Port Washington has a new tenant in town with a name that many might recognize.
State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso (D-Port Washington) moved his office to 20 Vanderventer Ave. last week from its former location in Great Neck.
The district office for state Assembly District 16 has been in Great Neck for decades, D’Urso said, but it was time for a change.
“Great Neck isn’t the same as it used to be,” D’Urso said, citing the heightened divisiveness in the area.
The recent mayoral election in which James Wu challenged Mayor Pedram Bral in the Village of Great Neck led to a tight race that drew accusations such as the Asian community trying to expel Jewish people from the village and that a Wu supporter said: “We must slap Jews now.” The Jewish community was rocked by infighting and claims that some members were anti-Semitic as the election progressed.
Not only that, D’Urso said, but the former location at 45 North Station Plaza in Great Neck was smaller and more expensive and with the move, he now has a shorter commute time as a fellow resident of Port Washington.
D’Urso was elected to the state Assembly in 2016, after a number of years doing humanitarian work around the world. He served as a North Hempstead Town councilman for four terms until he resigned in 2005.
He said when he served on the Town Board, council members served at large and were not elected to individual districts.
The assemblyman came to New York as a 21-year-old immigrant from Italy with no family or a high school diploma, something he sought to change immediately. Within three days of his arrival in this country, D’Urso was enrolled in night school to obtain his degree.
For his bachelor’s degree, D’Urso attended New York Institute of Technology and Pratt University.
In 1971, he began his career of public service when he accepted a job with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Throughout his 30-year tenure in the department, D’Urso rose through the ranks and was eventually named the city’s assistant commissioner of the Division of Architecture Engineering and Construction. In that role, he would oversee the design and construction of over 2,000 apartments each year.
D’Urso said money has never been his motive, especially when choosing to work in government, but instead he is driven by the feeling he gets by helping the people around him and trying to make the world a better place.
The assemblyman said he plans to host a grand opening of the new office in September.
His office can be reached at (516) 482-6966 and his email address is [email protected]