Courtesy of James Johnson
Congressman Gregory Meeks hosts a recent "Millennial Mixer" to open a dialogue with the younger generation in Southeast Queens.

In an effort to boost homeownership in southeast Queens, Congressman Gregory Meeks met with more than 200 millennials living in the 5th Congressional District at Pa-Nash restaurant in Rosedale.

Meeks announced a five-day “Achieve the Dream” event at Resorts World Casino beginning Thursday, June 27, through Monday, July 1.

“Till this day, redlining is one of the root causes of the foreclosure trend plaguing our neighborhoods. One of my top priorities in the district is to help homeowners keep their homes,” Meeks said. “Additionally I want to ensure that more people, especially our millennials, have the opportunity to own their own home here in southeast Queens. Thus, I have invited the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, the nation’s leading nonprofit, community advocacy organizations, to increase home ownership in southeast Queens. Programs like NACA are essential in building minority communities and removing the barriers of home ownership.”

After housing, the discussion moved to another pertinent issue facing the millennial generation: student loans. Meeks pointed to recent studies show a proven link between decreasing homeownership and high student loan debt.

“It’s no secret that the rising cost of student debt is a growing national crisis that is burdening our nation’s young adults,” Meeks said. “In order for young people to participate in the homeownership arena, significant student loan reform will need to take place. Americans now owe more than $1.53 trillion in student loan debt, with the average student loan debt amount of $37,000. I firmly believe that we as a nation, from the oval office to the Halls of Congress, must do more to address this issue facing our young Americans.”

Next, Meeks informed the crowd about current projects and initiatives taking place in his district.

“Another priority of mine as a representative, is to ensure more job opportunities are available in the 5th Congressional District. For example, there is currently a historic $13 billion vision plan vision plan to transform JFK Airport,” Meeks said. “Under this project, thousands of jobs will be coming to the district. My duty is to ensure my constituents, including millennials, have access to these jobs.”

Earlier in the year, Meeks helped cut the ribbon to open the JFK Redevelopment’s Community Outreach Center, which serves as a resource for information about employment opportunities.

“I encourage you to visit the location located at 144-33 Jamaica Ave. to learn more about the ways our community can benefit from this massive project,” Meeks said.

Towards the end of the meet-and-greet, Meeks announced he would hold a series of forums across the borough to further engage with millennials and bring them closer to the political process.

“Now more than ever, it is important that we invest in our younger generations. They are instrumental in our resistance to the Trump administration and its harmful policies,” Meeks said. “We must empower our millennial generation because they are the future.”

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