BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
Green Party candidate and local Astoria resident, Lynne Serpe, is vying for Council District 22, currently occupied by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who is term-limited and campaigning for the Queens Borough President’s seat.
Serpe welcomed the community to her new office on Astoria Boulevard between 27th Street and Crescent Street on Aug. 15 with refreshments, T-shirts and greener ideas for CD 22, which encompasses Long Island City, Astoria, Elmhurst and parts of Jackson Heights.
She spoke about “building from last time,” when she opposed Vallone in 2009, receiving 24 percent of the vote.
“This time around, I am meeting the same people, but I am getting to know them better during this election cycle,” Serpe said.
Serpe said she differentiates herself from six of the other candidates by saying she is not a “political machine.”
Her ideas for CD 22 urge sustainable development, access to healthy food, expanding compost and recycling programs, energy-efficient affordable housing, more green jobs and election reform.
During her previous campaign, Serpe spoke about expanding library service, which inspired her to become the consultant for the Greening Libraries Initiative at Queens Library. She said she will continue to work on expanding library service through Sundays if elected for CD 22.
Serpe is active in many local organizations, including Two Coves Community Garden near Astoria Houses, which allows her to speak on behalf of the residents who encompass affordable housing in the area. Serpe wants to see new residential developments like Hallets Point and Astoria Cove become sustainable developments that will bring in 11,000 new residents in the next decade.
Serpe said she would like to see more green spaces in Astoria, which goes in line with advocating for the once rejected proposal by Community Board 1 of creating a pedestrian plaza at the intersection of 30th Avenue, 33rd Street and Newtown Avenue.
Aside from having experiencing within the community, Serpe said she has worked for the New Zealand Parliament for two years, as the National Voting System Reform Coordinator, while managing a parliamentary office, which constituted of constituency services.
Serpe said she understands her “voters are the most important people of the district. I do not report to party bosses.”
The six candidates competing in the race for CD 22 are: Costa Constantinides, Constantinos “Gus” Prentzas, Danielle De Stefano, Gerald Kann, Daniel Peterson, and John Ciafone.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tsakhuja13.