Pol Stumps For Votes Ahead of Primary
One of the four Democrats running for the party’s nomination for the new Sixth Congressional District seat made an introduction to potential voters at the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association (MVPORA) meeting last Monday night, June 11, at St. Margaret Parish Hall.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng explained her background as a Flushing resident and lawmaker, touting herself as someone who “tries to be a bridge builder” among her legislative colleagues as well as a “liaison” between government and her constituents.
During her 3 1/2 years in Albany, Meng noted that nine of the bills she introduced and sponsored have been passed. One of the pieces of legislation she is working on would authorize the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to enforce an existing law requiring English wording on commercial signs.
“In certain parts of Queens, we have had complaints about insufficient English signage on a lot of store awnings,” she said. “It’s actually already state law that store awnings and signage have to have sufficient English signage. But it doesn’t state which city agency would enforce it.”
“I feel like it’s a public safety issue and it’s also an economic argument, because it would attract more customers to the stores,” Meng added.
Other bills which Meng cited were the creation of a separate liquor authority for New York City to review and approve all alcoholic beverage permits for businesses and a “bawdy house act” to give law enforcement agencies greater powers to investigate suspected houses of ill repute.
If elected to Congress, Meng vowed to work to strengthen the education system and “make sure this area gets the attention we deserve.” She also pledged to fight to keep docope mestic jobs and support tax incentives for businesses who refuse to outsource jobs overseas.
“Congress consists of only 17 percent, and I think that-no offense to the men in the room-if there were more women in Congress … that a lot of the policies and issues we’re hearing being debated on the floors of Congress would be friendlier toward our senior citizens, working families and our kids,” she added.
Meng went to note that “we need to restore the trust deficit that the American people have in Congress right now.”
Salvatore Candela, president of the MVPORA, asked Meng about her stance regarding corporate taxes, citing that the U.S. corporate taxes continue to be higher than other nations where jobs are sent.
“A U.S. business in China pays 30 percent in China,” he said. “The problem is here if they bring it back, it’s 35 percent. We can’t do that, because the stockholders won’t like it.”
She stated that while she would fight to disallow certain tax loopholes for large corporations, she would support various incentives to not only grow local businesses but allow more corporations to invest their money in the U.S.
“I know it’s not the easiest thing because corporations obviously only think about the bottom line, but we have to think out of the box and make it easier and give our local companies and corporations to keep jobs here,” she said.
Looking ahead to the fall following the civic group’s summer hiatus, Candela asked residents for suggestions about guest speakers they would like to see appear at upcoming meetings. Audience members requested invitations for representatives of the Sanitation and Parks departments.
Neil Giannelli of State Sen. Joseph Addabbo’s office noted that the lawmaker was “wrapping things up” in the state legislature for the current session. While he noted that they were many successes achieved in the past year, “there’s things we didn’t get,” including a $3,000 member item for the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32.
Addabbo had supported the funding request to allow the veterans group to pay for the burial of indigent veterans, but Giannelli noted that the member item-along with others submitted by lawmakers across the state-were vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Dori Pliska, a representative of City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, stated that the lawmaker is working with her City Council member colleagues on finalizing a city budget that would avoid cuts to the Fire Department, libraries and “outof school time” programs.
With no objection, Candela cast one vote for Rick Metzger, assistant sergeant-at-arms, to become the civic group’s new sergeant-at-arms. Metzger succeeds Bill Schoenmuller, who died earlier this year.
The Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association will not meet in July and August. Their next meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday night, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Margaret Parish Hall, located on 79th Place south of Juniper Valley Road.