FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 10, 2022 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
Creating a rising economic tide for Queens
PAST HISTORY OF OUR THIRD
New boundaries for our Th ird Congressional
District is the most egregious case of gerrymandering
I have ever seen in downstate New
Up until the 1962 reapportionment,
Congressional boundaries in NYC and Long
Island seldom crossed borough or county lines.
Th e Th ird Congressional District, currently
represented by Democrat Congress member
Tom Suozzi, can be traced back to the
last Queens Republican Congress member,
Aft er the 1972 reapportionment, he declined
to run against Democrat Lester Wolff of
Great Neck, when both were merged into one
Queens/Nassau district. Democrat Congress
member Wolff defeated long-term Republican
Congress member Steven Derounian in 1964
on the coattails of Democrat Lyndon Johnson’s
landslide. LBJ soundly trounced Republican
Barry Goldwater for president.
In 1972, Wolff faced a strong challenge from
Queens Republican State Assembly member
Jack Gallagher. Republican President Richard
Nixon won in a landslide against South Dakota
Democratic Senator George McGovern.
Wolff ran as a Democrat in the Nassau
County portion of the district, while playing
down his party affi liation in the Queens
County portion of the district to avoid being
drowned by McGovern. Th e Nassau County
GOP did not run one of their own. As a result,
they did little to help Queens Republican candidate
Gallagher, as well contributing to his
In 1980, GOP Congress member John
LeBoutellier briefl y recaptured this seat for one
term. He won on the coattails of Republican
Ronald Reagan’s landslide over Democrat
President Jimmy Carter, who lost his quest
for a second term. Democrat Gary Ackerman
reclaimed this seat in the 1982 November general
election, defeating Republican Alan E.
At the 11th hour in 2012, before any candidate
not sponsored by either the Queens or
Nassau County Democratic Party clubhouse
could fi nd the time to raise necessary funding
and organize a petition campaign to enter
the June 26th Democratic Party Primary, Fift h
Congressional District Congress member Gary
Ackerman decided to call it quits. It was his
parting gift to the Democratic Party machine,
so that they, instead of the voters, could determine
Democrat Steve Israel inherited the seat,
going on to win the November 2012 general
election defeating Republican Stephen Labate.
He served until 2016. He was replaced by
Democrat Tom Suozzi, who went on to win
the 2016 general election defeating Republican
state Senator Jack Martins.
Th is district has been gerrymandered with
the help of Democratic Assembly speakers
under several reapportionments. Boundaries
were extended west to Queens and east into
Suff olk County.
Adding the Bronx and Westchester to the
district under the latest reapportionment represents
the very worst in gerrymandering.
Placing Larchmont, Mamarneck, Pelham,
Pelham Manor, Port Chester, New Rochelle
and Rye in Westchester County (which could
have been placed in the 16th CD, represented
by Congress member Jamaal Bowman),
the easternmost Bronx waterfront neighborhoods
(which would have been a better fi t
with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the 14th
District), northeast corner of Queens (which
could have been part of Grace Meng’s Sixth
District), North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and
Glen Cove in Nassau County along Huntington
and Smithtown in Suff olk County within the
same Congressional District boundaries makes
Th e next Congress member will need a speed
boat to travel across and around Long Island
Sound to visit all his new constituents. It illustrates
the pitfalls of reapportionment, when
you have a veto-proof one-party control of
both the state Assembly and Senate.
Democrats State Senate Majority Leader
Andrea Stewart Cousins, Assembly Speaker
Carl Heastie and Governor Kathy Hochul
should be ashamed of this travesty.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
letters & comments
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When I ran to
represent the 27th
District in the New
York City Council,
I promised that,
together, we would
continue to win for southeast Queens.
We, as a community and as a borough,
have an opportunity for a real win
that can create thousands of good-paying,
union jobs and bring in the much-needed
revenue to support the programs we need
in our city and state.
Th at’s why I am proud to support
Resorts World’s eff ort to compete in the
bidding process for a full-scale casino
license at their existing facility in Queens.
I trust Resorts World to be a responsible
community partner because I have
seen fi rsthand how they operate and how
it benefi ts my constituents. Workers at
Resorts World tell me that without them
as an employer, these last two years would
have been a lot more diffi cult for them
and their families.
Whether they were providing employees
with healthcare through the pandemic,
or job opportunities that allowed them
to not only survive but thrive as a working
family in New York City, Resorts
World has demonstrated to me that they
can be trusted as a partner in our city’s
Th is is an opportunity for justice, pragmatism
and equity in our community.
Resorts World is already up and running
and has built deep relationships in the
community for years and can quickly and
seamlessly pivot to a more comprehensive
facility that serves tourists, workers and
small businesses in our community.
Resorts World kept building and delivered
a hotel as an engine for jobs, entertainment
and community pride when
nobody else would have. Th ey spent hundreds
of millions on that hotel because
they fundamentally believe in Queens and
their partnership with the community.
Th ey have proven their commitment
through their relief eff orts for the victims
of Hurricane Sandy and again recently
with Hurricane Ida.
Th ey have kept all of their promises, and
the state and city would do well to support
friends like Resorts World who are there
in both the good and bad times.
Southeast Queens was disproportionately
harmed by the pandemic. With
Resorts World, we can build a better
future with an intentional recovery that
puts community fi rst.
If Resorts World’s location in Queens
were granted an expanded license, it
would directly create hundreds of goodpaying
union jobs in an area that needs
it most. Indirectly, the attraction of such
a gaming facility would bring countless
people to the area, lift ing up small
businesses that have been struggling to
Th is plan has received the support of
the new speaker of the City Council,
Adrienne Adams; the Hotel and Gaming
Trades Council; the Queens Chamber of
Commerce; and many other elected offi -
cials and community groups that all share
the same interest: creating a rising economic
tide for Queens.
Supporting Resorts World in their
bid means greater opportunities for the
community. I spent my campaign talking
to as many people as possible in the
district and listening to the issues that
mattered to them.
Th e throughline was clear: quality of life
and good jobs matters most. If we are to
ensure that our agencies have the resources
they need to improve the quality of life
for New York City residents, we need to
ensure that they have the revenue they
need to operate.
Beyond the economic growth generated
by the hundreds of jobs that Resorts
World will create, their operations will
also generate hundreds of millions in
additional revenue for the state, which
means better schools, better services and
safer streets. I think we can all get behind
Resorts World has proven itself as a true
advocate of Queens through its support of
neighborhood organizations, as a trustworthy
employer to its workers and as a
staunch supporter of the economic future
of our city.
If we can create hundreds of good-paying
union jobs and signifi cant additional
revenue for the state, we should unequivocally
support Resorts World’s bid for a
full-scale casino license.
Nantasha Williams represents the 27th
District in the New York City Council.