By Mark Hallum
Former Glen Cove mayor and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi brought his campaign for Congress to Whitestone at a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss helicopter noise and other issues affecting eastern Queens.
Suozzi is running for the seat now held by retiring U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, (D-Melville), whose district covers Whitestone, Bay Terrace and other parts of eastern Queens as well as Nassau and Suffolk. He is one of five Democrats running for the seat.
At the American Legion meeting, Suozzi led a wide ranging discussion that touched on drug and alcohol abuse and utilizing green technology to make the national economy more autonomous.
When it came to helicopter and airplane noise in northeast Queens, Suozzi did not have an immediate solution. He did, however, explain to those at the meeting that it was an issue he would find a way to resolve. He said he would speak with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the best course of action. Suozzi also said he would seek advice from other lawmakers who have dealt with reducing aircraft noise, such as U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Drugs, alcohol and mental illness in the communities he will potentially serve are problems that he expressed interest in addressing. Many of the conditions that lead to drug and alcohol abuse, according to Suozzi, are improper care for veterans. He proposes putting in place a system in which veterans and people suffering from mental health issues can receive the care they need in one location, as opposed to multiple services that operate independently of one another.
He said new jobs can be created by developing green energy resources. Not only would it help to cut the umbilical cord with the oil producers in the Middle East, he said, but Suozzi believes that putting an emphasis on clean power sources would be economically invigorating.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall