Democrat S.J. Jung announced his candidacy in May, and has maintained a steady presence on the campaign trail ever since, promoting himself as a candidate who can represent a new chapter in the story of the 16th District, which he feels needs new vigor.
“I don’t think I am running against anybody. I am running with my own policy priorities and my own record,” Jung said just before joining a small crowd of supporters in the U-Haul parking lot along the Flushing River.
At the event, Jung focused on environmental issues tied to Flushing’s waterways and the secretive move to host homeless families at the Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst.
“I have talked with many voters in the past several months and what I see and hear is that there is a strong desire for new blood,” Jung said. “That our district is waiting for more vibrant leadership who can push forward with many different projects.”
Jung said he believes in expanding green and open spaces along the Flushing River. He pointed to Brooklyn Bridge Park as an example of what can be done when a community comes together around the revitalization of an industrial waterfront, and said he hopes that one day the Flushing River will be the home to such a park.
“In order to revitalize our waterfront, the first step is to find ways to manage the combined sewage overflow,” Jung said. “The second step is to clean up the polluted river. Then we can move forward.”
He also said that he believes it is crucial to go back to the drawing board on the Pan Am Hotel on Queens Boulevard, which thanks to odd boundary lines is also part of the 16th District, which is primarily centered on Flushing and part of Forest Hills.
“As I made myself very clear at the rallies and hearing, it is unacceptable for our government to convert the Pan Am Hotel into a shelter without a public review process,” Jung said. “Our residents in Elmhurst are rightfully demanding a transparent review process.”