IQ Inc, the publisher of Caribbean American Weekly, The Immigrant’s Journal, and Workers World Today and producer of multicultural radio programs, is proud to endorse Congressman Tom Suozzi and his running mate Diana Reyna, former Councilmember and Deputy Borough President for four years under the Eric Adams Administration, for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York, respectively. We believe they are the best team to govern New York. Their proven leadership, understanding of the issues and ideas for solutions, and willingness to adjust bodes well for New Yorkers, in particular com- munities of color, immigrants, and workers. They have a track record of being consistent fighters for immigrants at the local, state, and federal levels. We ask our readers and listeners to consider this when voting. It is unconscionable to vote for a candidate that would collaborate with ICE to deport immigrants who want a driver’s license to support and take care of their families. We ask that on Tuesday, June 28, you give your vote to Tom Suozzi for Governor and Diana Reyna for Lieutenant Governor.
Tom Suozzi and running mate Diana Reyna | Photo: Suozzi-Reyna Campaign
By The Editorial Team
Congressman Tom Suozzi presents three decades of experience in public service. His long-standing political career with profound achievements serves as a critical offering for the position of the Chief Executive Officer of New York State.
Arguably, his knowledge of how to run the government, the people’s needs, convictions, and skills makes him a strong candidate for winning the June 28 Democratic Primary. Suozzi is up against two democrats, including appointed Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
In an interview with People, Power & Politics Radio Show, he shared some of his vision and goals for the Empire State. Listen to the interview here.
Who Is Tom Suozzi?
The Congressman self-describes as a “common-sense-Democrat, with Italian-Irish roots. He taught by the lessons and ideologies he learned from his Italian immigrant father. Presently, he is a serving member of Congress, a trained lawyer, and former Glen Cove, Nassau County executive mayor.
“I’m a proven executive. I have a heart for the people. That’s why I’m in public service, but I have the skills to do the job. I’m a common-sense Democrat; I won’t pander to the left or the right. I’m sick and tired of all these extremists who fight with each other,” he says.
Listen to Caribbean American Weekly’s interview with Tom Suozzi below:
His Vison as New York’s Governor
Suozzi is running on a platform of reducing crime, New York’s high taxes, and fixing the broken school system that stands to jeopardize the lives of future generations are some of his key concerns. “I’m focused on reducing crime and making it more affordable for people to live here in New York,” he says.
Moreover, “People are leaving because they can’t afford it, and we must lift our children and our troubled schools that have been left behind for generations.”
His Caribbean Experience
He acknowledges a love for the Caribbean while recalling fond memories of his days in Jamaica and the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Memories rife with tales of friendship and tactile experiences enable him to appreciate the people better and form a lasting impression.” Oh, I love the Caribbean. It was a big part of my life when I was young, in my twenties. I lived in Trinidad and Tobago for three months and spent time in Jamaica. Suozzi also shared his lifelong friendships with other Caribbean nationals and third-generation Caribbean Americans.
Addressing the need of Black and Brown Communities/Immigrants in New York
Based on those early impressions, Suozzi indicated he has a good rapport with Caribbean Americans and generally loves most people but has a soft spot for immigrants. “I’m a first-generation American myself, my father was born in Italy, and three of my grandparents were immigrants.”
He supports his statements with evidence of actions and recognition by reputable immigrant-supportive organizations. “I have a record throughout my entire time that I tried to help undocumented people, “he said. “I kicked ICE out of Nassau County when I was the County’s Executive. I was the Person of the Year for the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC),” he explained. NYIC is a reputable organization that has been advocating for immigrants for decades. That’s very much unlike his opponent, who vowed to work with ICE to deport undocumented immigrants seeking a driver’s license under a proposal by then-Governor Elliott Spitzer.
Additionally, growing up with a father who experienced discrimination taught him to respect and treat everyone with dignity. It is a lesson that fuels his philosophy and career in public service. “I have a warm spot for Caribbeans and all immigrants. My father was born in Italy, and the Italians were discriminated against in America in the 1930s. He couldn’t get a job at a law firm because nobody would hire the Italians. Everybody has a divine spark and is a creation of God, and we must treat people like that. And that’s what motivates a lot of my public service. ”
He reiterated a commitment to reducing crime, fixing bail reform, and tackling education. The latter will solve some drug and alcohol-related behavior among incarcerated youths in the black and brown communities. He says, “Over 75% of the people in jail have a drug or alcohol or mental health problem. 50% of the people in jail have a learning disability. When we fail children at a young age, we fail them for the rest of their lives.”
