The Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum for the upcoming special election on February 13th (with early voting beginning Feb 3rd) pivoted to a town hall format at its membership meeting on Wednesday, January 17th with Democratic Congressional Candidate Tom Suozzi appearing solo. Republican candidate Mazi Pilip declined the chamber’s repeated invitations, finally citing a scheduling conflict.
On a very cold, icy morning, Mr Suozzi arrived early, taking the time to shake the hands of all 30 plus attendees at the Mid-Island Y JCC. “Every problem is complicated so in order to solve one, it must involve compromise and reaching across the table,” he began. More than once, he candidly expressed his passion and experience for rising above “all the noise” to get things done, noting a few examples of past successes. “As a former Congressman and County Executive, I know how government works,” he said.
During the 50 minute appearance, he answered questions from several chamber members and guests; all eagerly awaited his replies. Regarding one on the immigration crisis, Suozzi relayed the idea of creating a massive processing facility, similar to Ellis Island, on the southern US border with on-site immigration judges vetting those entering. As reported in The New York Times, he noted, he and Congressman Peter King, a veteran Republican, worked together on this concept.
Mr. Suozzi concluded by encouraging everyone there to spread the word about voting in the special election (which will fill the seat of the ousted George Santos). He exited the JCC to loud applause.
The POB Chamber board thanks Mr. Suozzi for his time and CEO Rick Lewis and staff for hosting the meeting. Early voting will be held at the JCC. Visit their website for dates and times. www.miyjcc.org