In District 6-which includes neighborhoods with high concentrations of Latinos such as Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside-four candidates are competing for a seat that became vacant in March after the new congressional district map was adopted.
Grace Meng, an assemblywoman since 2008, is the best choice for Hispanics, who account for 18% of the population in that district. Her main opponents in this primary race are Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
A daughter of immigrant parents, Meng reflects the diverse communities that have settled in Queens and are coming into their own politically.
Meng, an attorney and mother of two, has been a strong voice promoting the issues Latinos are most concerned about. In the Assembly, Meng advocated against the flawed Secure Communities deportation program and the NYPD's massive abuse of stop and frisk practices. She also called for increased access to translation and interpretation services, and passing the NY Dream Act. As a congresswoman, we're confident that she will rally for ushering in comprehensive immigration reform, approving the federal Dream Act, maintaining the Affordable Care Act and attracting investment in order to create jobs in New York City.
The Democratic primary may define this election. Although the Latino community in Queens has grown by leaps and bounds, some campaigns are counting on low turnouts at the polls to help their candidates. This isn't the time to abstain from voting. Hispanics need a representative in Congress who is an unwavering ally. On June 26, vote for Grace Meng.