Editorial: Walking the walk – QNS.com

Editorial: Walking the walk

By The TimesLedger

The debate between the Right-to-Life crowd and the Pro-Choicers has often been irrational. One of the most unfair and oft-repeated accusations is that the people who oppose abortion do nothing to help women with unwanted pregnancies after they give birth. In College Point, the members of Bridge to Life are demonstrating that they not only talk the talk about helping mothers, they are walking the walk.

In October, Bridge to Life opened a center at the site of a former convent on 14th Avenue that will become a home for pregnant women and new mothers. The women will be able to live at the center for up to a year. During that time, Bridge to Life will help them acquire the skills they will need to live independently. If the woman is working, one-third of what she earns will go to pay room and board and one-third will be placed in a savings account. The center will also help the women learn computer and other skills needed in the workplace.

The goal, of course, is to make it easier for women not to have abortions. Hopefully, this center will win the enthusiastic support of people on both sides of the abortion issue.

Editorial: Sour grapes

We have three words for the politicians who are searching for reasons to challenge the election of John Liu to represent Flushing in the City Council: Stop your whining!

Independent Party candidate Martha Flores-Vazquez, who received only 5 percent of the vote, has accused Asian-American poll workers of illegally suggesting that voters vote for Liu, the first Asian American ever elected to the City Council. What’s your point, Martha? Are you suggesting that someone working at a polling booth in Flushing said something in Mandarin to a voter that kept you from getting 6 percent or even 7 percent of the vote?

The people of Flushing have had their say. They elected Liu, who won 31 percent of the vote, narrowly edging out Ethel Chen, who received 29 percent. Both Chen and Liu are well-respected community activists. They are familiar faces in Flushing.

The days that lie ahead for New York City will not be easy. The time has come to put the elections behind us and find a way to work together for the good of everyone.

Editorial: Too many hats

State Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing) has been re-elected president of the New York City Central Labor Council. He will serve a new four-year term as leader of the council that serves as an umbrella for more than 800 labor organizations.

Where does he find the time? And how does he draw the line between the specialized – albeit legitimate – interests of organized labor and the interests of the state and his constituents?

There is, as far as we know, nothing in the state law that would prohibit an elected official from holding a paid position in organized labor. But clearly there is a potential conflict of interest. More than once since McLaughlin has been in Albany, the Legislature has debated legislation that would have a direct and significant impact on organized labor. In such a situation, McLaughlin is both a legislator and a lobbyist of sorts.

We know we are asking the fox to fix the fencing around the chicken coop, but we would like to see the state Legislature enact new rules that would make it impossible for any elected state official to simultaneously hold any paid position that would present such an obvious conflict of interest.

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