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Steve Israel Running for New Third Congressional District

Democrat hopes to win Nassau’s North Shore, including Great Neck

“I’m more than excited to be representing the North Shore and so much of Nassau County,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Israel as he prepares to run for another term in Congress, this time representing the new Third District. “I’ve spent a lot of time in these communities,” he told the Great Neck Record in an interview following his Wednesday, March 21 nomination as the Democrat’s choice to run for his own district and for the North Shore in Nassau County (and a tiny portion of northern Queens), a district that for 30 years has been a stronghold for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman. Less than a week before the convention, Congressman Ackerman made the surprise announcement that he would not run for a 16th term.

“I can’t think of a better successor to represent our community than Steve Israel,” Congressman Ackerman told the Record.

Great Neck Democratic Club President Steve Markowitz officially welcomed the new North Shore candidate, and told how he spoke with Congressman Israel, who is “thrilled to have Great Neck as part of his new district.”  Mr. Markowtiz reported that Congressman Israel will work hard for Great Neck: “He is in the leadership of the House, serving as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.” This, Mr. Markowitz said will afford Great Neck and the North Shore “a very influential and important voice representing us moving forward.” And he promised that Steve Israel will make his presence known in Great Neck.

Speaking of the time he has spent in Great Neck and on the North Shore, both as a child growing up and as an elected official, Congressman Israel plans to spend more than a little time on the Great Neck peninsula, now and in the future. Communities like those on the North Shore are important to the congressman, who pledges to “fight to strengthen middle class families across Long Island, protect investments in local schools, and lead the fight to protect the Long Island Sound as Chairman of the Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus.”

The congressman said that he is very much looking forward to spending even more time in Great Neck and on the North Shore, listening to his new constituents to hear their concerns and their needs. And he said that his current constituents can attest to the fact that he and his staff “will always be available and accessible to you … we are here to serve you and help you in any way we can.” Already Congressman Israel has made his first major visit to the area; he visited The Mashadi Jewish Center two weeks ago, even  before the new Congressional lines were announced.

He emphasized that many of the issues he is currently working on will be similar to those that are crucial in his new district.” He said that he will be sure to continue to work for job creation, protect Medicare and Social Security, provide tax cuts for the middle class and  “relentlessly fight for our veterans.”

Congressman Israel told the Record that he is already well aware of difficult issues that currently affect Great Neck. He is already familiar with Great Neck’s “vibrant downtown,” having sampled many local restaurants. And he is most certainly aware of great concerns about too many vacant stores and the need to “spur local business” in both the Plaza’s downtown business district and in the Old Village. He made it clear that he wants to learn more and he said that he is most eager to jump in and work with local public officials.

As for the Great Neck Public Schools, often referred to as the heart of the community, here again the congressman is well aware of “how much you value education.” He added that this high value placed on education “shows in your schools, which are excellent.”

A member of Congress since 2001, Steve Israel Congressman Israel is proud of his local accomplishments, citing as major accomplishments: securing record-level federal investments to protect the Long Island Sound; seeking to protect Long Island taxpayers by changing the federal tax code to reflect the local cost-of-living; and supporting local women’s health initiatives, a priority in his role as co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus.

Looking beyond the borders of his new congressional district, speaking on a more national and a more global level, Congressman Israel is anxious to continue to do all he can for the country. “As we continue to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression, I am focused on job creation, advocating for the middle class and preserving and protecting Medicare,” he said. “I also continue to act as a leader in the House in supporting U.S. assistance for the State of Israel, and I’m an active voice on behalf of U.S.-Israeli relations.”

And for those in the community who were shocked, even upset, when Gary Ackerman announced his retirement, it is nice to know that Gary Ackerman’s friend is looking to now serve his long time constituents. “I am in Congress today because of Congressman Ackerman … Gary was the person who convinced me to run,” Congressman Israel told the Record. “Clearly, I have a big boutonniere to fill.”

Basically, this new Third Congressional District that Steve Israel hopes to win for the Democrats consists of the North Shore of Nassau County, much of the North Shore of Suffolk County, and a very small section of Queens.

“I look forward to working with Great Neck,” Steve Israel said. “I plan on being a regular in Great Neck and look forward to finding some new favorite restaurants here.”