Category Archive: Awareness

Jun 28 2013

Former Mayor David Dinkins To Make Endorsement In Queens BP Race

images-1Esteemed former Mayor set to endorse Leroy Comrie for Queens Borough President this Sunday, June 30th.

The official announcement will take place in front of Calvary Baptist Church, in Jamaica Queens after the service. Dinkins and Comrie will be joined by civic and community leaders for the announcement. Over 50 religious leaders, have already come out in support of Comrie and he recently picked up the endorsement of District Council 37 (DC37), New York City’s Largest Public Employee Union and the Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA) Union.



WHAT: Mayor Dinkins to Endorse Leroy Comrie for Queens Borough President

WHEN: Sunday-June 30th

TIME: 1:00PM

WHERE: Calvary Baptist Church-110-11 Guy Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433


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Apr 23 2013

A Cyclist Needs Your Help



Jason Yi needs your help to ride for a worthy cause. Please donate!

With 12 days to raise $750, time is quickly running out, but you can make a difference.

The legendary 5 Borough Bike Tour sponsored by TD Bank is less than two weeks away but what you may not know is that registration closed almost instantly after opening, according to Jason Yi crushing the dreams of budding cyclists everywhere.

With thousands of devoted cyclists participating, online registration closed within minutes, and the only way left to get into the bike tour was to partner with one of the many non-profit organizations but first by raising a hefty $750 entry fee.

Yi, 25, has always had an affinity for bicycles and cycling culture since he was a toddler. “I wanted to stay in shape and reconnect with my youth,” he said. But this normally enthusiastic resident of Bayside was crushed when he found out the Bike Tour closed – almost instantly.

Undaunted, Yi did some research and partnered with the Marty Lyons Foundation, a nonprofit organization which fulfills the special wishes of children, ages 3-17 years old, who have been diagnosed with a terminal or life threatening illness.

“Bicycling gave me freedom, but more than that it gave me a passion for helping others that aren’t as fortunate,” he said.

Roberts Bicycles of Bayside, where Yi was once employed, was the first to step up to the plate as a major donor. But hard times have fallen on everyone, and Yi still has to raise more than half of the money to participate. That’s why he’s asking everyone to do a little introspection and give whatever possible for a worthy cause.

If you would like to help Jason Yi with a tax-deductible donation, please visit this website:, or contact Jason Yi at 646-409-1565,


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Mar 27 2013

Young Activists To Learn Art of Debate


debate.graphic_picI received an email regarding an interesting program sponsored by the Interfaith Center of New York. The program, called “Debate in the Neighborhood”, will bring together high school-aged students from a diverse spectrum of NYC’s faith-based communities in Brooklyn and Queens.

The new program was designed to teach students the art of debate in a fusion of mutual concerns regarding social justice and civil liberty.

“Right now in Queens, we are working with the Hindu Temple Society of North America, the Jamaica Muslim Center, and the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill. In the Bronx we are working with the Islamic Leadership School, and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, which is a Roman Catholic group,” according to the email.

The program aims to immerse students in different houses of worship, and now that the program is up and running, mixed teams will work together to practice a final debate for a tournament which will take place in May. The subject of the final debate is “Privacy and the use of Surveillance Technologies.”

If you would be interested in participating in any of these meetings please contact: Kevin Childress, Social Media Manager of The Interfaith Center of New York Email:  (646) 245-8509.

Mention Queens-Politics sent you.


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Mar 03 2013

Borough Presidents Candidate Night Advisory

logo4 (smallest)HOSTED BY

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2013 @ 7:00 PM



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Mar 01 2013

Man sought help from Avella; denied then threatened with arrest

A letter from Richard Iritano.




No statements could be truer than what QUEENS-POLITICS had to say about former City Councilman Tony Avella.  I contacted him when he was a councilman that served Bayside, Queens, regarding an incomplete investigation that was launched by the New York City Department of Investigations in May, 1993.  At my strenuous request, Avella wrote a two-page letter to Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn, dated November 13, 2006 that in part states, “Therefore, it seems only appropriate that DOI investigate this matter beyond the mere deferral to the MTA Inspector General’s Office, despite its ‘independent oversight’ status.”

My letter was completely ignored by Commissioner Gill Hearn, and no further action was taken by Tony Avella and his abusive henchmen, when I attempted to contact them repeatedly for their follow up.  At one point in December, 2006, Mr.Avella’s former chief of staff argued that if I make a personal visit to the Bayside office, he would arrange to have me arrested.  Imagine that:  I, the victim of pension fraud, cover up, MTA lies and conspiracy would now be considered by the staff of Tony Avella for possible arrest!  That is what Third World dictators to enforce an abrogation of freedom of speech that leads to full blown Communism—right here in America.  Furthermore, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his pudgy puppet, Council Speaker Christine Quinn have ignored my rightful requests for a completed investigation by the DOI for more than a decade.  Whatever this debacle could be classified as, it is distinctively not democracy by WE, THE PEOPLE.  With the Bloomberg and Quinn administrations of false, fake and failed leadership that doesn’t lead by example, we have a side-by-side monarchy dictatorship.  With the City Council, and sycophants like the recently defeated and ephemeral Eric Ulrich (of whom I am an invisible constituent), we have totalitarianism (that my Assemblyman Michael Miller reinforces by his utter failure to challenge, probe and show leadership at any and all levels).  Finally, all New York voters continue to be involuntarily subjugated by a government-sanctioned Caste System (modeled after India’s system of indentured servitude for life), as elitist, cradle-to-grave politicians fail to govern with absolute impugnity—and the public be damned (like me).

Alas, corruption, cover up, kickbacks, payoffs, graft, dishonesty, dishonor, disloyalty, depravity, dereliction of duty and dysfunction will continue to rise at the bottom as long as WE, THE PEOPLE (we, the government), allow systemic corruption, power, privilege and unjust enrichment to prevail at top levels of city and state management.  I am still waiting for anybody in Queens County to challenge the epic corruption, dishonesty and cover up that no single person or entity has ever challenged, with regard to by total body of evidence that has prevailed for my plea for city job reinstatement and pension restoration that would finally make me “whole” again.  Given that Tony Avella invested his time in writing a letter back in November, 2006  that questions the many nebulous and dehumanizing practices that continue to flourish in the present day at the New York City DOI and MTA Office of the Inspector General (who, collectively have misbehaved like unresponsive tyrants with no agency from above to challenge their utter dysfunction), I have long ago lost my illusion with honest, ethical leadership that stands by their constituency until a matter is thoroughly resolved.  Meanwhile, I continue to languish under deeper levels of beggary, obscurity and disbelief–that any public servant who swore to uphold an oath of office could be so defiant, capricious and arbitrary—and ignore someone like me with an indisputable case for reinstatement—but continues to preserve their own counterfeit stations in life at the expense of their constituency.

Will anyone listen for an honest, completed investigation to take form?





Ozone Park, New York   11417-2316

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Feb 05 2013

Public Advocate Forum Advisory

images-1Multiple Democratic Clubs have joined together to host the first Public Advocate forum with all five announced candidates in the Democratic Primary.

Candidates expected to attend include: Noah Gotbaum, Cathy Guerriero, Hon. Letitia James, Reshma Saujani, and the Hon. Daniel Squadron.

The forum will be hosted by The Powhatan and Pocahontas Regular Democratic Club of Queens in collaboration with the Anoroc Regular Democratic Club, Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, the Long Island City Alliance, and the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, 2013,  6:30 until 8 pm
WHERE: The Greater Astoria Historical Society, on the 4th Floor at Quinn’s Funeral Home, at 35-20 Broadway (at 36th Street) in Astoria, New York 11106

Please RSVP to


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Jan 30 2013

New Coalition to Rally in Opposition to Casino Proposal



A new coalition has come together to denounce plans for a casino in Willets Point, Queens.

