By Steve Mosco
State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) made an unannounced stop last week at the Juniper Park Civic Association gathering to introduce himself as a candidate for Congress in the race for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) seat.
Juniper hosted the 104th Precinct meeting at Our Lady of Hope at 61-27 71st St. in Middle Village.
Seeking the Democratic nomination in the June 26 primary, Lancman said his record working in the Assembly is a good indicator of how he will represent the district in Washington, D.C. The newly redrawn district covers Bayside, Flushing and the Fresh Meadows area, then extends into the Forest Hills, Glendale and Middle Village.
“The people we send to Washington need to be serious legislators and they need to understand how to pass laws and make decisions on important issues like terrorism, Social Security and the integrity of our financial system,” he told to the crowd at Our Lady of Hope in Middle Village April 18.
“These are big issues that I’ve tackled in Albany and my experience makes me very well-suited to go down to Congress and hit the ground running.”
Lancman spoke in depth about two pieces of legislation he passed in Albany: the Freedom to Report Terrorism Act, which protects people who report potential terrorism from lawsuit, and the Libel Terrorism Protection Act, which protects American journalists and authors from foreign libel verdicts.
“I authored [the Libel Terrorism Protection Act], then it was adopted in Congress and is now national law,” he said. “So you can say I’m not in Congress yet, but I’ve already passed my first bill.”
The assemblyman also said he will go to Washington with local issues in mind and try to effect change for the community on a federal level.
Local issues were the main focus of the meeting as Capt. Michael Cody of the 104th Precinct delivered the crime statistics for the month. Cody said the precinct recorded a slight rise in robberies, with the majority involving handheld devices such as iPhones.
“The robberies are mirroring boroughwide and citywide robbery trends, with handheld electronics the predominant targets of theft,” he said. “We continue to ask the public to be aware of their surroundings.”
Cody also mentioned a rash of incidents involving curfew violations in Juniper Valley Park. Cody has spoken with Juniper Civic Association President Bob Holden about increasing awareness in the community about the park’s 9 p.m. curfew.
“We’re asking residents to get the word out that there is a 9 p.m. curfew in the park and we will get some signs posted,” he said. “We have issued summonses and made some arrests for violations and public drinking.”
Holden told Cody and the crowd that a major problem in the neighborhood is residents blocking sidewalks with their cars. He said residents are removing the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk, then laying down concrete to add parking at the residence.
Cody said residents should call the precinct with the addresses of these violators and they will be investigated.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.