the Campaign Trail

Voters in Queens and Brooklyn will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 26, to choose nominees for Congressional seats up for grabs in the November election.

In the weeks leading up to the contests, the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times will feature in this column press releases and statements sent by the campaigns of the candidates on the ballot.

The statements in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times or its staff. Mud-slinging statements which include personal attacks on candidates are omitted.

Ulrich Throws Hat Into State Sen. Race

City Council Member Eric A. Ulrich declared his candidacy for State Senate in District 15 in a video announcement released on YouTube and distributed to other social media outlets.

Ulrich said, “For the past three years, I have been honored to serve the people of my community at City Hall. I am now ready to take the fight to Albany where I will be an independent voice for the taxpayers of Queens County. I will be a state senator who never stops fighting for the middle-class.”

As a member of the City Council, Ulrich has implemented a quality-oflife agenda targeting graffiti vandalism and illegal dumping on neighborhood streets. His legislative record includes three consecutive balanced budgets and several bills which have brought greater accountability to city government.

Citizens Union, a nonpartisan good government group, recognized Ulrich “because of his motivated effort to create meaningful improvements in the district and [his] potential to bring new and fresh ideas to the council.”

“I will bring the same fresh approach and new ideas to the State Senate that I’ve brought to the City Council,” Ulrich added. “I love my job on the City Council, but the stakes are simply too high. Too many of my friends and relatives have left New York because they simply can’t afford to live here any longer. We need to change that. I’m running because I believe I can make a difference.”

The 15th Senatorial District includes the communities of Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Far Rockaway, Forest Hills, Glendale, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo currently represents the 15th State Senate District.

South Asian Leaders Give Nod To Meng

Leaders from New York’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities have endorsed Democrat Grace Meng for the new Sixth Congressional District, calling her the best candidate to grow the economy and create jobs, stand up for immigrants and preserve residents’ quality of life.

“Grace Meng is by far the best qualified candidate to stand up for middle class workers and families in Queens,” said Maf Uddin, founder and President of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor. “Whether it’s supporting small businesses or making sure millionaires pay their fair share, we can count on Grace to be our voice in Washington.”

“We need a strong woman like Grace Meng representing us in Washington,” continued Annetta Seecharran, former director of SAYA. “Grace has the right temperament and set of skills to cut through the dysfunction and really get things done for Queens residents.”

“When elected officials attack immigrants, they are really attacking the American Dream,” said Sayu Bhojwani, former NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs. “In Congress, Grace Meng will protect the values that make our country great by fighting for fair immigration policies and opposing the immigrant-bashing that has become an unfortunate reality in American politics.”

“From City Hall to Albany to Washington, our community is making our voice heard when issues that affect us are being decided,” explained Gurpal Singh Co-Founder of SEVA. “We deserve a Congressional delegation that is as diverse as New York itself and electing Grace Meng, who will be New York’s first-ever Asian-American Member of Congress, will bring us one step closer to making that a reality.”

Also endorsing Meng were Reshma Saujani, community activist and deputy public advocate; Harbachan Singh, president of the Saul Weprin Democratic Club and delegate to the Queens General Assembly; Morshed Alam, president and founder of the New American Democratic Club; Richmond Hill Community Leader and Queens General Assembly Delegate Latchman Budhai; President Bhavaanee Maa Mandir/Federation of Hindu Mandirs Naidoo R. Veerpan; Seema Agnani, Community Activist; Ali Najmi of SEVA; Dilip Chauhan; and Romita Shetty, founder of SAAF.

Accepting the endorsements, Meng thanked the community leaders for their support and pledged to be an advocate for all of Queens’ diverse communities in Washington.

“I’m honored by the endorsements of these community leaders, and for the breadth of support I’ve received since we launched our campaign just a few weeks ago,” Meng said. “But what strikes me the most is that no matter which community we’re in, everybody wants the same things from Washington – fair taxes, help for small businesses and middle class families, and an economy that works for all of us. Working together, we’re going to win in November and make sure that next year, we have a Congress that’s ready to work with President Obama to move our county forward again.”

