“Less than a month before the upcoming primary election, thousands of tenants at a Queens housing complex don’t know where they are supposed to vote on Sept. 12. The controversy is over a polling site at LeFrak City, an affordable housing development with upwards of 15,000 residents in Corona, Queens. Tenants there said on Tuesday that they’re in limbo because the community room they used for decades did not comply with accessibility rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and city officials have not picked a new polling site.” Our take: Good that Bertha Lewis is there to bring the city’s attention to the issue—but worrisome to think what kinds of voter disenfranchisement might happen less visibly, from voters turned away for lack of registration, to voters unable to wait in line on a busy work day.
Five Democrats Will Be On The Mayoral Ballot, But Only Two Will Debate
“The first official debate in the Democratic mayoral primary is set for Wednesday, August 23, where Mayor Bill de Blasio will face former City Council Member Sal Albanese. But three more Democrats, all of whom will be on the September 12 ballot, failed to qualify for the debate and are crying foul that the Campaign Finance Board’s eligibility criteria are excluding them from participation. For candidates to qualify for the first of two official CFB primary debates, they must have raised and spent at least $174,225, which is 2.5 percent of the $6,969,000 primary expenditure limit…In the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary, the debate thresholds were far lower…” Our take: The rules were changed to prevent rich people from buying themselves into a debate. If we hope to empower candidates of the people, was there a better way this could have been done? Should we have instead changed the polling threshold?
Miller, Rivers Race for District 27 Council Seat
The Times Ledger
“City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) is running for re-election this year and faces one contender on the Democratic ticket for the Sept. 12 primary, which is a little over four weeks away. Council District 27 covers Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans…Anthony Rivers, a St. Albans resident, is challenging Miller. He is a former NYPD police lieutenant who served at different precincts in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx for 23 years. The retired officer was a U.S. Marine for four years.”Our take: We usually hear about gentrification and affordable housing issues in the city-center; but they are top campaign issues even here in eastern Queens.
2017 Civil Court Judge Elections The Honorable Frederick C. Arriaga: An Experienced Judge Of The People
Kings County Politics
“The experienced judge takes his job very seriously on the bench and wants to continue his work as a civil court judge so that he can continue bringing fairness to Brooklynites in the courtroom. ‘When you’re in a criminal proceeding as a judge you’re basically dealing with somebody’s liberty. That’s a huge responsibility that you have to take very seriously. You have to consider thoughtfully and you have to apply the law in an impartial and fair manner. Objective justice is a fundamental component of being a judge,’ said Arriaga. Our take: Races for the bench don’t get much attention by the media, but Arriaga reminds us just how important is his role as a determiner of the future of many low-income New Yorkers caught up in the criminal justice system.
Vallone gets support from Korean leaders
The Times Ledger
“City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) raked in more endorsements from the Korean community Tuesday as about 15 leaders from various immigrant organizations stood in his re-election office off Bell Boulevard and gave him their personal stamp of approval. Many of the endorsees were associated with non-profit and community organizations, which are prohibited from endorsing political candidates, but gave their verbal support on a personal level apart from the groups they lead…The incumbent is facing another challenge from fellow Democrat Paul Graziano, a northeast Queens native, land use expert and civic activist…”Our take: Here’s yet another race where a candidate points to bread-and-butter issues like education funding, while their challenger speaks to concerns about over-development.