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QNS Photo by Brianna Ellis
QNS Photo by Brianna Ellis
Legislator Steve Stern visited the QNS office on Monday to discuss his plans for Northeast Queens.

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern hopes to replace outgoing Congressman Steve Israel by continuing his legacy.

During an interview at the QNS office in Bayside on Monday, the candidate for New York’s 3rd Congressional District seat expressed his enthusiasm toward change after being endorsed by Israel. Stern declared that he is ready to continue the legacy of Israel and intends to work with his colleagues to address local quality-of-life issues throughout the district.

“I look forward to continuing much of his effort in Congress, particularly when it comes to the issues that we all care about here locally,” Stern said. “I am looking forward to working as a very active member of the Quiet Skies Caucus with Congresswoman Meng and Congressman Crowley. It’s an issue that in many ways reminds me of many of the issues that I have been involved with in my capacity as a legislator.”

The 3rd District, which encompasses much of northern Nassau and northwest Suffolk counties, includes areas of Douglaston, Little Neck and Whitestone, which have experienced problems related to helicopter noise. Stern compared the issues to similar aircraft disturbances on Long Island.

“It is a significant quality-of-life issue for so many … It’s an issue I’m very familiar with. It’s an issue that we’ve been active with and so I’m looking forward to bringing that experience and fighting on behalf of Queens residents, protecting quality of life,” he said in reference to his vision for tackling the aircraft noise dilemma.

Stern highly regards the impact of collaborative efforts and intends to work with Congress members, area residents and local leaders to rectify the ongoing helicopter crisis and other issues.

“In order to have a successful effort …You have to have all levels of government and you have to have all of the stakeholders participating,” he explained. “Whether it is working with the FAA or working with the federal government to make sure that there are adequate sound monitors … particularly when it comes to area schools, to make sure that the health and safety of some our most vulnerable, our children, are protected.”

The legislator also mentioned that he is in active discussions with government officials to obtain federal funding for better housing development for younger and older neighbors, sewer wastewater infrastructure, funding to clean up the Long Island Sound and environmental protection in Queens and Long Island areas.

“Whether it’s our roadways, especially here in Queens, our bridges and our tunnels and all of the infrastructure that we all rely on and it doesn’t matter if you live in Whitestone or Bay Terrace or if you’re coming from all the way out East … that’s an infrastructure that serves us all and so it’s important to all of us to have a safe infrastructure that serves us but also to have a world-class infrastructure that will help us accomplish all of those things that we know are so important,” Stern added.

Stern, who chairs the Veterans & Seniors Committee on the Suffolk County Legislature, authored a series of bills called the Housing Our Homeless Heroes Act to provide suitable housing for homeless veterans and their families in Suffolk County. After the bill’s passage, Stern worked with Congressman Israel to draft its federal version.

“We’re very proud, I’m very proud, to have received Steve Israel’s endorsement and to have his support because he knows that I am the candidate that most closely reflects his values and he knows that I am the candidate that is best able to continue so much of the work that he’s done in Congress,” Stern said.

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