Gillibrand makes first public appearance in Harlem

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One day after being chosen by Gov. David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton?s vacant U.S. Senate seat, Kirsten Gillibrand traveled to Harlem Saturday for part of her statewide ?Listening Tour.?

During her first public appearance since being named senator, Gillibrand attended the National Action Network Community Forum with the Rev. Al Sharpton and spoke with members of the community about their concerns.

"The number one issue for all of us in Washington is to address the economy," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand, a conservative Democrat and member of the National Rifle Association, used the opportunity to defend her pro-gun stance that recently came under fire, saying she is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

"One of my goals is to make sure we can protect hunters? rights, to make sure it can still be part of our heritage and our history and a sport that people do love," she said, "but there is so much room in my view for legislation that can make a difference to keep our communities safer."

Gillibrand emphasized that she intends to fight for the interests of all New Yorkers.

"I'm here to represent all of New York, all your different viewpoints and all the things you want me to be going back to Washington and talking about," Gillibrand said.

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