Lancman Pushes For Infrastructure Work

Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a candidate for Congress in New York’s Sixth Congressional District, stood with leaders and members of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union Local 1 in front of a school construction project at I.S. 25 in Bayside last Thursday, Apr. 19 to call on Congress to increase federal infrastructure funding and help create construction jobs.

Lancman and the Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, representing over 4,700 local masonry workers who help build and restore the City of New York, called on Congress to pass the president’s infrastructure bank proposal, which would use $10 billion in federal money to spur private investment on road projects.

Under the plan, federal loans would cover no more than 50 percent of the cost and would lead to $100- 200 billion in private spending on infrastructure projects. They also advocated for the Fix America’s Schools Today Act (FAST! Act), a bill that would address the at least $270 billion backlog in repairs and maintenance of our schools and would create hundreds of thousands of new infrastructure jobs across the country.

Both Lancman and the union also called for widely adopting Project Labor Agreements on all future projects, saving taxpayers at least $44 million in New York City alone. The Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers thanked the New York City Building Construction and Trades council for successfully negotiating PLAs with the city of New York and the School Construction Authority, and said that it should be held up as a model for the nation for putting people back to work and rebuilding our infrastructure.

Lancman said his work on the state level-helping to pass a $15 billion plan for infrastructure projects in this year’s budget-should be used as a model for the federal level. Since 2008, New York State has suffered a loss of approximately 62,000 construction jobs-a 17 percent reduction in the construction workforce.

The state’s infrastructure plan will combine $1.2 billion in state funding, $1 billion in federal funding and $9.3 billion in funding from authorities to leverage $3.5 billion in private capital – all with the power to create thousands of jobs in New York State.

“In New York, we have thousands of people out of work, and thousands of projects that need workers-it’s not a complicated equation,” Lancman said. “We figured it out in New York and passed a $15 billion infrastructure package with bipartisan support that will create thousands of good-paying union jobs. I’m running for Congress because it’s long past time Washington figured it out too.”

Correction Cops Are Supporting Crowley

The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA) formally endorsed City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley for New York’s Sixth Congressional District last Friday, Apr. 20, on COBA’s popular radio show hosted by COBA President Norman Seabrook on WWRL-AM.

COBA represents New York’s Boldest, 15,000 active and retired men and women who patrol the toughest precincts in the City, the City jails. As chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, Crowley has been a strong advocate for stronger safety measures that keep correction officers safe and increasing staffing to ensure all city jails have enough correction officers to keep officers protected.

“New York’s Boldest have one of the toughest jobs in the world, and I have been honored to work with COBA to ensure our city’s correction officers receive fair wages and benefits and are protected on the job,” said Crowley. “My union fought for me to ensure that I had a safe working environment and fair wages that would support my two children. In Washington, I will fight for unions like COBA and working families throughout Queens.”

“On behalf of the thousands of men and women who are not just the Boldest, but also the best Correction Officers in the world, I’m honored to give our support to Elizabeth Crowley’s candidacy for the Sixth Congressional District in Queens,” said Seabrook. “Without question, Elizabeth has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to public safety, while also understanding the challenges facing all middle class New Yorkers in this day and age. She has the passion, experience, and integrity to bring real leadership for the 6th Congressional District of Queens.”

Crowley is a restorative painter and member of District Council 9. She was also a member of Teamsters Local 210 when she worked with the Consortium for Worker Education providing job training workshops in low-income neighborhoods around the city.

Fire Marshals Back Halloran For NY-6

The Fire Marshals Benevolent Association endorsed City Council Member Dan Halloran’s campaign for the new Sixth Congressional District at Engine Co. 306 in Bayside.

Halloran, who has two brothers currently serving as FDNY firefighters, led the effort to save Engine 306 last year after the city threatened to close it in budgeting. The Council Member hosted a rally last spring at the engine company with over 400 people, which attracted citywide news coverage and numerous elected and community leaders.

