U.S. Congress, 5th DistrictPosted: Updated:
Background: Meeks, 65, of St. Albans, Queens, is running on the Democratic line. Meeks is seeking his 11th term in the 5th Congressional district (formerly the 6th district) which includes southeast Queens, along with Elmont, North Valley Stream and Inwood. Born in East Harlem, Meeks earned a bachelor's degree at Adelphi University and his law degree from Howard University Law School. He worked as an assistant district attorney and special narcotics prosecutor in Queens, deputy counsel of the New York State Investigation Commission and as a chief administrative judge for New York State's worker compensation system. Meeks was elected to the State Assembly in 1992 and served until 1998 when he was elected to Congress. He is the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and a senior member of the House Financial Services committee. Meeks is the co-chair of several international organization caucuses, such as the European Union Caucus. He is married with three daughters.
Issues: Meeks is a supporter of a $1 billion plan to redevelop 43 acres of state-run land at Belmont Park in Elmont, including an 18,000-seat arena for the New York Islanders, 435,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, a movie theater, hotel and outdoor space. Meeks says the project should include traffic improvements to the Cross Island and Southern State parkways and converting the Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont, where trains run only on race days, into a year-round station. "Elmont residents need to have better transportation options to and from the city," Meeks said. "This can be a significant asset for the community." Meeks also supports a $13 billion effort, financed primarily through private investment, to modernize Kennedy Airport. Meeks will co-chair a community advisory council, comprising Nassau and Queens elected officials, community leaders, clergy and nonprofits, that will ensure that noise levels are addressed and jobs are secured for the local community. "We need to have a collective vision for JFK," Meeks said. "The people who live near the airport deserve to receive some benefits from the project."