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.
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.”
An election with 17 candidates, after 31 aspirants expressed interest and campaigned, and a comparatively short three months of campaigning. Triggered by Tish James’s November election as New York State attorney general and resulting resignation as public advocate, the public advocate special election was, for New York, a unique electoral experience. Held with an unprecedented number of candidates and the absence of established party designations or nominations it was New York City’s first citywide special election. Candidate forums were the predominant public campaign activity, with several dozen held around the city by a wide range of civic and political groups. Our gallery has moments from the start to finish – take a look.
Former City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito kicked off her campaign for public advocate with a rally Tuesday night. About 150 people joined Mark-Viverito at Borough of Manhattan Community College, including Council members Margaret Chin and Diana Ayala, Assembly Member-elect Carmen Cruz and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.
Current public advocate Letitia James is expected to resign on or before December 31st so that she can take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st, with a special election to fill the vacancy in mid-February.
Housing activists organized a march and rally protesting the inclusion of the costs of major capital improvements, or “MCIs,” in calculating rent increases for rent-stabilized and controlled apartments. The march started in Jackson Heights and went to offices of a landlord at 49th Street and 47th Avenue in Woodside. The march attracted competing local politicians including Jose Peralta and Jessica Ramos, competing for a state senate seat, and Ari Espinal and Catalina Cruz, competing for a state assembly seat. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congressional candidate who defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in June, also participated.
The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City drew scores of candidates to its endorsement meeting last Wednesday as the first and best known LGBT Democratic club in New York City made its choices in many strongly contested primaries.
Approximately 1,000 people rallied in Jackson Heights Saturday in support of immigrants and asylum seekers detained by the Trump administration and in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy separating children from their parents. Organized by state senate candidate Jessica Ramos, the rally and march was one of hundreds of similar events held throughout the country, including a larger rally in Lower Manhattan with a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Jackson Heights rally was held in front the Post Office on 37th Avenue, with a march along 37th Avenue to the Park of the Americas in Corona.
Democratic candidates for the 39th Assembly District, the 13th Senate District and the 14th Congressional District met for a series of debates Thursday night in Jackson Heights. Assembly Member Aridia Espinal debated challengers Catalina Cruz and Yonel Letellier Sosa, Senator Jose Peralta debated Jessica Ramos and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley debated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Chris Barca of the Queens Chronicle moderated each of the debates. Organized by several civic and activist groups, the debates drew an overflow crowd to the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights.