The second candidate interviewed about her candidacy for the 10th Congressional Seat was State Senator Nia Gill.
Dhiren Shah: Welcome to this interview. Congressman Donald Payne, Sr. left a legacy for his work, especially in the African Nations. Are you trying to follow his ideology?
Nia Gill: It determines how. Donald Payne was strong with HIV/AIDS; I am strong with the creation of a needle exchange bill. Payne was strong with Anti-Trafficking; I am strongest with legislation that made it illegal to force servitude - prostitution for immigration - which Governor Christie signed into law. Those under the age of 18 in this circumstance who are picked up for prostitution would be treated as victims of human trafficking. Payne voted for a health care reform bill; my bill passed both the houses for a state health insurance exchange, a key requirement of the federal health care reform law.
DS: You have won successfully against the Democratic machine twice. This time, what are your chances to repeat?
NG: I have raised money on my own accord. I am running for the new term only and not running for the unexpired term of Congressman Payne. Look at the difference. For the vote in the Primary in our area, the majority are 45 and over in African American community. I am most qualified for this job. I have 20 years experience in legislative ability. I know how to legislate and negotiate. I am ready to negotiate and ready to legislate. I am a lawyer for 28 years, and I know how to use periods and commas in legislation. City councils are only dealing with Democrats and not legislating as such. There are no women in New Jersey represented as a Congressional delegate. I can represent all issues as a female New Jersey delegate and giving women a voice also. I know what we can contribute. We talk about diversity, but we don’t have a diverse voice. I will be the first African American Woman in Congress from New Jersey.
DS: What is your opinion for the withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan?
NG: I support the President. The withdrawal should be done in a way to ensure in that region we bring home some troops.
DS: Pakistan and the United States are having some grievances since the capture of Osama Bin Laden. What is your opinion about the policies with Pakistan?
NG: We should negotiate a policy of diplomacy which includes and recognize issues ensuring the safety of the U.S.
DS: Right now, you are leading the role on the executive side of the isle. How would you fit in the role of a congressperson?
NG: All positions are legislative. I am the chair of the Commerce Committee, which deals with banking, finance and insurance regulations. My experience has been for 20 years, I have to simply transfer that to Congress.
DS: What do you consider your greatest success?
NG: Saving many lives by introducing legislation with a clean needle exchange. We have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS, and that bill saved thousands of lives. That is the best legislation. I call it a great success.
DS: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
NG: I drink a lot of coconut water. I am a grandmother of a 7 year old grandson. My grandson gives me a lot of joy.
DS: How would you uplift the quality of life for the working middle class and working poor class?
NG: A major success can be a health care exchange bill. College education should be deductible for income tax purposes, and loan forgiveness for those who attended college and work in the teaching field. Incentivize companies for creating green jobs and for relocating or bringing jobs back to the U.S.
DS: Donald Payne Jr., Ronald C. Rice, Dennis Flynn, Cathy Wright and Wayne Smith all are hopefuls for the Democratic Candidacy for the congressional seat. Why do you think you are better qualified than all the other candidates?
NG: A level of engagement with perception.
DS: How would you stay in touch with your constituents?
NG: I have always kept faith. I will organize town hall meetings by video and telephone, while I am in Washington D. C. I will mail information to my constituents and keep them informed. Even if I can’t get back to my constituents, I have an administrative office with professionals, which handle issues with a level of professionalism.
DS: Do you have any message for your constituents?
NG: Go and vote for Obama on Line A, and vote for Line C and make history.