Suozzi Holds Three Town Halls in Five Days
Continues to Focus Campaign on Tough Issues
Will go to Washington to Solve Problems
Glen Cove, NY – Last week, Tom Suozzi, the Democratic nominee for New York’s Third Congressional District, completed his 17th, 18th and 19th town hall meetings since the beginning of his campaign.
Last week’s three town hall meeting were focused on specific issues: economy, jobs and taxes; drugs, alcohol, and mental health; and gun violence prevention. At each meeting, Suozzi brought together experts and speakers with opinions from across the spectrum to discuss how to find common ground to solve tough problems.
On Tuesday, September 20th, Suozzi was joined by former Congressman Gary Ackerman, economist Dr. Martin Cantor and over 50 residents for a town hall on the economy, jobs and taxes at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck. Suozzi, Ackerman and Cantor each discussed their views and ideas for moving the country forward before opening up the event for questions and to listen to the voters’ own concerns and ideas on how we can grow the economy, create jobs and reduce the tax burden.
Suozzi began the night by describing why he is hosting issue based town halls, “I want to move beyond the same old finger pointing, yelling at each other, politics, and start to bring together people of good will with different perspectives to actually talk to each other so we can solve the problems our country faces.”
Congressman Ackerman, thanked Suozzi for hosting the town hall, calling the decision “very creative and a great public service that we can sit here during a campaign and discuss the issues in a reasonable way. Most of the time, during a campaign, a town hall breaks out into a food fight, nothing gets done and everyone is divided.”
“New York State is a net ‘donor state’ when it comes to federal taxes. We pay more in taxes to the federal government than we get back in federal investment and aid,” commented Suozzi, “while other states are ‘taker states’ that receive more in investment and aid then their citizens pay in federal income taxes. The end result is a back-breaking tax burden and crumbling infrastructure for New Yorkers, and similarly situated states. Meanwhile, the taker states have artificially low tax rates and 21st century infrastructure that lures companies, jobs and our family and friends away from New York. That’s why I’m opposed to an increase in federal income tax rates.”
On Thursday, September 22nd Suozzi hosted another town hall in Hicksville, this time on the issues of drugs, alcohol and mental health. Suozzi was joined by a panel that included representatives with backgrounds in law enforcement, social work and substance abuse. The town hall was dominated by the ongoing heroin crisis on Long Island, efforts by law enforcement to stop the flow of drugs into our communities and social work to help treat those who have addictions.
“These are issues that touch every family and we need to remove the stigma associated with suffering from addiction or a mental health issue so we can help our family and friends,” said Suozzi, “and on Long Island, unfortunately, we know all too well the impact the heroin epidemic is having on our communities.”
On Saturday, Suozzi held his 19th town hall. Congressman Mike Thompson from California and chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force joined Suozzi at the Huntington Library to discuss gun violence prevention. The town hall brought people from both sides of the issue, including former Libertarian candidate for the third district and NRA member Michael McDermott and Rita Kestenbaum, a gun control advocate and mother of Carol Kestenbaum who was a victim of gun violence.
Congressman Thompson commented that he was really “impressed that [Tom’s] doing these town hall meetings. That’s really encouraging in today’s political climate, to be able to have town hall meetings and talk about issues rather than run a bunch of negative campaign ads and trying to disparage your opponent. I think we should all be heartened that he’s taken this high road and focused on policy issues.”
“A fundamental problem we are having, is that people aren’t talking to each other to see where they do have common ground,” said Suozzi, “part of the challenge of politics is getting people from different sides together to build consensus and a coalition to fight for the things we do have in common. For example, there’s overwhelming support for expanding background checks, but gun manufactures are benefiting from the status quo and using our differences to prevent enacting common sense reforms that nearly every American wants.”
Suozzi will hold his next town hall meeting on September 29th at the American Legion in Huntington at 7:30pm. The topic of discussion will be immigration.
The 3rd Congressional District covers northern portions of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Steve Israel, who announced his retirement from Congress earlier this year. The election is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016