Accountability, integrity and respect

Dear Editor:
As I continue my campaign for commissioner on the West New York United team, our town’s industrious and diverse population reminds me of my family’s history. Like many families who have immigrated to the United States and settled in here, my family has a story as well.
My father desired freedom, education and opportunity, so he fled the Communists and swam towards freedom – Hong Kong. After being caught and tortured from his first try, he made certain to succeed in his second attempt. He eventually made his way to New York, where he waited tables while supporting himself through college.
My wife’s grandfather was a prominent surgeon before being sentenced as a political prisoner for being educated in “Western philosophies.” My father-in-law never lived his dream of practicing medicine; the Communist denied him that opportunity. Still, he self-educated and gained prominence as an engineer. However, like many others, he gave up everything to arrive in our great nation. He immigrated here in his forties to toil as a laborer, so that his only daughter could be afforded what he never truly tasted – freedom, education and opportunity.
And then the mothers… not nearly as dramatic, undeniably underappreciated. They held our families together – cooking, cleaning, and remembering favorite toys – all while working fulltime.
Because of them, I have a career designing and managing high priority municipal infrastructure, green infrastructure, traffic and roadway projects – over $150 million annually. Growing up, I lived the opportunity my father-in-law only dreamed – a Cornell University education. After graduating, I worked as an engineer, while studying law at night. In my spare time, I have helped students with learning difficulties as an adjunct professor.
As I meet residents today, I often listen astounded by their stories and how similarly they resonated with mine. Yet, I share their sadness over repeated stories of corruption and threats of violence to quell complaints perpetrated by the Roque administration send chilling reminders of the dictators so many of us fled.
Recently, the current administration settled two wrongful termination suits for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Hard earned money that clearly could have been used to fund the non-existent afterschool and community enrichment programs, school buses for children, and countless other positive uses have instead been wasted with no explanation.
I am running for commissioner to end the corruption. I promise to serve the people – not the politicians. I will demand a full audit and shine a light into the darkest crevices of town hall. I plan to hire qualified applicants to fill municipal positions. I will demand that contractors perform as obligated by their contracts.
Most importantly, I will be available. I will hold the office of commissioner in the highest esteem and honor the sacrifice of all those before who make it possible for us enjoy the freedom, education and opportunity of this wonderful country. In the position of commissioner, I will restore accountability, integrity and respect.

United we stand,
Thomas M. Leung, P.E., Esq.

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