Gregory Meeks, Democratic incumbent candidate for U.S. Congress NY District...

Gregory Meeks, Democratic incumbent candidate for U.S. Congress NY District 5, poses for a portrait outside Queens Borough Hall in Jamaica on June 4, 2020. Credit: James Escher

For the second consecutive election, Democrat Gregory Meeks does not have an opponent as he seeks his 12th term in the heavily Democratic Fifth Congressional District.

A resident of St. Albans and chair of the Queens County Democratic Party, Meeks’ district includes a large swath of the southeastern part of the borough as well as more than 65,000 voters who live in Nassau County communities, including Valley Stream, Inwood and Elmont.

Meeks, 67, has capably balanced the needs of representing New York City and suburban interests, and of late that means pushing for a big share of COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government for two of the hardest-hit counties in the nation.

In his district, Meeks said hospitals and emergency facilities were unprepared for the pandemic. So he wants to put in place programs to ensure health care institutions are well-prepared for another outbreak while they continue to meet the current challenges unemployment presents such as the struggle to put food on the table.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Meeks is sponsoring the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act to provide incentives for investing in minority-owned banks as well as increasing federal government deposits in them. Such a law, he said, would help local businesses overcome the "banking deserts" that exist in the district. In the new Congress, his priorities include passing a major infrastructure program to rebuild aging structures and expanding the Affordable Care Act’s scope to include a public option that would allow middle-income workers to choose a public health plan instead of a private one.

Newsday does not formally endorse candidates who do not have opponents in the general election.

— The editorial board

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