Author Topic: 2009 NYC Council Elections  (Read 9116 times)

Offline Aronan

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2009, 11:25:40 AM »
gothamschools.org surveyed all three candidates running in our district (and several other candidates throughout the city) about education. Here's what they said:

http://gothamschools.org/election-2009/
"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: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2009, 04:31:26 PM »

From Queens Chronicle:
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20363999&BRD=2731&PAG=461&dept_id=574903&rfi=%27%27

Candidates on transportation
by Jennifer MacGregor, Chronicle contributor 08/27/2009
      
   Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights), Stanley Kalathara and Daniel Dromm stake out their positions on transportation issues at a debate on Tuesday. (photo by Jennifer MacGregor)    
   Traffic congestion, double parking and messy intersections are common fare in District 25, which encompasses Jackson Heights, Woodside, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Rego Park and parts of Corona. Yet recent forums for City Council candidates haven’t dwelt on transportation issues.
   That’s why the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives hosted a debate on Tuesday, in which incumbent Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) and challengers Daniel Dromm and Stanley Kalathara laid out their positions on issues ranging from bicycle activity to bus stops. Moderated by Queens Chronicle editor Willow Belden, the debate also gave the candidates a chance to express their views on topics such as the possibility of banning street vendors from certain areas, and the use of eminent domain to obtain space for park land.
   The candidates laid out starkly differing opinions on various topics, and criticisms flew, with Sears even accusing Dromm of lying about facts and figures.
   One of the early questions involved the congestion pricing bill, which proposed using economic incentives to discourage motorists from driving into Manhattan during peak times. The money generated would have been used for public transportation, but the proposal was eventually thrown out.
   Sears voted against the bill and said she would still oppose it. Kalathara agreed that it would hurt people in the district.
   Dromm, on the other hand, said the fees would only affect those with enough money to have cars in the first place and added that he thinks people should be encouraged to use public transportation and that implementing financial disincentives for drivers could be effective.
   Another question centered on the testy and often dangerous relationship between drivers and cyclists, asking what the candidates would do to prevent future accidents.
   Dromm advocated a biker safety awareness campaign and also said additional bike lanes could help, especially on streets such as Roosevelt Avenue, where, according to TA statistics, 44 cyclists were injured in 10 years.
   Kalathara said there are some streets where there’s just no room for bikers, adding that cyclists can be difficult to see, especially at night, because they do not always have the correct reflective gear or lighting on their bikes.
   Sears pointed out that cyclists and motorists both do things they shouldn’t do on the road, and agreed that one way to prevent accidents is through raising public awareness of the laws, especially as they pertain to bikes. She agreed with Kalathara that in many cases, there isn’t enough room on the road to devote space to bike lanes.
   When asked about the vendor-free zone that Sears proposed for parts of Jackson Heights, the councilwoman said she hoped to combat overcrowding on the streets. She said many people have complained to her about crowding and added that there’s room for discussion about exactly where vendors would be banned.
   Dromm called her proposal “insensitive” and “ineffective” and pointed out that most vendors are recent immigrants who are trying to make an honest living.
   â€œThis is a perfect case of taking an axe when you need a scalpel,” he said. The key to fixing this problem is enforcement, he said; the few illegal vendors should be removed, but the majority should be allowed to continue operating.
   Kalathara agreed that kicking out vendors isn’t fair, especially with the scarcity of jobs available to recent immigrants.
   Another issue of contention between the candidates was the recent removal of a bus stop on 73rd Street. Sears supported the removal of the bus stop and cited a Department of Transportation study, which found that the stop had been causing congestion and that the flow of traffic improved after it was eliminated.
   Dromm disagreed strongly, saying that despite what the study may have found, most residents say the change made the congestion worse, not better. Members of the audience murmured agreement.
   District 25 ranks second to last in the city in terms of the amount of public green space it has, and while the candidates agreed that more parkland would be nice, they also pointed out that the district is overcrowded and that obtaining additional space is difficult.
   Kalathara promised that if elected, he would plant 10,000 new trees in the district, and Dromm said he hopes to plant trees along 57th Avenue to help make areas like LeFrak City greener.
   Sears said her focus is on improving playgrounds and making sure they keep the trees they have.
   There was discussion about trying to extend Travis Park, but Sears didn’t sound optimistic. “There’s a lot that goes into eminent domain,” she said. “You just don’t come and take it.”
   Dromm, who has been vocal in calling for more green space in the community, argued that residents need to be consulted about the $1.7 million allocated to renovate the park.

