Fighting to Protect and Add Jobs in New York. Congressman Meeks is a champion for economic development for New York's 6th Congressional District. Congressman Meeks believes that the next part of the civil rights movement is about "economic empowerment." To that cause, he has encouraged investment in economically distressed areas in the district. Meeks successfully secured more than $20 million in tax credits to encourage investment in downtown Jamaica.
Meanwhile, Congressman Meeks helped persuade American Airlines (the world's largest commercial airline) to re-invest at John F. Kennedy International Airport - the economic engine of Meeks' congressional district. As a result, American constructed at $1.4 billion terminal and added thousands of new construction jobs and dozens of new vendors and suppliers from the local community. In addition, the airline added new service to several destinations from JFK increasing its economic impact in New York.
To aid upstate's ailing economy, Meeks was the first elected official to embrace discount carrier JetBlue Airways after securing commitments from the airline to invest at JFK while providing new service to markets such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. Using Kennedy as its base, JetBlue has emergence as a economic force while becoming one of the leading airlines for the traveling public.
Using the approach of public/private partnerships, Meeks first act was to secure Federal funding for the $2 billion JFK light rail project - linking Kennedy with downtown Jamaica. That project has now become the centerpiece for an economic revival of downtown Jamaica and the community surrounding JFK.
As a Member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, Meeks was instrumental in getting Bank of America to open a new branch on Jamaica Avenue in March of 2006 to serve the financial needs of the people of the 6th District so that they do not have to go to check cashing storefronts to access their money.
Meanwhile, Congressman Meeks vigorously fought the Bush Administration's attempts to relocate several hundred FAA employees to Atlanta, Ga. in late 2005.