Beyond making legislation, the state needs a different kind of leader to protect people’s interests. “We need someone who has a heart for the people and the skills to run a government, to make it work for people. I have both. I am a proven executive.”
The Congressman was unequivocal in his view of Governor Hochul. He shared her past anti-immigrant statement and lack of support for most New Yorkers in some of her choice of executives. He believes that Hochul’s gift of $600 million to the Buffalo Bills is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Many agree with him. Former presidential candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader blasted Hochul for her deal for a new Buffalo Bills stadium that would require $850 million in New York taxpayer funding. In a public letter, Nader argued the new stadium, slated to be built in Orchard Park for $1.4 billion, could be named the “Taxpayer Stadium. As your advisers know fully well, all economists conclude that tax-funded stadiums are an ocean of red ink and do not produce jobs,” Nader said.
Suozzi also discussed Hochul’s inconsistencies. “She endorsed a socialist for City Council in Queens. When she was running for Lieutenant Governor, she claimed to support drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants and that she was against it before only to get votes. What does she stand for? With me, I’m consistent. I’ve always been fighting for the people. And I’m a common-sense Democrat. I’ve got all the Democratic rankings, and I want people to work together to try and help the people and negotiate to get things done.” he emphasized.
Supporting Unions and Their Members
Observers say Tom Suozzi’s candidacy enjoys the “union guy” imagery, partly driven by his narrative and intention to promote the union’s message. One that rewards hard work and restores the aspirational middle-class life. “Everybody in America should believe that if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll make enough money to retire one day without being scared.” As the Chair of the Labor Caucus, he has certainly done his part to support the work of labor unions and their members.
Mayor Eric Adams, Relationships and Working with Minorities
Speaking fondly of his relationship with Mayor Eric Adams, Suozzi recalls endorsing and campaigning for him early on. Upon winning, Adams offered him the position of Deputy Mayor, which he declined because he decided to run for Governor of New York. “That was a great honor that he offered me the position. That’s because he recognized that I know how to run things, how government works.”
He cited several cases in his career when he has worked with people of color and minority groups: appointing an African American Police Commissioner while serving as Nassau County’s Executive, a Black Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, a Latina Commissioner of Mental Health, and a Latino for Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.
He strongly believes in placing black and brown people in nontraditional jobs and promoting them into positions of power. He also encourages making resources available to empower minority women-owned businesses. “The people who work in higher-level positions should look like the people of New York state. The contracts we give out should go to people who look like the people of New York state. We should provide capital to minority and women-owned businesses, so they can afford to bid on government contracts and register them.”
Furthermore, he supports the idea of a public bank, a minority-owned bank, or a credit union that provides capital for black and brown home ownership and helps minority women own businesses bid and win contracts.
“Public housing is supposed to be a transition to home ownership. If you buy an affordable house and live there for years, you’re passing on a place worth a lot more money to your kids when you pass away. The American Dream is home ownership. That’s how you create generational wealth. ”
Suozzi’s running mate is former Councilwoman Diana Reyna and Deputy Borough President for Brooklyn for four years under Eric Adams. He spoke highly of her achievements and their similarities in ideologies. “She’s fantastic. When she becomes the Lieutenant governor, she’ll be the first Latina elected statewide in the history of New York state. I was looking for a woman of color to be my running mate. She’s the perfect partner because we share the same values and vision,” he said. “For example, devotion to families, service to the people, and the importance of public safety and security,” he explained.
Why Vote for Tom Suozzi as Governor of New York?
The Democratic Primary is on Tuesday, June 28. Early voting has already started. Congressman Tom Suozzi wants the voters to support his candidacy as one focused on crime, taxes, helping kids in schools and going after the corrupt. Furthermore, he considers himself a better democratic candidate with the best chance of winning against the Republican candidate in November.
“If you’re a Democrat and want to win in November, I’m your candidate. Any other candidate who wins could lose the general election as hard as it is to imagine,” he quipped. “Governor Kathy is failing on crime, and 91% of New Yorkers say crime is a serious issue. I’m a common-sense Democrat who will work for the people.”