A rally will take place on February 6th and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Details including commentary from local civic leaders can be found below in the press release.



What: Members of “Don’t Gamble on our Community” coalition will officially announce their group’s formation focusing its efforts on specifically preventing a casino from opening at Willets Point for both economic and moral reasons. 

Who: Community, civic and government leaders.

When: Wednesday, February 6, 2013at 11:00 AM,

Where: RAICES Corona Senior Center located at 107-24 Corona Avenue, Corona, NY 11368.

“Don’t gamble on our Community” coalition draws diverse elements

On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM, the members of “Don’t Gamble on our Community” coalition will officially announce their group’s formation at the RAICES Corona Senior Center located at 107-24 Corona Avenue, Corona, NY 11368. The group, consisting of community, civic and government leaders is focusing its efforts on specifically preventing a casino from opening at Willets Point for both economic and moral reasons.

Michael Olmeda, the group’s convener, said,

A casino in Willets Point makes no economic sense. It will not draw tourist dollars in any significant amount. Instead, it will suck up local dollars that might otherwise be spent at existing recreational facilities, and it will impoverish some of our citizens in the process.”

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who represents Willets Point, remarks

“It is unprecedented to convert part of an existing economic development project that provides affordable housing and retail jobs for the purpose of building a casino which would obviously affect the social fabric of our community.”

Councilman Peter Koo who represents the neighboring Flushing community states,

“Shutting the public out of a decision of this magnitude, denying residents an opportunity to have input or even offer comment in any sort of formal proceeding, is inexcusable and necessarily corrosive of local democracy.”

Jesus Sosa, President of the Latinos Unidos de Flushing said,

“I oppose a casino at Willets Point for moral reasons. It is immoral to take the livelihood of low and middle income people in addition to their taxes to bail out a State, which hasn’t done the economic planning it should have done.”

Andrew Rocco, President of College Point Civic Association, one of the group’s leading members, added,

“Rather than creating and investing in a gambling industry, I want our governmental leaders to invest in the things we already have: world class cultural institutions, affordable housing, and our scenic waterfront.”

Maria Morel, Chairwoman of A Better Living Resource Coalition, said

“We are encouraging everyone to call or e-mail Speaker Silver telling him that we do not want this casino in our community.”

 Edwin Salas President of Statewide Association of Minority Businesses agrees.

“Speaker Sheldon Silver does not speak for us,” states Salas. “Casinos located within urban communities have a net negative impact on the host community’s economy; i.e., more jobs are lost at existing businesses than the casino itself generates, because money formerly spent at those businesses is instead spent at the casino—and subsequently exiting the community.”

Anyone who wants to stop the casino is encouraged to stop by and sign our petition, which will be circulated throughout the surrounding communities and delivered to the Governor and Legislature sometime in June.


Which of these leaders has actively opposed the MLS stadium proposal on public parkland?

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Nily Rozic’s Inauguration [invitation]

Nily Rozic

Spreading some awareness this week.

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Jan 24 2013

Civics to Host Comptroller John Liu, Assembly members Nily Rozic & Ron Kim

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 6.12.23 PM[Press Advisory]

WHO: John Liu, Nily Rozic, Ron Kim, QH Civic, and University Park Tenants Association.

WHAT: Q and A plus discussion of neighborhood issues. 

WHEN: WednesdayFebruary 6th, 7-9pm.

WHERE: New York Hospital Queens 56-15 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355.


Dear friends and neighbors,

Happy New Year, one and all!

As you know, our civic seeks to provide you the opportunity to get to know our local and Citywide elected officials in a relaxed, close-to-home setting. And so, we start our year off tremendously with a rescheduled visit from our City’s Comptroller, Flushing’s own John C. Liu, who will discuss local issues here in his own Queens backyard, touch on salient points of his recent State of the City Address, and answer your questions. (Mr. Liu is also expected by many to be making a major announcement right around the date of our upcoming meeting.)

Furthermore, you’ll get to know two newly-elected local NYS Assemblymembers, both brand-new to the political arena. Come meet Assemblymembers Nily Rozic and Ron Kim. You’ll surely be impressed by their youthful energy and exuberance, and their eagerness to serve us to their best abilities. Join us as Nily and Ron begin new careers in elected public office.

Our meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 6th from 7 to 9PM at New York Hospital Queens’ Lang Auditorium; enter the Hospital’s main entrance at 56-45 Main Street. Thanks go to our meeting sponsors: New York Hospital Queens, TD Bank & Zhong Hua Supermarket.

If you haven’t already signed up for current membership in our civic, please return your application to the address printed at the bottom of this letter, or just mail us your name and address. The easiest method, of course, is to email us your info at, with “Membership” in the subject line. Once again there is no membership fee for the 2012-2013 year due to the generosity of Councilman Peter Koo. Existing members: Please renew now.

We’ll again be marching in Flushing’s Lunar New Year Parade. It’s enormous fun! And the short march around Downtown Flushing helps keep you warm. So please join us! For details, provide us your address and phone number; we’ll get back to you soon. The Parade will start on Union Street & 38th Avenue at 11AM on Saturday, February 16th. Bring the family!


Looking forward to seeing you soon,


Best regards,

Donald Capalbi, president                               John Henry Byas, president

Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Assn.           University Park Tenants Council

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Jan 24 2013

Meet Joe Lhota in Queens

TollandPath$HikePortAuthority[Press Advisory]

Board officers from the Northeast Queens Republican Club will be sworn in by mayoral candidate Joe Lhota on Sunday.

Councilman Dan Halloran will also be attending to swear in board members.


When: Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm, swearing in at 2:00 pm.

Where: Clearview Golf Course Club House 202-12 Willets Point Blvd Bayside, NY  11360


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Jan 02 2013

Unlawful Politicians of 2012

Here’s a quick list  of elected public in NYC that ran into various legal issues and ended up doing the perp walk this year. Thirteen in total. Did we miss any?

  • Jimmy Meng
  • John Liu
  • Pedro Espada Jr.
  • Hiram Monserrate
  • Richard Lipsky
  • John Haggerty
  • Shirley Huntley
  • Joseph Bruno
  • Larry Seabrook
  • Michael Grimm
  • Vito Lopez
  • Naomi Rivera
  • Carl Kruger


For a full rundown read, NYT: A Perp Walk of Outstanding Politicians.


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Dec 17 2012

The ‘El Grinch’ Who Stole Christmas Operation

Press Advisory from Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank:

Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank to stage Protest against El GRINCH John R. Buran, CEO Flushing Savings Bank Group and the “Grinch” Will Mobilize to Garden City BranchThe Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank is announcing their fifth mobilization against the Predatory Bankster Flushing Savings Bank. The group which has been active in their campaign to expose the corrupt and predatory practices of Flushing Savings Bank will stage the El Grinch Who Stole Christmas Operation.  The El Grinch Who Stole Christmas Operation continues to build on its information campaign to residents about Flushing Savings Bank and continue identifying other customers who have been negatively impacted by the Bank’s acts. 

Who:               Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank and El Grinch in person!

What:             Mobilize to Garden City- El  Grinch Who Stole Christmas Operation

When:            Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time:              12:30 PM

Where:          Garden City Branch of Flushing Savings Bank 1122 Franklin Ave. Garden City                          

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Dec 07 2012

Vallone To Rally w/ Community To Save Civic Virtue


Council Member joins Community Board 9 to protest relocation of historic “Civic Virtue” sculpture

Tomorrow, Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. will join Community Board 9 Chair Andrea Crawford, District Manager Mary Ann Carey and residents of Queens at a rally protesting the City Design Commission’s recent ruling to permanently relocate the Triumph of Civic Virtue statue to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn from Queens Borough Hall. The cemetery has stated that the statue may be moved in the next week!

The Design Commission ruled on November 13th to move the statue without input from the public, despite most Queens residents wanting the sculpture to remain in the borough. Community Board 9, which has always supported keeping Civic Virtue in Queens, is also greatly disappointed by the decision and the lack of consultation with residents and community leaders.

WHAT: Triumph of Civic Virtue Rally
WHEN: Saturday, December 8
th, 11:30 AM
WHERE: In front of statue, next to Queens Borough Hall (120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens)

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Nov 28 2012

MLS ‘Land Grab’ Deal Has Community Leader Up In Arms

Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association.

A local civic leader is calling out elected officials to protect Flushing Meadows Corona Park from a proposed soccer stadium.

A letter from Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association:

This quote from  The New York Daily News dated November 27, 2012 Garber told The Associated Press the league hopes to build a stadium on a 10-acre site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and expects to have an expansion team play there starting in 2016”.

So we as residents and taxpayers of Queens County are to accept another land grab from us to a major corporation.  10 acres of Parkland is about to be stolen from us and we are to accept it?

“MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Monday the league is “at the finish line” in talks with the city to acquire land in soccer-crazed Queens for a stadium to house the league’s 20th team.”

Ok, so as a “soccer crazed Queens resident” I am offended!  THE CITY, is to take taxpayer parkland and “Acquire” the land in order to hand it over to a for profit corporation?  From what I know of “soccer crazed Queens Residents” we like to go to the park and PLAY soccer on the weekends.  We like to enjoy OUR Parkland for ourselves, our families, our children.  We do not want to pay a minimum of let us say for arguments sake, $80 – $150, to watch others play. While I am certain many of us would love to take in a game with the family, and most of us would do so from time to time.  I question the legitimacy of taking taxpayer land away from the taxpayer and giving it to a for profit corporation.

Where is the Queens Borough President on this? Why has she not spoken out against this? If this were in Manhattan and we were talking about taking away 10 acres from Central Park in order to build yet another stadium, what would their Borough President be doing? What would our Mayor, a Manhattan resident, be doing? Would they be in favor of such a land grab? I for one doubt it.  Aside from our current lame duck Borough President, where are all the announced candidates that are coming out of the woodwork for the position? Why haven’t any of them come forward and denounce this deal? Why are they allowing this deal to go on?  Where is Senator Peralta whose district encompasses the community most negatively affected by this land grab? As a matter of fact, Senator Peralta should be out there screaming and yelling. Most Hispanics, my in-laws, my friends included, from the surrounding Jackson Heights-Corona community flood the parks during the summer months.  They play soccer, picnic, hold festivals, parties and again PLAY SOCCER, on the land targeted to be stolen. 

Where is Senator Avella on this deal? He was quoted in The Capital as saying “You can’t just say,’oh, that sounds like a great idea.” What exactly does he mean by that? Does it mean the deal can go on but needs to be tweeked? I hope not.  Why hasn’t he come out against this? Is he going to do so as soon he officially declares his candidacy? On that note, is Councilman Peter Vallone also waiting for his official announcement before he denounces this theft? After all many Astoria residents also utilize Flushing meadows park when participating in soccer tournaments. 

Where are Melinda Katz and Leroy Comry on this issue? It is a big issue for us Queens voters!

Then we have Barry Grodenchick, who is the “Deputy Queens Borough President”.  Mr. Grodenchick already has “Queens Borough President” in his title; only thing he wants removed is the Deputy part.  My question is: Why has he remained silent on this Land Grab? As the Deputy to the Queens Borough President, as well as a declared candidate, shouldn’t he be speaking out on this? What is his position?

Now please understand, I am not only targeting Democrats.  It’s just that as of right now, no Republican has thrown their hat into the ring. 

