By Mark Hallum
A Queens-born Syosset resident is rising up to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Huntington), whose district covers the northeastern corner of the borough, in the 2018 Democratic primary.
Josh Sauberman, 35, says he has worked as a policy analyst for the United Nations’ security council, followed by a stint in the insurance business. He has also been a documentary filmmaker. He hopes to address issues of airplane noise over his district and public education.
Born in Oakland Gardens, Sauberman has lived in Syosset since 1991. According to him, there is already a massive amount of airplane traffic in and out of LaGuardia Airport and with Port Authority expansions to the airline hub, there is only expected to be more frequent noise disruptions over homes in Whitestone, Flushing and other parts of Queens.
He sees fast-tracking the latest technology as a solution to bring other travel options to the city.
Sauberman hopes to use congressional power to bring Hyperloop One, developed by billionaire space pioneer Richard Branson, to the region.
“As part of a major infrastructure plan, I’m looking to get a lot of those regional jets that come into that airport out of the sky by bringing Hyperloop One into the area, so that we’re not only moving people in faster from Long Island and Queens into Manhattan, but that we’re moving people at much faster rates between New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, which is where most of the regional traffic comes from,” Sauberman said. “Right now, they’re looking [at] building the first Hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I would like to us do the same here in New York and throughout the Northeast.”
Hyperloop One is as futuristic as it sounds, using a pneumatic tube to move passengers and freight at extreme speeds.
Suozzi is a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, but Sauberman has little confidence in their ability to bring meaningful change.
Sauberman said that although northeast Queens schools are in high demand, they still are not preparing students for a job market with a high demand people educated in science, technology, engineering and math skills.
“In Northeast Queens we have some really great schools that aren’t facing the same difficulties of those in south Queens or the Bronx where they’re under-served communities… But we need more funding for the schools so that we have students who are better equipped to compete on the global economy,” Sauberman said. “We have transitioned from a president who created millions of jobs to a president who’s about to lose millions of jobs. A lot of these jobs have been created and gone unfulfilled because of a skills gap. We aren’t producing as many students skilled in STEM, and that ultimately comes down to the federal government not investing in public schools.”
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall