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.
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.