Attorney Fox vies for Hevesi’s seat

Attorney Fox vies for Hevesi’s seat
By Anna Gustafson

When Forest Hills resident Joe Fox left his job in Albany decades ago, he hoped someday he would be back.

Fox aims for that someday to be next year, and he announced this week he will join the now three-way race for state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s (D-Forest Hills) seat.

“I worked in Albany many years ago and got bitten by the bug back then,” Fox said of his two-year stint in the Capitol working for the Assembly with its Codes and Consumer Affairs committees. “It was an exciting time up there, and I’d like to go back because I see the need for good governance, responsible people and accountability.”

A resident of Forest Hills for more than 30 years and a Community Board 6 member, Fox is the third Democrat to vie for the seat representing the 28th Assembly District, alongside Hevesi and Lilianna Zulunova. The district covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village and Glendale.

“Working with good government people in Albany and in the city has always stayed with me,” Fox said. “I always dreamed of the opportunity to serve.”

Fox is an attorney who has been practicing law for more than 20 years in midtown Manhattan. His practice focuses on corporate litigation, real estate, trusts and estates, bankruptcy and debtor and creditor rights.

Prior to working as an attorney, he worked in Albany and then in former Mayor Ed Koch’s administration as a legislative attorney for the city Office for Economic Development, during which time he drafted legislation that enabled city businesses to get a break on their gas and electric bills if they created jobs.

He also served as director of real estate at the city Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce.

Time spent in government and the “embarrassing state of affairs” in Albany prompted Fox to run for the seat, and he said his campaign will focus on ethics, balancing the budget and education funding as key issues in his campaign.

“There has to be oversight and transparency into how money is spent in government,” Fox said. “For things like discretionary funds, there has to be oversight.”

Fox said he would focus on the state’s financial situation — currently New York faces a ,$9 billion deficit — and said he would fight for funding for programs for district residents, especially more vulnerable populations, such as students and seniors.

“Education funding is critical at this point,” he said.

He said he intends to focus on issues of tenants rights as well and plans to draw on his experience of being a tenant advocate for years in Forest Hills.

“Traffic is something I want to address,” Fox said. “It is difficult at best, and with the growth we’ve faced recently with Century 21 and Kohl’s coming into the area, it’s almost unreal.”

A push for more public transportation in the area is needed to address traffic congestion, Fox said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.