Primary elections on Tuesday, June 23 are important for Greek-American community politicians in New York. Their victories will be our victories and, conversely, their defeats will be our defeats.
The good news is that these candidates are running in areas where many members of our Community live.
So their fate depends on us.
If we vote, they will be re-elected. If not, then the losers will be our children and their hopes for a brighter future, and our politicians – those who contribute much to the Community.
I start with Michalis Gianaris, the Deputy Leader of New York State Senate, a high, key position, which demonstrates his great potential.
Gianaris is running in District 12, which includes Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Woodhaven.
Areas, that is, in which many of our fellow Greek-Americans live.
It is a fact that Gianaris upset a number of members of the community when, with his aggressive approach, he contributed to Amazon choosing not to move into the area of Long Island City.
If that had happened, of course, it would have contributed to the significant upgrading of the area and to the increase of property values – for reasons of complete transparency I note that the headquarters of The National Herald is located in this area.
However, one decision cannot erase the rest of the positive actions of a politician. Gianaris obviously believed that what he was doing was serving his constituency. And the truth is that if Amazon were to move to LIC, many poor and middle class residents and small businesses would have been forced to leave the wider area that includes Astoria because there would be an increase in rents, and so on.
And yet, based on the latest negative reports about how Amazon treats its employees, who knows if Gianaris was right or not to stand up to them.
In any case, we must look at the big picture and not an individual act.
Gianaris is a child of immigrants who has reached the top of the leadership of the state legislature and offers a lot to the Greek-Americans of the region – a lot.
For these reasons, we strongly support the candidacy of Michael Gianaris and we invite you to vote for him.
New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas is running in the 36th District Assembly District in Astoria.
This time, she is facing a tough opponent in the person of Zohran Mamdani.
Simotas, also a child of immigrants, has stood very close to the Greek Diaspora and has earned the respect and appreciation of everyone.
The loss of the seat by Simotas would be a serious loss for the Greek-Americans of Astoria.
It is up to us not to let that happen. We urge you to vote for her – bring as many others as you can with you. We must not lose this seat.
Michalis Tannousis is running in State Senate District 64, which is located in parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Vote for him.
Caroline Maloney, a Congresswoman who is a close friend of the Greek Diaspora, is running for re-election to the seat representing the East Side of Manhattan, Greenpoint in Brooklyn, Western Queens, and Roosevelt Island.
Few politicians have contributed more to the Greek Diaspora than Carolyn Maloney. Her presence in Congress is essential to us. Vote for her.
Andrew Gounardes, in Senate District 22 in Brooklyn, is also running for re-election, but without an opponent. Gounardis recently marched against racism with Archbishop Elpidophoros.
And James Skoufis, also without an opponent, is running for re-election to the State Senate in District 39 in Hudson Valley.
Although they have no rivals, if they get a significant number of votes it will upgrade them, it will give them even more strength and perspective.
We urge you to vote, and vote for our people above.