By Pari Rana
Nassau County congressional district four residents will vote for a new Town of North Hempstead council member on November 7, 2023. District four encompasses New Hyde Park, as well as other neighboring towns such as Manhasset Hills, Lake Success and University Gardens. The two candidates in the upcoming election are Democrat and New Hyde Park resident Christine Liu and Republican James W. Gounaris.
If elected, Christine Liu would become the first Asian American town councilwoman, a point she emphasizes in her campaign. In the past, she has organized demonstrations as well as peace programs that address anti-Asian hate. Additionally, Liu pledges to launch educational activities and programs that aim at supporting locals' mutual understanding, compassion and diversity in culture. Her belief is that discussion and togetherness are essential in eliminating racial inequalities and creating a more inclusive district four.
Reproduced with permission from the campaign of Christine Liu
Christine Liu discusses the focus of her political campaign: embracing inclusivity and safety in the local community.
In order to prevent crime and encourage safety within the district, she looks forward to collaborating with regional law enforcement agencies and community organizations. She has experience in promoting safety in the community; in the Third Precinct and Homeland Security, Liu has previously conducted public safety courses. Moreover, she recently graduated from the Citizen's Police Academy at Nassau County Police and is currently a member of the Police Commissioner's Community.
Liu also has expressed her beliefs that elderly people should have the chance to age in the community in peace. To guarantee that senior citizens have access to cost-effective and comfortable living arrangements, she intends to enhance senior housing options and initiatives.
“I met Christine Liu once after a day of Sunday School,” junior Suha Tasfia said. “As I walked out of the mosque, I saw her and her son handing out flowers because it was also Mother's Day. I think it was nice to see a local candidate getting in touch with the community, especially the Muslim community because we are a growing population.”
Liu’s opponent, James Gounaris, the president of the Herricks School District Board of Education, is also running for the position of town council. As seen by Gounaris' campaign, his activities seek to improve the district’s school systems. One of his major concerns is the misuse of taxpayer money, and he plans on defending the taxes that fund public education.
Gournaris has been on the Herricks School Board since 2011, where he has distinguished himself by heading one of the state's most effective school districts and overseeing its $120 million budget. He emphasizes his unwavering support for budgetary responsibility, the suburban quality of life and the delivery of high-quality town services.
“I think it’s good that he says he wants to fight anti-Asian and Jewish hate,” junior Nowra Khan said. “However, I don’t particularly agree with his policies about the private sector.”
"As a social studies teacher I always impress upon my students the importance of civic duty," director of Student Activities and social studies teacher Ms. Vosswinkel-Blum said. "I am delighted that one of New Hyde Park's own is doing just that by running for town council."
While students, parents and all community members have different opinions on local politicians and their policies, NHP faculty and staff recognizes the importance of local politics and the exciting nature of having native New Hyde Park residents run for town positions.