BY JOE MARVILLI
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) has started her own Political Action Committee.
The Congresswoman made the announcement on Feb. 7, a few months after the PAC’s statement of organization was registered with the Federal Elections Commission. The mission of the PAC, known as @TheTable or At the Table!, is to empower young people from traditionally under-served communities, according to Meng.
Meng said that she wants to help people get the money they need so they can run a successful campaign on a federal level, similarly to how she received assistance in her run for Congress.
“I thought this was a more strategic and organized way to figure out how to be helpful too. I remember when I was running for office, there were many PACs throughout the country. They were particularly helpful in my campaign,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out how to help young people who are maybe running for office for the first time, women, candidates who come from immigrant communities and really just trying to do what I can to be helpful.”
Meng said she was seeing a trend of younger people looking to get involved in politics. The new PAC will give her the chance to help those young candidates in need of assistance getting started.
“They may not come from families with long institutions of politics,” she said. “They want to serve their country and I thought they could benefit from the extra boost.”
Meng said she plans to help these people by using the PAC to connect candidates with revenue streams and vice versa. The PAC will not limit itself to Queens, she insisted, instead looking at candidates throughout the country. It will be involved in both primary and general elections, although Meng said that many of the competitive races are not until November.
“We’re just in the beginning steps of getting our feet off the ground. I meet people who want to be helpful in a political way and they give me their resources to help,” she said.
On its statement of organization, @TheTable is listed as registered on Nov. 25, 2013 and being based at 49-04 43rd Ave., Woodside, which is also the address of the dentist practice of her husband, Wayne Kye. Based out of that office is the committee’s treasurer, Sammy Kye, Meng’s brother-in-law. The only other name listed on the document is Janica Kyriacopoulos, the assistant treasurer who will also act as the custodian of records.
Kyriacopoulos, based out of Washington D.C., has had years of involvement with PACs. She was also one of the chief financial officers for President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration, according to George Washington University’s website.
According to the FEC’s two-year summary, the PAC has yet to raise any money, though Meng said that fundraising will begin very soon. The funding will be on a case-by-case basis.
The Congresswoman added that she plans to be very engaged with the committee, helping out with candidate selections and the like, though the PAC has yet to come up with a protocol on how to do so.
“I’m definitely going to be involved. We’ll do our best to carefully select candidates,” she said.
While she would not name names, Meng mentioned that some candidates have already reached out to her and her PAC.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.