Author Topic: City Council Candidates Forum  (Read 12140 times)

Offline Aronan

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2009, 01:56:50 AM »
Aronan, if County backs Sears, I'm not sure those endorsements will stick.  The Queens Democrats run a tight ship and not too many elected officials will take them on--witness the way they caved on Sabini when County went with Monserrate.  With respect to Lefrak, a lot of strange things can happen in that place on election day.

I'm not so sure about the electeds who have already endorsed Dromm jumping ship. He's done a lot for them and they owe him something. But it is true you never know.

As for LeFrak, yes I hear that but I do think the concerted grass roots effort can counter what ever mud the Sears campaign can drudge up to sling. IT would seem if the over whelming desire is to run Sears out on a rail, we will all have to more than just talk. Getting involved, be it in a particular campaign or an overall awareness effort seems a vital part of the solution to our local political woes. It would be sad to see the same back room dealing and political shell game that has gone on in the past go on again.   
"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline Queenskid

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2009, 11:06:45 PM »
I hope you are right Aronan.  Sears hurts the community.  But Sabini did a lot for various elected officials before County pressured them to vote against him.  It is rare for someone to win in Queens when they run against the party.  Dromm is an elected district leader.  If the county leader tells him to drop out, I'm not sure what Dromm will do.  Remember, the unions rarely go against the party pick in Queens and in certain areas of this district, such as Lefrak, the union vote is strong.  It would be nice if Sears just went away.

Offline Aronan

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2009, 11:16:58 PM »
I'm pretty confident Dromm would not drop out on the orders of the County Boss. I'm also pretty confident the party boss would not say that to Dromm. Worst case Dromm would run without county support. It's interesting to note that many of the electeds who have already endorsed Dromm have not always marched in lock step with County, and it doesn't seem to have hurt them too much.

As for unions, Dromm received an early endorsement from the UFT, and is a chapter leader in the school he teaches at. Unions might follow the party, but union also supports union. 
"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline willsweeney

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2009, 11:50:58 PM »
Another City Council Candidates Forum

Who: Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens
What: Candidates for New York City Council Forum
When: Monday, May 4, 2009 7:30 PM
Where: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 82 Street and 34 Avenue, Jackson Heights

Free and Open to the Public

Offline willsweeney

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2009, 11:29:29 AM »


City Council Candidate Forum for District 25th on IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

Monday, May 11th at 7 PM
Diversity Center of Queens 76-11 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights


Candidates Have Been Invited and Are Expected to Attend including:
Daniel Dromm, Stanley Kalathara, Alfonso Quiroz, Helen Sears

Organized by the Center of Cultures, and New York City Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American
Advancement (LCLAA), and cosponsored by Queens Community House, Queens Pride House, New Immigrant
Community Empowerment (NICE) and Make the Road New York

Free and All Are Welcome

Moderated by Claudia Cruz, Editor of El Correo de Queens and staff reporter for the Queens Courier

The candidates will take questions addressing the issues of education, workers, health, voting, and housing with a
specific emphasis on the immigrant community in Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst and Woodside and the City
of New York. The 25th City Council district has the largest foreign-born population of any district in NYC. More
than 53% of the residents of the district are first generation immigrants.

Offline causidicus

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2009, 11:51:42 AM »
Neither Helen Sears nor Alfonso Quiroz showed up at the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens candidates' night.

Danny Dromm, of course, was there.

Stanley Kalathara, to his credit, was there.

Offline willsweeney

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum VIDEOS
« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2009, 12:14:31 PM »
Videos are now online from last night's
Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club City Council Candidates Forum

Daniel Dromm Intro
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXBV7JL8SEA

Stanley Kalathara Intro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12oTuYNgh14

Daniel Dromm Questions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67JlS8S32bM

Stanley Kalathara Questions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otm8LHOJSKU

All the videos from previous City Council Candidate Forums,
can be viewed at:


www.youtube.com/SunshineCouncil

Offline CupcakeTownie

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2009, 12:51:35 PM »
I'm looking to document tonight's forum -- and do some follow-up interviews (of the candidates but also people at the forum) -- and so need some people to serve as crew, even do some interviews. I have hand-held microphones and recording gear, some video equipment, and also a boom pole with a shotgun mic, etc. 

Needed:  various crew positions:  video operator (I'll setup the camera on a tripod);  boompole operator (just point it at the speaker!). (No experience required:  ages 13 and up)

In addition to crew, if you are intersted in doing some audio (radio-style) interviews, it would be good to have a variety of languages covered-- including Spanish, Urdu, English, and more...

If you are interested in participating or getting involved in the future, please let me know.

Thanks-
I used to live as a Company Townie, but now I am living in Cupcake Town.

Offline willsweeney

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2009, 02:03:47 PM »
I can help tonight with the video shooting of the Candidates Forum. 

Also, cupcaketownie asked that anybody interested email him at:

companytownie@yahoo.com


Offline Aronan

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Re: City Council Candidates Forum
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2009, 12:49:40 AM »
This forum was the most well attended of any to date.

Sears, Quiroz, Kalathara, and Dromm were present.

It was well moderated and kept on a strict time schedule. However the format did not allow for cross talk between the candidates so it was hard to refute anything any one candidate said.

Kalathara continued to tout his business experience, he even offered that if elected his office would provide free immigration services to the community since he is an immigration lawyer.  I can't imagine how he could make such an offer and expect to run an efficient office, since I'm sure he'd receive a deluge of people seeking help with their immigration related issues. I'm beginning to get a sense that Kalathara is using his campaign as an advertisement for his law practice, it's hard to think he's serious about the council seat he's running for. He did, however, get a good dig in at Sears on the term limits issue.

Quiroz spoke, and every time he did speak he turned the questions in to an opportunity to talk about his resume. He mentioned his years working in the city council (but conveniently left out those years were spent working for Sears). He also touted his experience on the community board, and I believe he mentioned his job at Con Ed. Interestingly enough in his closing remarks he mentioned that one should look at the work experience and character of a candidate and vote based on that record. Considering he worked in Sear's council office, and now is a mouth piece for Con Ed, I'm not sure what stick he wants the public to judge him by. He's a good public speakers and great on throwing out slogans etc. but if you ask me he comes up rather short on substance.

Dromm again spoke very passionately and in greater detail than any of the other candidates. In fact, with the exception of Sears, all the candidates at one point or another agreed with Dromm. It fascinates me when politicians endorse their opponents. Unlike the other candidates Dromm was able to answer a majority of the questions in both Spanish and English. While his Spanish may not be perfect, to me it shows a genuine effort on his part to connect with the Latino community in the district. On a question about housing issues, Dromm pointed out that some of his opponents had accepted money from developers and Real Estate companies, and asked that they reconsider accepting money from those people. This suggestion was met with applause from the crowd that was gathered.   

Sears was her usual ambiguous self. Her biggest point seemed to be that things don't happen over night, and indeed not much has happened in 8 years under her watch. I find it very hard to listen to her, especially when she takes the "pay not attention to that man behind the curtain approach" lecturing those assembled on how we don't know what it takes to govern and we're better off accepting the status quo. Perhaps the most interesting things that she said where the things we couldn't hear. She spent a great deal of the night whispering to Quiroz (her former deputy chief of staff), both of them talking back and forth and even chuckling at times. One would thing that if they were in cahoots (sp?) they would at least endeavor to keep it secret, but at times they really looked like a couple of teenagers out on a date. What exactly is going on there ?

 


   
"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline willsweeney

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City Hall News: Dromm Gaining on Sears
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2009, 09:45:10 AM »

From City Hall News by Betwa Sharma: http://www.cityhallnews.com/news/128/ARTICLE/1947/2009-05-22.html#

"Queens County and Others Inch Toward Dromm in Race Against Sears"
Immigrant issues, LGBT resonance define Jackson Heights primary

Incumbents do not tend to get voted out of the Council. But that is exactly what several challengers are hoping to do in the Jackson Heights district of Helen Sears (D), who is defending herself against charges that she is ineffective and out of step with the constituents.

“She has achieved little in eight years, and now her time is over,” said Daniel Dromm, who teaches the fourth grade and is considered by many to be the most likely to knock off the 80-year old Sears. “The community is desperate for change.”

