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Amsterdam News endorses Meeks, Velazquez, Barron, Rangel for congressional election

ELINOR TATUM Publisher and Editor in Chief | 6/7/2012, 2:37 p.m.

This year's congressional primaries are coming upon New Yorkers quickly. The process for this year's elections is one that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars and hold an election at a time when New Yorkers are not used to going to the polls, due to a recent court decision. The congressional primaries will be held on June 26, and the New York Amsterdam News' endorsements are as follows

5th Congressional District: Gregory Meeks

Rep. Gregory Meeks has served his district for the past 14 years. He has been committed to the needs of the community and has shown leadership in trying to keep our people in their homes through this downward economy. He has worked hard to revitalize southeast Queens. Meeks is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, where he was the former chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. His position on the committee is paramount to his work ensuring fair banking policies and fairness in lending areas where African-Americans have needed, and continue to need, a strong, self-assured voice.

He has made the often forgotten Rockaways a priority, and we expect he will give the same type of attention to the newly included Nassau communities of Elmont and Inwood, which are now a part of his district. His commitment and steadfastness are why we again endorse Gregory Meeks for the newly created 5th Congressional District.

7th Congressional District: Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Nydia Velazquez is an impassioned woman who delivers for her community. A 20-year member of the House of Representatives, Velazquez has been a fighter for equal rights for the underrepresented and a proponent of economic opportunity for the working-class and poor.

This year, she has three opponents. None of them have the experience or depth of passion that she has for her community. It appears that part of her opposition comes from some score-settling in Brooklyn political circles. Her votes on the Hill have been courageous and her actions in her district warrior-like. She voted against the war and the Patriot Act. She has fought to open doors with federal contracting for minority contractors through her position on the Committee on Small Business.

Velazquez has made a priority of expanding opportunities to those in her district, which includes the neighborhoods of Bushwick, East New York and Williamsburg, all of which have large Black populations, and about which we are particularly concerned. The emphasis she has placed on education, job creation, housing and immigration reform are key concerns for our communities. She has opposed the co-location of charter schools and has been responsible for helping bring 21,000 units of housing to her district.

Velazquez continues to fight for what she believes in and what we believe in, and that is why the Amsterdam News wants to send her back to Washington for another term. That is why we endorse Nydia Velazquez in the newly created 7th Congressional District.

8th Congressional District: Charles Barron

The 8th Congressional District has been in the hands of Rep. Ed Towns for decades. He has served his community well. As he retires, there are two who came before the New York Amsterdam News for our endorsement.