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City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) kicked off his campaign for re-election last week when the lawmaker officially opened his downtown headquarters.
“I promise that I will do my best to serve my community,” Koo told a crowd gathered at his campaign office within Flushing Mall, located at 133-31 39th Ave. “It is the most important thing.”
Koo said he hopes to tackle a number of quality-of-life issues for Flushing constituents if he is elected for a second term, including pedestrian safety — a constant problem in the crowded downtown corridor, where cars and walkers clog the streets and sidewalks.
He will be facing Evergreen Chou, a Green Party Candidate who often campaigns on expanding Medicare to all citizens of the country.
Republican Sunny Hahn, who along with Chou ran in a crowded race to replace the state Assembly seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside) last year, is also hoping to topple Koo in a general election this November. Hahn has said she wants to preserve and highlight the cultural gems of Flushing to draw more visitors to the bustling neighborhood and grow the economy.
Koo said at his headquarters that he is taking all challenges seriously.
“We are prepared for a challenger,” he said. “We are ready.”
The small business owner is chairman of Waterfronts Committee and sits on the Aging Land Use, Oversight & Investigations, Small Business, Transportation and Youth Services committees.
According to campaign adviser James McClelland, Koo has a long record of service to the community behind him.
The lawmaker has worked to improve transportation in the neighborhood by conducting pothole surveys and working with the city Department of Transportation to draw up a traffic plan, and has been involved in numerous cultural events in the diverse district. He also helped set up the Downtown Flushing Task Force and has worked with police to remove casino tourist buses off downtown streets.
Koo, who was endorsed by the Queens Democratic Party, has also doled out more than $11 million in capital funds to the district, directing money to 25 schools, a security system for the Bland Houses, the beautification of Union Street and the Queens Library, among other projects, according to McClelland.
Koo was a Republican for years before switching to the Democratic Party in early 2012.
The councilman has been a co-sponsor on numerous pieces of transportation legislation, according to McClelland.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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