By Phil Corso
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Hauppauge) announced last week that his campaign had opened an office in Bayside to serve as the base for his Queens volunteers making calls to and canvassing new constituents in the area. The new office was opened at 213-33 39th Ave., Suite 236.
“The Queens community has been very welcoming and I want it to be clear that I will have a presence there — both during my campaign and in January, when I hope to have the honor of representing them in Congress,” Israel said.
Israel currently represents New York’s 2nd District, which includes Huntington, Babylon, Islip, Smithtown and Oyster Bay. The congressman’s district was modified during redistricting to stretch further down along the North Shore of Suffolk, Nassau and Queens counties, ending at the Whitestone Bridge.
The redrawn district covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bay Terrace, Whitestone and Beechhurst.
Israel’s campaign, headquartered in Plainview, has another satellite office in Huntington Village. According to Israel, his campaign has recruited about 500 volunteers and more than 127,000 calls have been made to voters in his potentially new district.
He will be up for re-election in November, running against Republican/Conservative opponent Stephen Labate and Libertarian Mike McDermott. .
And though he only represented Long Island since 2001, Israel said he had a familiarity with Queens going back to his upbringing, after spending many childhood weekends in Flushing, where his father grew up.
“Queens is an important part of my district and I am eager to represent such a vibrant and beautiful part of New York City,” he said.
Referring to himself as a quintessential product of the middle class, Israel grew up in Levittown on Long Island and said he wanted to go to George Washington University, but could not afford the tuition. After spending two years at his local Nassau Community College, Israel transferred to GWU on student loans and worked in Washington, D.C., during his college years.
Israel’s most important issues center around tax reform, fiscal responsibility, veterans and protecting Social Security and Medicare for seniors.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.