Senator Craig M. Johnson last week went on a day-long listening tour of the greater New Hyde Park/ Garden City Park area that culminated in a packed Town Hall-style meeting.
"This was a great day and a great opportunity to discuss the issues facing New Hyde Park and Garden City Park, as well as the concerns of its residents," Senator Johnson said. "I am humbled by the strong turnout and I thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to join me."
The day started with a sit-down meeting with local leaders at Umberto's Restaurant, followed by an afternoon swing through the area that included stops at the Jericho Turnpike and Hillside Avenue commercial districts, the Hillside Library, and the New Hyde Park Train Station.
It ended with a standing rooming only community meeting at the Clinton G. Martin Park Recreation Center. The forum was a dialog between Senator Johnson, and residents from the communties with topics ranging from the recently completed 08-09 budget to legislative developments in Albany, and their impact on local matters – such as the MTA/ LIRR's controversial Third Track Expansion proposal.
Senator Johnson is the sponsor of the Main Line Community Empowerment Act, (S.7037) -- legislation that would allow for the construction of Third Track only after two-thirds of the village and town governments that represent the project's host communities signed off on it.
At the forum, Senator Johnson reiterated his opposition to Third Track, and played a video of his April 14 address to the Senate, where he motioned to release the legislation from the Senate Transportation Committee and bring it to a vote before the full body.
The motion was defeated after no member of the Senate Majority, including the eight other Long Island senators, voted for the motion. The video can be viewed at www.nyssenate7.com.
Senator Johnson vowed to continue fighting to pass this measure in the Senate and to garner it support in the Assembly.