?  Cause I know if you search those corporate emails, you’ll find a lot of, a lot of incriminating evidence.

So, money in your pockets, health insurance in your wallets, and opioid CEOs in the handcuffs, that’s why I’m running for Congress.  My website is, and I look forward to seeing all of you over the next nine months. Thank you!”

* Correction: I speak three languages and have two degrees, not the other way around.

Listen here.