AOC wins, incumbents ahead in Democratic primaries

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In her first Democratic primary since vanquishing longtime Congressman Joe Crowley, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated three challengers hoping to unseat the progressive firebrand.

In a race that the Associated Press called last night, AOC won with a whopping 27,460 votes, or 72.4 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. AOC later called the victory “a mandate.”

Former CNBC anchor Michell Caruso-Cabrera, who was running a well-funded campaign to the center, received 7,393 votes, good for 19.5 percent.

Other challengers included Community Board 2 member Badrun Khan, who got 2,040 votes (5 percent) and Sam Sloan, who got 932 votes (2.5 percent).

48799914406_31f4f2cafb_oIn the State Senate, Michael Gianaris topped challenger Iggy Terranova with 14,114 votes, good for 73 percent. Terranova, a former DSNY official, got 4,989 votes, or 26 percent.

State Senator Jessica Ramos, who represents parts of Woodside as well, won 11,998 votes, or 84 percent, against challenger Diana Sanchez, who only got 2,245 votes, nearly 16 percent.

From left to right: Regent Judith Chin, Orlaith Staunton, PS 150 Principal Carmen Parache, Ciaran Staunton, Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, NYS Chancellor Betty Rosa.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, right, speaks in Sunnyside.

In the race for the 37th Assembly District, longtime Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan faced two challengers to her left: Danielle Brecker and Mary Jobaida.

As of this morning, with 95.6 percent of precincts reporting, Nolan got 4,314 votes, representing 52.3 percent of the vote. Jobaida received 2,711 votes, good for 33 percent, and Brecker got 1,196 votes, or 14.5 percent.

Though absentee ballots will still play a role, Nolan is comfortably ahead by 1,603 votes.

In the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards is leading all candidates with 41,915 votes, good for 37.2 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

Trailing Donovan is former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

Councilman Costa Constantinides is coming in third, with 17,164 votes, or 15 percent. Closely behind him is Anthony Miranda, with 14.7 percent, and Dao Yin, with 4.5 percent.

Though Richards is ahead by a decent margin, this is another race that will be decided by absentee ballots.

Taking a look at races for district leader, which are unpaid elected posts within the Democratic Party, longtime District Leader Deirdre Feerick is losing to trans activist Emilia Decaudin, 2,451 (52.5 percent) to 2,190 (47 percent) for District 37 Part A.

For Female District Leader in District 37 Part B, Melissa Bieri topped Diane Ballek, 2,066 (75 percent) to 681 (25 percent).

As for the Male District Leaders, in District 37 Part A, Jesse Laymon is ahead of Michael McGuire, 2,427 (53 percent) to 2,106 (46 percent).

In District 37 Part B, Derek Evers appears to have defeated Ian Magerkurth, 1,819 (66 percent) to 927 (33 percent).

We’ll have to count absentee ballots before determining the winners in these races too.

Sunnyside district leader posts in play on June 23

TWO CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR  PITCH FOR YOUR VOTE

 

Electing Democrats and wanting reform isn’t enough. Working to make changes for the better in our neighborhoods, city and state by partnering with leaders that recognize our commitment is what the district deserves.

We represent the people of this district and that’s who we will always be working for.

Queens has traditionally been the incubator of New York City’s middle class. Generation after generation have come here from all 50 states and every nation of the world to build a better life, to find decent, hardworking communities in which they can raise their children, own a home, and send their kids to good schools – basically to live out the American Dream.

For some time now, we have seen those possibilities slipping away. Wages have become stagnant and housing costs – along with everything else – have been increasing. With the onslaught of COVID-19, the instability of the stock market, and unrest in our streets, the future seems uncertain.

However, one thing is certain: the working class has always been the foundation of this great city, and without us, that very foundation will collapse. The poor cannot pay taxes and the rich refuse to do so.

It is the working men and women of New York, those that take care of the sick, that move the masses, that put out the fires, that teach our children, that build this great metropolis, that are the lifeblood. New York City cannot survive without them.

We are dedicated to preserving these middle-class professions, ideals and neighborhoods throughout LIC, Sunnyside and Woodside.

Deirdre Feerick is an attorney with Transport Workers Union 100. Michael McGuire has been a member of Construction and Building Laborers Local 79 four decades, working on health and safety legislation and diversifying the trades. Both are candidates for district leader.

Queens virtual Pride Month Celebration set for tomorrow

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Councilman Daniel Dromm are co-hosting the borough’s annual LGBTQIA+ Pride Month Celebration virtually on Thursday.

You can livestream the virtual event by visiting www.queensbp.org.

It will feature a performance by Miss LCA, a special message by actor John Leguizamo, and music by DJ Miss Hap. The event will also feature a tribute to those who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel discussion will feature members of the Caribbean Equality Project, the LGBT Network, Out Rockaway and Queens Pride.

“Although we are not able to celebrate in Borough Hall together this year, we remember the history of pride and the trans women of color who took a stand against police brutality 51 years ago,” Van Bramer said.

“Queer liberation has always been a fight for social justice and we continue that fight today here in Queens. Happy Pride!”

Borough president announces appointments to community board

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Acting Borough President Sharon Lee appointed 339 people to serve in Queens’s 14 community boards on Tuesday.

