Bronx native Dina M. De Giorgio moved to Port Washington, her husband’s hometown, around the time her now- 16-year-old son, Nicholas, was born. She later relocated her law office to the community, too. De Giorgio, 45, a mother of two, is now in her second year as councilwoman for the Town of North Hempstead’s 6th District and recently announced she’s running for town supervisor.
What attracted you to Port Washington?
My husband [Joseph] grew up here. Three generations of his family have grown up here .?.?. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family. You really have that small-town feeling. There’s a lot of families here, we have a great school system and a lot of after-school activities for the kids. It’s just a really warm environment. You really feel like you belong to something.
What’s it been like to serve as councilwoman for the community?
I love Port Washington. It’s the best job to be able to advocate for the people who live here and try to make a place that’s great even better. I get to meet so many people and have experiences I don’t normally get to have.
What issues have you found the community cares about the most?
“Parking and traffic are the issues that people get passionate about. We have twice as many cars as we had 10 years ago. The streets are narrow, which is sort of the charm of Port Washington, but certain times of day Main Street is crowded. And we have probably the best train line on the LIRR -- a lot of people move to Port Washington, because it’s a great commute -- but we’re a tiny town .?.?. parking can be tough.”
How has Port Washington’s Main Street changed over the years?
Main Street in Port Washington is facing the same challenges that main streets all over the United States are facing. They are competing with big-box retail and Internet sellers and the price point is important to people .?.?. Different stores come and go, we have some vacancies .?.?. but I think we have a really vibrant Main Street.”
Why do you think Port Washington’s Main Street is thriving?
People like to stay in Port Washington .?.?. and are very loyal. There’s weeks when I don’t leave the peninsula. I don’t cross Northern Boulevard, because I have everything I need here.
What do you think your kids are getting out of the experience of growing up in Port Washington?
“A sense of community. They appreciate the comfort of knowing people. We all look out for each other. Once you live here and grow up here, your heart stays here.”