Eric Ulrich celebrates Council inauguration

Eric Ulrich celebrates Council inauguration
By Christina Santucci

Elected officials from throughout the borough and beyond celebrated the inauguration Sunday of City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Beach) at the Scholars’ Academy School in Rockaway Park.

Ulrich, who was first elected to the Council in a 2008 special election, won his first full term in the Council in November, defeating Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio.

Ulrich is one of three Queens Republicans on the Council, joining Councilmen Dan Halloran (R-Bayside) and Peter Koo (R-Flushing).

Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-Staten Island) said Ulrich, 24, had an outstanding work ethic.

“I look at Eric and I look at the natural, God-given gifts that he was given, and I am somewhat in awe,” Oddo said. “This is a young man who is going to be a leader not only in his district, not only in Queens County, but in the city.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) drew parallels between himself and Ulrich.

“We both started up the same way, working in our community, caring about our community,” the senator said. “He got here the old-fashioned way: He earned it.”

Ulrich represents Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and the Rockaways.

Schumer called the district “the salt of the earth of America, hardworking people. They need good, strong representation. You have a councilman who will do just that.”

Koo and Halloran, Ulrich’s Republican colleagues on the Council, also spoke at the inauguration.

“Eric knows City Hall, Eric knows how to fight,” Koo said. “Over the next four years, I’m going to be proud to stand next to Eric,” fighting toward rejecting higher taxes, protecting the lower and middle classes and helping educational goals.

“I’m grateful and privileged to be here as not only his colleague, but his friend,” said Halloran.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), whose district abuts Ulrich’s, commended him despite belonging to different political parties.

“He’s somebody who works extremely hard, terrific work ethic,” Crowley said. “The people who elected us didn’t vote along political lines … they voted for who they thought would do the best job.”

Howard Koplowitz contributed reporting for this article.

Reach Christina Santucci by e-mail at csantucci@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 189.