By Catherine Tsounis
“We have a responsibility to Greece in the Diaspora,” said Mr. George Maragos, Comptroller of Nassau County, NY and 2017 Democratic candidate in the primary for Nassau County Executive. Mr. Maragos delivered this presentation at “The International Day of Greek Language and Culture.” The Federation of Hellenic American Educators, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY and the Hellenic Paideia of America sponsored the event on Sunday afternoon February 12, 2017 at the cultural center of the Holy Trinity Cathedral at 319 East 74th St., New York.
“I do not see Greece as long lost. Nor do I see Greek civilization as lost. We are supporting Greece for our children. I am here today to present citations from the Suffolk County Controller’s to the Federation of Hellenic American Educators, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY and the Hellenic Paideia of America.”
History was created in November 2009, when George Maragos, a Greek immigrant from Canada was elected Nassau County Comptroller. The Hellenic Society had the unique honor of having Maragos and his wife Angela; spend the entire evening with them sharing their views on April 8, 2010. “I am a Greek from Lefkada (an island in the Ionian Sea) from the poorest of the poor. I was raised in Canada, where the Greek Federations kept our language and culture alive. I am honored to be among young Greek-Americans and to be elected Nassau County Comptroller of Long Island. I am like your parents, an immigrant. I had a great passion for learning that included valedictorian of my class, an M.A. in finance and the founder of my own company.”1
“Only your abilities and passions will help you compete with the economic powers that our emerging,” Maragos said. “America is no longer the leader of the economic world, because we have been overtaken by China. We must compete with others. They have the advantage of the labor cost. Innovation through knowledge is your edge. A small person in China and India will take your job if you do not have innovation. We have more debt, no jobs, desensitizing new jobs and raising the cost of education. You, the young, will pay the cost. The next election will determine our economy. Government does not create jobs. Your innovation and the private sector determine the creation of jobs. We must bring back manufacturing and the “Made in the USA” label. Your future depends on your vote. Cherish your right to vote. Make your vote work in Democracy.” Maragos received a standing ovation. This outstanding evening in collegiate history was made possible by the dynamic personality of 19-year-old Constantine Gurlakis, a man to be watched in the future. TheHellenic Society President went that extra mile in last minute paper work to enable the historic visit of Nassau County Executive George Marago. 2 Everyone heard and interacted with Comptroller Maragos on February 12th, 2017.