By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
If you live in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights or in certain parts of Bensonhurst and Gravesend, don’t be surprised if your doorbell rings and you find Domenic Recchia standing in your doorway.
Recchia, the former Democratic councilman running for congress against scandal-tainted Republican incumbent Michael Grimm, has launched a new campaign effort, the “Kitchen Table Listening Tour,” in which he visits residents in their homes, sits at their kitchen tables and discusses issues with them.
Recchia, who held the first of his kitchen table sessions in Dyker Heights on May 5, said he’s doing it to hear the concerns of residents directly.
"The issues that are discussed at the kitchen table of working families across Staten Island and Brooklyn are the same issues that congress should be focused on and the same issues that should be at the forefront of this campaign. I want to ensure that the needs and concerns of our families are heard,” Recchia said.
Recchia, who served as chairman of the Finance Committee when he was on the council, said that the series of home visits would give him a unique opportunity to meet with voters.
“I got into this race because I want to go to Washington to get the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn their fair share. Now, more than ever, the people of this district need leadership that is focused on fighting for them,” Recchia said. “When I'm elected, I'm going to work hard – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to ensure that the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn have the kind of leadership they deserve – leadership that is focused on rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy and protecting our city from future storms, creating jobs, fixing our transportation and traffic problems, making college more affordable, and improving our schools."
Recchia planned to take his tour to New Dorp Beach on Staten Island on May 9. Additional stops will be made next week, according to a campaign spokeswoman.
Recchia is attempting to unseat Grimm, a two-term congressman who represents the 11th Congressional District, covering Staten Island, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. The district also includes parts of Bensonhurst and Gravesend.
Grimm, meanwhile, is busy keeping up a full schedule of appointments both in the district and in Washington D.C., despite the fact that he has been hit with a federal indictment.
Last week, Grimm was indicted for tax evasion, mail fraud, and other charges stemming from his alleged wrongdoing in a health food restaurant he owned on the Upper East Side before he ran for congress in 2010. The indictment charges that among other things, Grimm paid his workers in cash and did not report it to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Staten Island Advance reported on May 5 that Grimm appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show and vowed not only to fight the charges, but to keep up his re-election campaign.
“We're going to fight these charges all the way," the Advance quoted Grimm as saying. “It's not the first time I've had a lot on my plate. I'm a multi-tasker. I have a relentless work ethic," he stated.