FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2017
Contact: Liuba Grechen Shirley
New York’s 2nd District Democrats
Long Islanders charge Rep. Pete King with discrimination against female voters;
React to King’s Brentwood invitation to Trump
MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY – March 10 – For the first time in more than 12 years, Rep. Peter King (NY-02) participated in a public availability for constituents by holding a telephone town hall Wednesday evening. While representatives across the country have held town halls during the congressional recess to engage with voters about the direction of the nation under the new administration, King refused requests for a public meeting. Over 600 constituents called in for the 82-minute call and King took questions from 15 men, 4 women and one online question.
“King’s latent misogyny was evinced that night,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder and district organizer for New York’s 2nd District Democrats, a local political group in King’s district. “You don’t select nearly four times as many men as women by accident.”
King’s acquiescence to hold a public availability at all can be largely credited to the female-led group New York’s 2nd District Democrats, which launched a campaign to demand King engage with his constituents, but the group feels that the telephone town hall failed to meet the mark. “This telephone town hall was a farce,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley. “Peter King is a coward, afraid to meet with Long Islanders in his district face-to-face. This forum allowed him to cherry pick the constituents who spoke to avoid answering the tough questions about his record and his flip-flops.”
On the call Brentwood resident Rose Kelty, raised concerns of gang violence and retribution against citizens that spoke out against the gangs. King suggested that he would invite President Trump to visit Brentwood to address the gang violence. Grechen Shirley rejected this as “political pandering,” pointing to lack of concrete action and arguing that King's words never translate to legislative efforts.
"Peter King never sets foot in Brentwood. Where was he when Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were murdered? He didn’t attend any vigils. Then he incorrectly posted on his Facebook page that the MS-13 gang members arrested were all illegal immigrants. He corrected this only after we called his office to point out the error,” said Grechen Shirley.
“This would be little more than a stunt to politicize a vibrant Long Island community and enable Trump's xenophobic narrative. Brentwood, like many communities across the U.S. has felt socio-economic strain, but stands to benefit nothing from the president's view of 'law and order.' If anything these communities are in dire need of educational resources and social programming - something the administration appears to be interested in cutting not fortifying. Until the president shows an interest in bringing positive change to our underserved communities he should stay out of Brentwood," said Grechen Shirley.
Brentwood resident and New York’s 2nd District Democrats member, Margaret Hurley, points out “Trump’s immigration policy makes undocumented immigrants less inclined to report crimes for fear that they will be deported. Despite King’s attempts to normalize the ICE raids, the raids are threatening our communities. Families in his district have been asking for immigration reform, yet King has never introduced legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship.”
Hurley added, "After supporting all of Trump's proposals that wood negatively impact the Brentwood Community, from repealing the ACA to ICE raids, Peter King doesn't have the cojones to come into our community to Grand Stand with Trump. I hope he does so the people of this district can see what a phony he is.”
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients have launched businesses that employ native-born American citizens. They purchase cars and homes. They’re proof that when you bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and give them options to legally work, they make great contributions to our country. Undocumented immigrants pay nearly $12 billion a year in taxes. How much does Trump pay?” asked Liuba Grechen Shirley.
“I would love to see Trump come to Brentwood. I would love to see King come to Brentwood. For them it’s a photo op. For the people of our community it is our life!” said Susan Ringel Moran, a Brentwood resident and member of New York’s 2nd District Democrats.
“Just like every other town on Long Island and most towns across the country, Brentwood is a multifaceted community filled with people from all walks of life. We are not all criminals or undocumented. We are a working class community going through a tough transition, because of the chaos of a few, but we will make it through this without being some national science project. King has a habit of speaking for the people when he hasn’t taken the time to speak to the people,” said Kaliah D. Green, who lives in Brentwood and is also a member of New York’s 2nd District Democrats.
New York’s 2nd District Democrats (NY02Dems) is a constituent-based group dedicated to reenergizing the Democratic base, mobilizing district two residents, flipping our district, and ensuring that President Trump’s election is the spark that ignites the strongest, most unified social justice movement our country has ever seen.