As a lifelong resident of Queens, I am calling on all the candidates to make their position public on this issue immediately!  I am calling on the current Borough President to make her position on this issue public immediately as well!

My position, if you want to know is:  This deal is a theft, plain and simple.  The people of Queens are being robbed of 10 acres of park land.  Don’t tell us about the fields you are going to build for us in the surrounding communities in the future.  If you take 10 acres, we want ten acres, and we want to know exactly where and what we are getting in return!

Is the MLS going to allow all that currently use the TEN ACRES to continue using the new stadium  during the warm weather months? Will the taxpayers be able to hold their “pick-up” games on the new fields within the stadium? If so, will there now be a fee?

Better yet, leave our land alone! Do what every legitimate business has done in America since its inception: Find a location, make sure it meets all requirements and codes.  Then buy the property and build your stadium.

America, land of opportunity! Just not on the taxpayers’ backs!

Alfredo Centola


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Nov 25 2012

Advocacy Group Pushes For Non-Citizen Voting

Hundreds lined up to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Queens-Politics will continue to support legislation for electoral reforms, increasing transparency, and streamlining pathways to citizenship. However, we feel the right to vote – to have a voice in freely electing the country’s leadership – is the inalienable right of a citizen, a fundamental concept of democracy, and one of the primary incentives for people to pursue citizenship.

Email your thoughts and comments if you decide to go.




Press Release: Gearing up for the 2013 NYC elections, community groups and residents gather to discuss the importance of building a real and more inclusive democracy in New York.

  • What: A community forum and panel discussion entitled “LOCAL MATTERS: This is what democracy should look like”
  • When: Tuesday, November 27th, 6 – 8 PM
  • Where: Queens Library at Flushing, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, Room A & B

Information: Now that the state and federal elections are behind us, attention turns to next year’s City elections. Please join us on November 27th for a public forum on three issues that will have a significant impact on local politics and policy now and in the future: Participatory Budgeting, Re-districting & Minority Representation, and Non-Citizen Voting. Come and learn how the campaigns currently underway on these issues are working to bring a real and more inclusive democracy to New York. Panelists will include, Jackie Vimo, Director of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition and steering committee member of the Participatory Budgeting Project NYC; Christina Chang, Advocacy and Organizing Associate at the MinKwon Center for Community Action and steering committee member of the 13% and Growing Coalition; Ron Hayduk, Professor at Queens College and steering committee member of the NY Coalition to Expand Voting Rights.

Moderated by Queens Community House.

Translation will be available in Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

This forum is co-sponsored by the Queens Library New Americans Program and Queens Community House.

Admission is free.

From the website:

About Us

The Coalition was formed in response to growing discrimination against immigrants in this country. Its purpose was to heighten the vital role that immigrants play in our communities and to rectify the lack of democratic voice experienced by 1.3 million legally-residing adults in New York City. Initially under the leadership of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, the Coalition was comprised of immigrant-rights organizations, groups promoting broader democratic participation, and representatives from unive
rsities, unions, social service non-profits, and small political parties. Coalition members helped write legislation granting voting rights in city elections (for mayor, controller, city council, and borough presidents) to non-citizens who have been legally residing in NYC for at least 6 months. The bill was introduced in the Council in 2005, but did not garner enough support to be brought to a hearing. The council member who introduced the bill was elected to the State Senate one year later, and the possibility of moving the legislation forward died with his departure.

In 2009, term-limits produced a large turnover in the composition of the Council, and the Coalition saw an opportunity to re-introduce the legislation. We approached the new Chair of the Immigration Committee, who agreed to sponsor a slightly revised piece of legislation. It was introduced in November 2010 as the “Voting Restoration Act [Intro 410].” Simultaneously, Coalition members set up meetings with individual council members to enlist support for the legislation, answering questions and concerns and informing them of the number of constituents within their district who would be affected. Within two months of its introduction, 21 out of 51 council members had signed on as co-sponsors.


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