Offline Aronan

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2009, 09:19:16 PM »
The article failed to mention that Sears was 20 minutes late with out so much as an explanation or apology. Perhaps she got caught up in all the congestion.
"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 dssjh

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2009, 10:07:06 PM »
i've been underwhelmed by helen sears for 15 years. i'd like to think danny dromm -- who i do support -- could do better, but the clever placement of mr s.m. will split the anti-sears vote in terms of identity politics alone. shame.

Offline Aronan

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2009, 10:32:13 PM »
I actually don't think Kalathara will have an effect on the election. I believe most people who turn out for primary elections are educated voters. Anyone who listens to Kalathara for more than a couple of minutes realizes he can't be taken seriously. Additionally, those who are dissatisfied with Sears will want to cast a vote that has a chance of getting her out of office.

As far as identity politics goes, many of the South Asian residents in the district are not registered Democrats, so automatically a group that might identify with Kalathara will not be able to vote for him in the election that matters. Further Kalathara is culturally different from the predominant Indian population in the district. So, if we're assuming people will vote based on identity alone, Kalathara does not have a base to speak of. 

Even if he did manage to galvanize the South Asian vote, it would not be enough to win or even sway the election.Kalathara is fast making enemies in other areas of the district. At the TA debate not only did he start out by saying that bike lanes are just not possible in the area, but that people should just walk! He was contentious with the audience that was there, how does he expect to win votes that way???

So a vote for Kalathara is truly a waste of time, in my opinion. If there are people out there that want to cast a protest vote to express their dissatisfaction with all the available candidates the better option is to simply not vote at all.
 
"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 StevenGrey

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #50 on: August 31, 2009, 12:20:23 PM »
I've been very turned-off by the campaigns run by both Helen Sears and Danny Dromm. There's no way Sears gets my vote this November if she wins the primary, but I had really expected much more from Dromm. I am very critical of the role he may have played in the Queens Democratic Party's decision to anoint Hiram Monseratte as our state senator, and I question whether his loyalties are truly to the constituents of this neighborhood or to the Queens Democratic machine. Many of Dromm's answers to the Citizen's Union questionnaire sounded like typical politician-speak, and after reading the summary of the Transportation Alternatives debate, I was surprised to find myself in disagreement with Mr. Dromm's position on almost every point. Stanley J. Kalathara may in fact end up with my vote on September 15th, if for no other reason than my extreme dissatisfaction with Ms. Sears and Mr. Dromm.

Offline Aronan

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2009, 01:08:32 PM »
and I question whether his loyalties are truly to the constituents of this neighborhood or to the Queens Democratic machine.

If Dromm's loyalties were truly and completely to the Queens Democratic Machine he would have dropped out of the race as soon as Sears opted to run for a third term. The Machine would not want a serious challenge to Sears' incumbency and would have pressured Dromm to drop out. The simple fact that he remained in the race, to me, shows he is serious about representing the district and serving the population here.  If he wins the primary without the support of the Democratic Party I think it puts him in a position to not be indebted to them.  
"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: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2009, 12:37:27 AM »


From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/05/opinion/05sat3.html?_r=1

District 25, Queens (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona):
This is now one of the city’s most diverse districts.
Though Councilwoman Helen Sears has made efforts to expand her services,
the district deserves more energetic representation.
Daniel Dromm, a public schoolteacher and activist,
is ready to take on the area’s needs —
mainly too few schools and health facilities.
We endorse Mr. Dromm.

Offline causidicus

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2009, 06:30:53 PM »
How big of an impact do you think the NYT endorsement will have?  I think it might influence newer transplants into the neighborhood.

Offline toddg

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Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2009, 11:57:41 PM »
Key upcoming dates:

Primary Day: Sept. 15, 2009, 6 am - 9 pm
Election Day: November 3, 2009, 6 am - 9 pm

See the Board of Elections for voting information

Jackson Heights Life

Re: 2009 NYC Council Elections
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2009, 11:57:41 PM »