2013-01-04 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

Bob Turner Signs Off

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for allowing me to serve as your Congressman. I was born and raised in Queens and having the chance to represent my friends, neighbors and all the people of Brooklyn and Queens that reside in the 9th Congressional district has been a great honor.

As a lifelong resident of this area my office’s primary focus has been on serving you. In just a few short months after the special election my office answered a backlog of letters, emails and casework as well as opened the first fulltime Brooklyn district office. I am extremely proud of the hard work my staff did for people throughout the district. Through their efforts we were able to help current and future generations of our military by ensuring many veterans received the benefits they are rightfully entitled to and were awarded the medals they deserved. We were also able to secure Service Academy nominations for some young men and women who aspire to serve their country. Many people were able to receive positive results in problems they had with Social Security, Medicare or the IRS and other federal agencies.

Over the past year I worked closely with the Army Corp of Engineers to highlight the poor shoreline conditions in the Rockaways, Plumb Beach and Manhattan Beach. We were able to secure homeland security funding - particularly for our public transit system, address transportation and infrastructure issues, and help remove the Cross Bay bridge toll. We fought for more choices in education, to protect our allies abroad, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, fought against religious discrimination, pushed for tax relief for small businesses and individuals, fought for pro job growth legislation, worked to get the deficit under control, and helped thousands of people impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

There were many things that tested our spirit and resolve over the last couple of years. But nothing speaks to how strong our resilience as New Yorkers is more than how we once again came together after Superstorm Sandy. Many of you put your personal tragedies aside in order to help your neighbors. In the days after the storm subsided, communities banded together to provide the assistance and services that the government was unable to. As I traveled around the district, I was touched by how many of you made great sacrifices to help those in need.

While our country still faces many great obstacles and politicians continue to hold differences in opinion, I still believe we live in the greatest country in the world. And as long as we continue to stand with our neighbor, love our family, and remain proud of our country the American dream will stay alive.

Thank you all.

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