“Dan has worked tirelessly for his constituents as their City Council Member,” said Bill Kregler, the union’s president. “We need Dan’s commitment to working class families in combating a runaway dysfunctional Washington administration. Dan will steer this Titanic administration from disaster and put our country back on the right course.”

“As a working class kid from Queens, I appreciate all that our uniformed servants do to protect us. Our city’s fire marshals are on the front lines in keeping our families safe. They risk life and limb so that we may sleep well at night,” said Halloran. “In Congress, I will fight to make sure they have the resources they need to continue their heroism so that they may stay safe while they protect us. I am proud to accept their endorsement.”

While in the Council, Halloran has introduced two bills supported by the Fire Marshals’ union. Intro. No. 719 would require the FDNY to submit an annual arson investigation report to the Council. This would allow the Council to track arson investigations and ensure that resources are being properly allocated to arson investigations. Intro. No. 620 would allow the City a cause of action against convicted arsonists to recoup the cost of fighting the fire and conducting the investigation.

New York City Fire Marshals are both firefighters and law enforcement officers charged with preventing, investigating, and prosecuting arsons. The Fire Marshal Benevolent Association, which is comprised of over 500 active and retired New York City Fire Marshals, first supported Halloran in 2009 when he was running for the City Council.

Halloran’s cousin, FDNY Lt. Vincent Halloran, was lost in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Big Petition Drive Boosts Maloney

Rep. Carolyn Maloney announced that she had filed 9,482 signatures for her Democratic Party Designating Petitions in New York’s newly-drawn 12th Congressional District (parts of Manhattan, western Queens, north Brooklyn, and all of Roosevelt Island), more than 10 times the legally required amount, and believed to be the most filed by any congressional candidate in New York City.

“I’ve never lost an election, and I don’t intend to start now. With your help, I intend to remain nobody’s Congresswoman but yours,” Maloney said in making the announcement last Thursday, Apr. 19. “I am humbled and gratified by the remarkable volunteer effort to support my 2012 re-election. I look forward to continuing to work to create jobs and a better quality of life for New Yorkers in the next Congress.”

Maloney, a 10-term incumbent, is a senior Member of the Financial Services, Government Oversight & Reform, and Joint Economic Committees.

Maloney’s show of support was made possible by widespread grassroots efforts on the part of local elected officials, Democratic clubs and activists, and community groups throughout the 12th District and a team that included dozens of campaign interns and volunteers, many of them college and graduate students.

One volunteer on the Maloney campaign, New York University freshman Abhiraj Mathur, said, “Congresswoman Maloney’s campaign is a great experience, and I got a lot out of working at the grassroots level.”

Turner To Prez: Stop Sending Egypt Aid

Rep. Bob Turner, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a candidate for U.S. Senate, called for the cessation of economic aid to Egypt until that nation guarantees a basic level of human rights- particularly for Egyptian women-and halts its “witch hunt” against pro-democracy, non-governmental organization (NGO) workers.

Turner criticized President Obama at a news conference outside the United Nations Sunday for sending $1.5 billion to Egypt last week without any such assurances from Egypt’s military government, which he said is increasingly falling under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood- an organization that has supported terrorism and refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

“The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ could very well lead to the fall of an ally to radical Islamism, with the help of American taxpayers,” Turner said. “America wants to maintain and strengthen its relationship with Cairo in the years to come, but any economic aid from us must guarantee the security of Israel, cooperation in fighting international terrorism, and the fair treatment of Egypt’s citizens. This blank check from the President was ill-considered and it should be the last one of its kind.”

As noted, only voters who are registered with a party may vote in that party’s primary election on June 26.

For more information on voting or to obtain a voting registration application, contact the New York City Board of Elections at 1-212-VOTENYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us.

Press representatives of candidates may send their information to this paper by fax to 1-718-456-0120 or e-mail to info@times newsweekly.com. All releases are subject to editing.

More from Around New York