East End Residents State Their Concerns at Lee Zeldin’s District Manager Weekly Meeting

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Image courtesy of Riverhead Local/by Denise Civiletti

On January 31st, over 90 East End residents gathered at the Riverhead Free Library to discuss Representative Lee Zeldin’s position on immigration with his district manager, Mark Woolley. This was the third in a series of weekly meetings with the congressional aid, meant to better connect with the congressmen’s constituents.

While attendees asked extensive questions on the refugee ban and what Rep. Zeldin did to help secure the release of Stony Brook University graduate student Vahideh Rasekhi, who was detained at JFK airport on Saturday, January 28th. Woolley, however, did not answer these questions, sticking to Zeldin’s written statement from the previous weekend.

Constituents also expressed more local concerns and inquired as to whether Zeldin would hold a town hall where he could directly answer questions and concerns.

“Soon after Trump was elected, someone drew a swastika on my car. It was right near the car seat where my daughter sits. I worry about her and her future,” Amy Pacholk of Greenport, a nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital said. “This ban supports nothing we represent. We want to be respected as people. I want my child to live in a free society where she can live her life fully and not be demeaned by others.”

“All this propaganda about America being at war with Islam, it’s like the Crusades,” said Abigail Field of Greenport, “I feel as of today more likely to get caught in some random crossfire. I feel much less safe as a result of this.”

Woolley also reminded the audience that Zeldin’s office hours at his Riverhead office are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zeldin’s office said at this time, there is no set date or plan for any town hall.

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Sara Roncero-Menendez is the Online Editor for Long Island Wins. Prior to joining the Long Island Wins team, she graduate from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and worked as a reporter for publications like Mashable, The Huffington Post, and PSFK. She became involved in immigration issues and advocacy while working towards her Masters degree at The University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign. After joining the Graduate Employee Organization Local 6300, she worked on helping international and undocumented students work with the administration to get fair financial aid and fellowship opportunities. Sara also works on issues of representation in mass media, including film and television, and works on media reviews and podcast.

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