With the Congressional primaries set to take place on June 28, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez is gearing up to run for her 13th consecutive term for Congressional District 7.
Velázquez has served her district, which includes parts of Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Ozone Park and Woodhaven in Queens as well as Cypress Hills, Bushwick and several other areas of Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan, as the ranking member of the House Small Business Committee and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.
She feels her experience in these committees and the work she did to help restore the economy and auto industry after the recent recession will propel her to victory.
“You acquire expertise based on the committees that you serve,” Velázquez said. “So my two committees are Financial Services — that has to deal with everything pertaining to the financial sector, banking and insurance — and the Small Business Committee.”
In addition to her work on a national level, Velázquez is involved with the important issues of her constituents on a more local level.
Velázquez has been working to get rid of unscrupulous landlords trying to illegally oust long-term residents out of their rent-regulated apartments in Bushwick and Ridgewood.
“We’re working with the DA because they are in clear violation,” Velázquez said. “We have a task force between my office and [Councilman] Antonio Reynoso and it’s really sad that we have to turn our offices into policing all these bad landlords, especially if they are dealing with Section 8 vouchers … but we were able to secure, to fully fund all the Section 8 vouchers during this last budget.”
Another major topic that impacts residents of Ridgewood, Bushwick and Manhattan is the potential closure of the L train for an extended period of time to make repairs to the Canarsie Tube.
Velázquez’s office, along with other elected officials, have requested a meeting with the MTA to discuss possible transportation alternatives.
“The fact of the matter is we have to repair infrastructure,” Velázquez said. “But on the other hand is what type of alternative people are going to have in order to deal with the fact that they aren’t going to have transportation. We are requesting to have a meeting to explore options, but something has to be done to mitigate the issue that transportation is going to be shut down.”
Velázquez faces competition from her own Democratic party this year as new-comer Yungman Lee is challenging her for the Congressional seat.
“This is America. In America, that’s the beauty about democracy,” Velázquez said. “Every weekend I meet with my constituents. I am very active member of Congress, whether it’s legislation … or working to bring the federal government closer to home.”