After the 2010 census, because of a loss of population, New York State lost 2 Congressional seats and thus new lines were drawn. Elmont, as well as North Valley Stream, South Valley Stream and Inwood, make up the new Congressional District 5 which also includes parts of Queens. Elmont is still covered by Senate Districts 7 and 9. A new Assembly District 22 was drawn which includes Elmont and Valley Stream.
Ms. Joyce Stowe, President of the Coordinating Council for the Elmont Civic Associations, contacted both the Democratic and Republican parties to invite all the Congressional District 5, Senate Districts 7 and 9 and Assembly District 22 candidates to attend this forum on October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Elmont Library.
The candidates were as follows:
Congressional District 5:
Allan Jennings, Jr. – R., Gregory W. Meeks – D. (Incumbent),
Catherine Wark, Libertarian
Senate District 7:
Jack M. Martins – R., C., I (Incumbent), Daniel S. Ross – D., WF
Senate District 9:
Thomas H. Feffer – D., Dean G. Skelos – R., C., I (Incumbent)
Assembly District 22:
Michaelle C. Solages – D., WF, Sean Wright – R., C., I
When Peter Rosenthal (our timekeeper) and I arrived about 7:00 p.m., we were told that neither Mr. Martins nor Mr. Skelos would be coming. Ms. Solages arrived about 7:45 p.m
By then we had a nice audience. Ms. Stowe said we would begin at 8:00 p.m. which we did.
I told the audience that as each candidate arrived, he would be given 2 minutes for introductory remarks and then he would be asked to reply to the first question I would be asking Ms. Solages. The question was, “If you are elected, what would be your first 3 priorities?”
After Ms. Solages opening remarks, she answered 3 questions posed by the moderator and from cards written by the audience. As she finished, Mr. Jennings arrived. He gave his opening remarks and answered the first question. A few minutes later Mr. Meeks arrived. He had just returned from the airport and was happy that he made the meeting. He, too, gave his opening remarks and answered the first question. None of the other candidates came.
All in all, it was a good meeting. Many questions were answered both on the local level and the national. The audience of about 50 people was interested and behaved well.
When I was first introduced, I was going to talk about Vote 411.org, League’s Voter’s Guide which is now on the internet. However, before I came to the podium, one of the Elmont Civic Association presidents had already put it on the screen and urged the audience to use this wonderful facility that the LWV had set up.
I ended the meeting by saying, “The League is pushing a program called “Take Me to Vote” to encourage adults to take children with them to the polls. We feel it is never too early to teach our children about democracy.”