By Bill Parry
State Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) loved his seven years in Albany leading the push to pass the Dream Act and fighting for workers’ rights, women’s rights and criminal justice reform. When City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst) decided against seeking a third term, Moya decided to come home and fight controversial Hiram Monserrate for the District 21 seat.
Monserrate was expelled from the state Senate for assaulting his girlfriend and served two years in prison for theft of funds while a city councilman representing the 21st District, which includes East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona, the neighborhood where Moya was raised and lives today.
“The moment I heard who the opponent was I knew there was no way I could allow that person to come back to public office,” Moya said. “This man has proven time and time again that his violent, criminal, corrupt past belongs nowhere near public service, especially not the very same seat where he stole $100,000 and never once apologized for the theft.”
Moya rejects Monserrate’s redemption story as well as charges Monserrate has leveled in recent weeks that Moya lives outside the 21st District in Long Island City, that he has committed election and mortgage fraud and he is ducking debates so he does not have to answer questions.
“His whole campaign is built on lies,” Moya said. “He talks about anything but the issues. The good people of the 21st District, and the people of New York City, should be outraged that this individual was arrested three times and has never apologized. This district is the most diverse in the entire country and I believe it needs a real champion.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ferreras-Copeland and the seven candidates for City Council speaker, including City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), agreed, endorsing Moya’s campaign while railing against Monserrate’s return.
“Francisco Moya is a proven leader for central Queens, while his opponent’s actions have disqualified him from public service,” Cuomo said. “Contrasted with Hiram Monserrate’s shameful record of domestic abuse and abusing the public’s trust, the choice could not be more clear.”
In its endorsement over the weekend, The New York Times wrote, “This one is easy. Assemblyman Francisco Moya deserves every primary vote in this district.”
Moya identifies the lack of affordable housing, high property taxes, tenant protections, improving overcrowded schools and protecting seniors as the major issues facing the district. He also wants to join the progressive voices in the City Council defending undocumented immigrants. Moya is pledging to lead the resistance to President Trump’s actions, especially his decision to dismantle the DACA program Tuesday.
“As the proud son of Ecuadorian immigrants who represents so many immigrant families in the state Assembly, I am horrified by Trump’s reprehensible and callous decision to end DACA,” Moya said. “This is an outright attack on everything this nation stands for. As our next Council member, I will fight for all New Yorkers. I will join with my brothers and sisters in rising up against Trump’s racism, and fight back against the white supremacism and anti-immigrant hatred that’s reared its ugly head on the campaign trail, in Charlottesville and now with the DACA decision. New York will continue to be a beacon of tolerance and progressive values, and I pledge to lead the charge in the City Council.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr