In 2009, Constantinides was elected to a district leader post and has dedicated his time to public service and bettering the neighborhood. He has also served as vice president of the Long Island City Alliance, and has experience working in the City Council under Councilman James Gennaro.
Constantinides has specific ideas to eliminate trailers from schools and a five-point plan to make Astoria a cleaner neighborhood and healthier place to live.
He is also an independent candidate. Since entering the race, his Democratic challenger, Constantinos “Gus” Prentzas, has used his ties with outgoing councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. to further his name recognition.
While we admire the job that Vallone has done for Astoria - we endorsed him for the Queen borough president seat - it is important to have someone in office with different views than their predecessor.
Prentzas has an impressive following and a street team that is aggressively campaigning on his behalf. He is connected to the neighborhood, running two small businesses in the district.
However, Prentzas lacks the on-the-ground experience and background in community activism that the district needs. He has proven that he understands the needs of the neighborhood and of small business owners given that he currently operates two small businesses in the district.
On the other hand, Constantinides has been working with elected officials, community groups and civic organizations, making his move to the City Council seat a smooth transition.
Another stark difference between the two came to light at a recent forum on education. Constantinides made it clear that he would work toward eliminating trailers and bringing Astoria children back into the classroom, while his opponent said he would fire the chancellor and create an “adopt a school” program to fund public schools with private dollars.
It is clear that while Constatinides makes promises he can keep, Prentzas is becoming far too negative for us to endorse his candidacy.
In a general election that will have at least five candidates on the ballot, Constantinides is the right choice to represent Democrats in the general election for the Astoria seat.