Of the 399 appointees, 76 are first-time members who have never served on the board, but have shown a commitment and understanding to the community’s needs.

The two-year term for these appointees run from May 31, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

The office received 595 applications, including 252 from applicants who had never served on a community board. More than 340 were from those who were reapplying at the end of their 2020 term.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee announced in late March that community board members whose terms end on March 31 would continue for an additional 60 days.

Here are Borough President Lee’s appointments for the 2020-2022 term for Community Board 2, which serves Sunnyside and Woodside:

  • Amparo Abel-Bey
  • Thalia Batan
  • Nicholas Berkowitz
  • Sandra Bigitschke
  • Tannia Chavez
  • Osman Chowdhury
  • Stephen Cooper
  • Lisa Ann Deller
  • Morry Galonoy
  • Kenneth Greenberg
  • Jordan Levine
  • Sheila Lewandowski
  • Dominick Lippolis
  • Taina McShane
  • Thomas Mituzas
  • Clara Oza
  • Bianca Ozeri
  • Steven Raga
  • Norberto Saldana
  • Regina Shanley
  • Lauren Springer
  • Rebecca Trent
  • John Vaichunas
  • Julie Jaehee Won
  • Frank Wu.

Sunnyside gets new open streets

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Under the mayor’s new Open Streets initiative, Sunnyside will have several streets open to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Sunnyside Shines BID will manage 46th Street from Queens Boulevard to Greenpoint Avenue, a 0.05-mile stretch, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Other open streets include Skillman Avenue between 39th Place and 43rd Street, a 0.19-mile stretch, and 39th Avenue between Woodside Avenue and Barnett Avenue, which covers nearly half a mile.

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced that 50th Avenue between 48th Street and 44th Street, covering 0.19 miles, will be included in the initiative.

No traffic will be permitted on open streets, except local deliveries, pick-ups and drop-offs, necessary city services, utilities and emergency vehicles.

Even those vehicles will be confined to 5 miles per hour along these routes.

New COVID-19 testing site in Woodside

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Sunnyside and Woodside residents now have another option for COVID-19 tests.

Woodside on the Move has teamed up with State Senator Michael Gianaris to urge residents to get tested at St. Sebastian’s at Roosevelt Avenue and 58th Street.

Testing will be available for qualified residents by appointment and will take place from May 21 to May 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The site is organized by Somos El Futuro, a social welfare organization serving Hispanic communities. Sunnyside and Woodside are two neighborhoods that have been hard hit by the virus.

Interested people can make an appointment by calling 1-833-766-6769.

The NYS Health Department website has instructions on who can be tested.

Look up other testing locations here.

Virtual Queens Parent Advisory Board Meeting on Thursday

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The next Queens Parent Advisory Board Meeting will be conducted virtually on Thursday, April 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Department of Education will discuss remote learning, cancelled tests and other changes to the academic calendar due to COVID-19

Come equipped with questions because after the presentation, parents will be able to ask administrators about these changes.

This is a good chance for parents to learn about how virtual learning will progress moving forward.

AOC raises $82,000 for six local groups

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Last Friday, Sunnyside Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicked off a fundraising drive for local organizations in her district.

Her re-election campaign raised $82,000 in just three days.

“These organizations are providing invaluable support to NY-14’s families,” she said. “We are so grateful for their work, and we are proud to support them in lieu of our traditional end of the quarter fundraising.”

These six groups received funds:

  • Hungry Monk Services – supports unhoused New Yorkers, operates a mobile food pantry, delivers food to people in Queens
  • Jewish Community Council of Pelham Parkway – Bronx food pantry that serves everyone, provides rent assistance
  • Amazonians United NYC – supports Amazon workers exposed to COVID-19 in the warehouse
  • NYSYLC’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund – gives cash assistance to undocumented families in NYC whose livelihoods have been impacted by decline in street vending and layoffs in domestic and service industries
  • New York Immigrant Freedom Fund – pays immigration bonds to release people from detention
  • Make the Road NY’s COVID-19 Response & Emergency Fund – providing direct cash assistance to 4,000 families in next few weeks

All Queens Library branches closed starting March 16

Starting on Monday, March 16, all branches of the Queens Public Library are closed to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of staff and the public.

Previously, all New York City libraries suspended public programming to achieve the same goal.

Here’s what the libraries had to say about the suspension of programming on March 12:

The decision to cancel library programs was not taken lightly, as programs such as story times, training classes, and English language classes are lifelines for so many. But considering the current situation, and the need to limit large crowds, this was the most responsible path forward to support the health and well-being of our communities.

Closing all branches is the right decision to limit the pandemic as much as possible.

We look forward to seeing all library branches open when this is over.

Construction begins at Hart Playground

Credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks
Credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

A $3.2 million reconstruction of Hart Playground is now underway.

This morning, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver broke ground on the project, alongside Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Acting borough President Sharon Lee.

The project was designed with input from the local community.

Improvements include a fully reconstructed playground with painted games and a new concrete spray shower.

The basketball court will be redone, and a new half-court basketball and volleyball/badminton court will be introduced to the site.

There will also be a new entrance on 65th Streets with both stairs and an ADA accessible ramp.

The playground is expected to be open by January 2021.