ASTORIA — City Council candidate Lynne Serpe says she's hoping to bring some new blood to Queens District 22.
Serpe, a Green party candidate and one of several hopefuls looking to replace term-limited Peter Vallone — a Democrat who's held the seat for over a decade — officially opened her campaign office Thursday night.
"I first moved to Astoria in 1994. I've seen the district grow and change, and the rents skyrockets, where for the most part, the political power structure has remained kind of stuck in the past," Serpe told supporters who had gathered at her new Astoria Boulevard headquarters.
"I understand that the most important people are the voters in my district," she said. "I don’t report to party bosses. I'm not a part of the political machine."
Serpe is a consultant for the Queens Library's Greening Libraries Initiative, and previously worked in election reform.
If elected, she says she would focus on environmental issues, like making Astoria's aging housing stock more energy efficient through the use of solar panels and better insulation, opening up more green spaces combating the neighborhood's street litter problem.
She also wants to ensure that the Astoria waterfront — where two major residential housing projects have been proposed — are developed in a sustainable way.
"We want to make sure that when these developments come in, if they come in, that they meet the needs of the existing residents in addition to the new people who are coming in," she said.
This is Serpe's second City Council run, having also challenged Vallone in 2009, when she scored 24 percent of votes. This year, with Vallone out and running for Borough President, she sees the field as more open.
"This time, the the dynamics of the race are totally different," she said.
There are several other candidates running in the 22nd District, including three Democrats who will face each other in the September primary: Costa Constantinides, Costantinos “Gus” Prentzas and John Ciafone.
Danielle DeStefano is running an an Independent, and Daniel Peterson is running on the Republican ticket.