Meeks supports the proposed $1 billion redevelopment of Belmont Park led by the New York Islanders, arguing that the district needs to generate jobs and opportunities for area residents. A group led by the Islanders won the development rights to 43 acres of state-owned land at Belmont last year and plans to build an 18,000-seat hockey arena, hotel, retail stores, restaurants and a movie theater. “This project is going to revitalize an area that desperately needs it,” said Meeks, adding that state-funded infrastructure improvements are needed to improve local roadways and to expand service at the Long Island Rail Road station to manage crowds at Belmont. Meeks supports the work of a committee, comprised of local residents, to ensure that flights from Kennedy Airport are spread out so certain neighborhoods don’t bear the brunt of the noise. Meeks also wants to protect district residents, particularly those of Haitian descent, who are in the United States under temporary protected status that was rescinded earlier this year by the administration of President Donald Trump. “In many ways, these people are as American as anyone else living here,” Meeks said.
Meeks, 64, of St. Albans, Queens, is running for his 11th term in the 5th Congressional District, which includes Southeast Queens, Elmont, North Valley Stream and Inwood. Born in East Harlem, Meeks has a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University and his law degree from Howard University. He worked as an assistant district attorney and special narcotics prosecutor in New York City, deputy counsel of the New York State Investigation Commission and as a supervising judge for the state Workers’ Compensation Board. Meeks was elected to the state Assembly in 1992 and to Congress in a 1998 special election to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Floyd Flake. Meeks is the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats and a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. Meeks is married with three daughters.