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.
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.
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.
Mayor Bill de Blasio held his 49th council district town hall last Monday night, joining Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in Glendale. Crowley, a Democrat, lost her bid for a third term in November and the term hall included several warm comments on her tenure from audience members and the mayor. Councilmember-elect Bob Holden, a registered Democrat who ran on the Republican line in November after losing to Crowley in the Democratic primary, did not attend.
Council Member Eric Ulrich drew several Queens elected officials to a City Hall rally Friday, objecting to the de Blasio administration’s efforts at using hotels in Maspeth and Rockaway as homeless shelters. The electeds’ objections, substantially focused on the process and lack of communication by the administration, left them exposed to the deep anger of the 150 or so people attending the rally. Those attendees, predominantly from Maspeth with a minority from Rockaway, deeply oppose siting a shelter in their neighborhood no matter what process or communication is used. Their anger eventually overwhelmed the elected officials’ efforts to conduct a press conference, driving those elected officials into City Hall as the crowd chanted outside on the City Hall portico and briefly marched on City Hall plaza.
Council Member Eric Ulrich got more than he bargained for this morning as supporters joining a protest he organized overwhelmed the press Q&A portion of that protest, driving Ulrich and other elected officials to abandon the effort.
Ulrich, a Council Member from Queens who’s running for mayor and long a critic of Mayor de Blasio, organized the rally and press conference to “protest Mayor de Blasio’s failed homeless policies.” Joined by State Senators Joe Addabbo, Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Ulrich decried the de Blasio administration’s actions around placement of homeless shelters, particularly in the Playland Motel in Rockaway and the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth. Both efforts by the de Blasio administration have generated intense neighborhood opposition. It’s a good issue for Ulrich in many ways as many of his Rockaway constituents are strongly opposed to the administration’s efforts and it provides a means for greater exposure to the City’s full electorate.
His rally spun out of control as Ulrich began taking press questions, with several attendees jumping in to shout over Ulrich and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. Those shouting attendees (including state senate candidate Michael Conigliaro) and the elected officials attending aren’t at odds, they all oppose the shelter placements, but the deep anger flowing out of many attendees overwhelmed the more measured complaints from Ulrich and the other electeds.