A dedicated gay rights activist since the early 1990s, Dromm has already secured endorsements from the United Federation of Teachers and from many district leaders—almost unheard of for a challenger.

Dromm is confident that he will get support from the two political clubs he founded—the New Visions Democratic Club and the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club. He also hopes to get the backing of the John F. Kennedy Democratic Club of Queens, which is Sears’ home club.

A big boost for Dromm is that Maureen Allen, president of the JFK club, has already endorsed him. Political heavyweights in the community, including Assembly Member José Peralta (D) and Council Member Julissa Ferreras (D), who represents the neighboring district, are also on his side.

By making education, quality of life and civil rights his top issues, Dromm has won support in different groups of the diverse neighborhood.



“Danny is the fresh air this neighborhood needs,” said Will Sweeney, a resident and community activist. “The generation that would vote for Sears has passed.”

The buzz is that Dromm will also win the nomination of the Queens County Democratic Party over Sears. A political insider described the incumbent as “not very innovative,” who did not go out of the way for her electorate. “The party is in a tight spot right now,” he said. “They’re thinking of easing her out.”

There is some fatigue in the community as well, according to a district leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity and slammed the Council member for skipping meetings and events.

“People do not get help from her office in accessing city services, and they are simply tired of Helen Sears,” the district leader said.



Dromm, who was the party’s choice before the term limits extension, has managed to retain his support inside the party. The district leader expressed confidence that the majority of district leaders were leaning towards nominating Dromm as the party candidate.

But district leader and Assembly Member Michael Den Dekker said he believes Sears remains strong.

“She has worked in the community since I was a little kid,” he said. “Her political record is hard to beat.”

That is the argument Sears herself is making on the trail.

“No one has more insights into this community and no one can represent it better,” she said.

The district has undergone rapid change since Sears was first elected in 2001, becoming a center for immigrants from Latin America, South Asia and East Asia.

Two immigrants, Bryan Pu-Folkes and Rodolfo Flores, gave Sears a spirited challenge in the 2005 primary. In that extremely low-turnout, 6,800-vote race, Sears eked out a victory with 4,225 votes.

Despite the flood of immigrants, the voting pattern does not reflect the changing demographics of the community. Many newcomers do not register to vote, do not apply for citizenship or eventually move out to a richer neighborhood.

Out of 58,664 total registered voters, there are some 7,000 South Asians registered to vote, according to SEVA, an immigrant advocacy group based in Queens.

Stanley Kalathara, a lawyer who has raised $67,952, and Mujib Rahman, a Bangladeshi resident of Elmhurst who has not reported campaign funds, are also in the race but have not emerged as serious competitors. Then there is Alfonso Quiroz, another LGBT activist, who has $67,686 in the bank.

Sears, meanwhile, reported $119,623 on her May filing for a committee that remains technically undeclared. Dromm reported $81,087.



While Dromm is seen as the inimitable pioneer of activism, Quiroz is making his mark as a new-age activist. He is addressing issues like clean energy, economic development, education, affordable housing and transportation.

Many residents, however, are put off by his position as spokesperson for Con Ed.

Quiroz called that background an advantage.

“My experience in the energy sector will be very useful for the community,” he said.

There remains some question, however, over whether or not two gay candidates will split the vote of the burgeoning LGBT community of Jackson Heights. But Quiroz is not worried about splitting the vote with Dromm.

“We’re two completely different people. Different generations, political paths and outlooks,” he said.

Plus, there are old-fashioned factions among the South Asians who may not vote for a gay candidate, like local Muslim merchant Mohammad Pier.

“We are very conservative and it is against our religion,” Pier said.

But many South Asians seem not to care about the sexual orientations of the candidates, and, like Sikh voter Jaspreet Singh, are more concerned about civil rights for people often targeted because of their turbans and long beards.

For all that is being discussed, though, Den Dekker said he believes September will be about one question.

“This is what an election is all about,” he said. “Vote for experience, or vote for change.”

Jackson Heights Life

City Hall News: Dromm Gaining on Sears
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2009, 09:45:10 AM »