Mayor Bill de Blasio’s visits for the nightly 7 p.m. applause for healthcare workers included an April 16th visit to Coney Island Hospital. Accompanied by his wife Chirlance McCray, de Blasio’s visit also marked the kickoff of a citywide program to provide healthcare workers with shelf-stable food, home cleaning products and personal care products. Sponsored by Debra and Leon Black, Aramark, the Robin Hood Foundation and the Red Cross, the program is intended to provide some personal support and ease shopping burdens on overwhelmed healthcare workers.
In a daily yet still remarkable scene several dozen FDNY firefighters and EMS staff, whose profession is also focused on lifesaving and aiding those in distress, applauded departing hospital staff.
Our Neighbor’s Civic Association of Ozone Park hosted a Queens borough president candidate forum, drawing Jim Quinn, Donovan Richards, Elizabeth Crowley, Costa Constantinides and Anthony Miranda to one of the final forums before the March 24th special election was cancelled (and later rescheduled for June 23rd). Civic association President Joe Caruana moderated the forum.
The Bayswater Civic Association hosted a Queens borough president candidate forum, with Costa Constantinides, Jim Quinn, Anthony Miranda and Elizabeth Crowley appearing before an audience of approximately 50 people. The forum was moderated by Eugene Falik, with remarks by Bayswater Civic Association President Enid Glabman.
The 21st St. Pat’s For All parade marched up Skillman Avenue, drawing thousands of participants and spectators on a sunny March Sunday. The St. Pat’s For All parade was founded by Brendan Fay in response to the long exclusion of LGBTQ groups from the large Manhattan parade. That exclusion ended in 2016 but the St. Pat’s For All parade continues as a vibrant Irish celebration drawing enthusiastic involvement from the LGBTQ community and the Jackson Heights and Woodside neighborhoods that host the parade.
Christ Church International hosted a Queens borough president candidate forum, drawing Costa Constantinides, Anthony Miranda and Elizabeth Crowley to Jamaica on a Saturday night. The forum was co-sponsored by Faith In New York, with FINY executive director Crystal Walthall moderating. The forum also featured remarks from Christ Church International Bishop Joseph N. Williams.
Assembly Member Catalina Cruz expressed her support for Council Member Donovan Richards in the Queens borough president special election, joining Richards for a Corona press conference. Cruz described herself and Richards as close friends, noting that Richards supported her in her 2018 primary against a candidate backed by the Queens Democratic Party.
As they waited for the press conference to begin Cruz and Richards face timed with Cruz’s mother, as captured in the photo below. After seeing the photo Cruz later tweeted “[h]e calls her mi madre. She calls him mi hijo. We are more than colleagues, we’ve become family.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio enlisted rock star Billy Idol in the City’s effort at reducing motor vehicle idling, with Idol joining the mayor for a City Hall Plaza rally and press conference featuring the tag line “Billy Never Idles.”
The Rockaway Youth Task Force sponsored a Queens borough president candidate forum that featured four candidates. Anthony Miranda, Costa Constantinides, Donovan Richards and Elizabeth Crowley attended the forum at Macedonia Baptist Church in Arverne, appearing before a full house of approximately 200 people.
Queens borough president candidate Jim Quinn received the endorsement of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA), with COBA President Elias Husamudeen appearing with Quinn at a rain-soaked press conference at the site of a proposed new jail. That proposed jail is the Queens iteration of four new jails planned by the de Blasio administration as part of the closing of Rikers Island. Both Quinn and COBA oppose the closing of Rikers and building of new borough-based jails. That opposition, and his related opposition to the recently enacted changes in New York state bail laws, is the centerpiece of Quinn’s borough president candidacy.
The New York League of Conservation Voters held a candidate forum focused on environmental and sustainability issues. Costa Constantinides, Anthony Miranda, Donovan Richards and Elizabeth Crowley attended, fielding questions from moderator Katie Honan and the audience at the New York Hall of Science in Corona.
The Bay Terrace Community Alliance held a candidate forum featuring all six active candidates in the March 24th Queens borough president special election. (A seventh candidate, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, is on the ballot but has announced that he’s ended his campaign and is not seeking election.) BTCA President Matthew Silverstein, 1st VP Warren Schreiber and 2nd VP Phil Konigsberg questioned the candidates for nearly two hours, with the candidates also given the opportunity to pose a question to one of their competitors.
The New Visions Democratic Club hosted a Queens Borough president candidate forum Monday night in Jackson Heights featuring five candidates. Council Member Costa Constantinides, former Council member Elizabeth Crowley, Anthony Miranda, Jim Quinn and Council Member Donovan Richards spent nearly two hours answering questions from moderator Ross Barkan and, briefly, from each other. An audience of approximately 100 people attended. The forum was co-sponsored by the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, the JFK Democratic Club and the South Asian Democratic Alliance.
The special election, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Melinda Katz upon her taking office as the Queens district attorney, is on March 24th with early voting beginning March 14th. The winner will serve through December 31, 2020, with the remaining year in the four year term to be filled in the November 2020 general election.
Liberal activist and former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout endorsed congressional candidate Erica Vladimer in Vladimer’s race to defeat Rep. Carolyn Maloney, joining Vladimer for a Monday press conference outside Trump Tower. A Democrat, Maloney was first elected to Congress in 1992. Vladimer is one of several Democrats expected to challenge Maloney in a June primary.