Anthony Weiner speaks with The Queens Courier

Anthony Weiner
THE COURIER/Photo and video by Melissa Chan

A few days after announcing his candidacy for New York City mayor via a YouTube video, Anthony Weiner returned to the Queens community he represented for over a decade in Congress to sit down with several weekly papers including The Courier.

“Community papers have been a fundamental part of the way that I’ve always wanted to communicate with citizens I’ve represented,” Weiner explained. “And frankly, in the mayor’s race it’s going to be the same way.”

The Democratic hopeful also stopped by a Rockaway community meeting the same day he sat down with The Courier.

“There’s really been two times [since] I’ve left Congress that I’ve really felt a sense of real regret, that I’ve missed it, and one of them was when Sandy hit my district,” Weiner said.

“There are some risks that come with living near the water, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do everything we can to mitigate them,” he continued.

Among major issues affecting Queens, Weiner also discussed development including a possible new soccer stadium, Willets Point and the expansion of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Weiner said his default position is the belief “we should be developing and that we should try to create jobs and that we should try to create economic activity in places outside of Manhattan.”

He said he was somewhat conflicted about expanding the tennis center, even voting against the move when he was on the City Council. But Weiner said generally speaking, he is in favor of the three projects and wants to see them move forward. He added he wants to leave himself some wiggle room on details of the soccer stadium.

Addressing issues concerning voters citywide, Weiner expressed a desire to ease health care costs for middle class New Yorkers and help small business owners deal more easily with burdensome summonses.

Weiner outlined those ideas in more detail in his “64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class” pamphlet that he put online shortly before he made his campaign announcement.

Describing his philosophy, Weiner told The Courier, “Don’t build a campaign on a foundation of endorsements and money.”

“Good ideas are something people honor, even ideas they might not agree with,” he added.

Below is video of more of what he discussed.