Ahead of the Nov. 8 elections, incumbent Congresswoman Grace Meng visited the QNS office in Bayside on Oct. 20, to discuss the things she has done in Congress so far, and what she plans to do if re-elected.
Since Meng is involved in this year’s elections, she likes to use the presidential race as an educational tool for her two young children, but has changed things up during this election, due to the nature of the debates.
“This year, perhaps we will do it off camera, we’ll turn off the debate. They actually ask about it, they want to know about it, but it’s on late past their bedtime,” Meng said. “They are curious. Some kids talk about it in school. It’s interesting.”
One of the things Meng has prided herself on is her ability to bring lawmakers together from across the aisle to work on legislation as Democrats and Republicans, which she believes is even more important now, especially during this divisive general election season.
“I made a promise to myself and I’ve said it publicly at meetings that I wanted to be one of those members who tries to work across the aisle and that I would try my best to provide solutions that didn’t contain blame on the other party as to why something wasn’t working or happening,” Meng said. “So I do feel that in Congress I’ve been able to do that; I’ve been able to reach across the aisle and work with Republican leadership.”
Some of the things Meng has done for the Sixth Congressional District — which stretches from Bayside all the way to Glendale and into parts of Ridgewood and Maspeth — include pushing the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to release their safety review following a crash involving a train and tractor trailer at a Maspeth crossing, bringing feminine hygiene products into schools across Queens, working for veterans, making the skies over Queens quieter by founding the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus and getting Glendale its own ZIP code, among other initiatives.
Meng faces Daniel Maio in the race for the Sixth Congressional seat, and if she does get re-elected this November, Meng plans to stay the course and listen to her constituents’ concerns and turning them into law.
“My main goal, if I could sum it up, is to make Congress relevant and effective to local constituents,” Meng said. “I think that’s something that people struggle with because they think, ‘D.C. is esoteric and far away, how does it impact my life?’”
As one of the vice chairs on the Democratic National Committee, one of Meng’s responsibilities is to reach out to millennials and help give them a better understanding of politics and how it affects their lives.
“This is a huge group of folks that we are not getting the message across to,” Meng said. “We need to do a better job of telling our millennials that we’re on their side. For example, how government can help them and how they can work with government to address a lot of their issues as well.”