Tag Archive: Hurricane Sandy

Jul 23 2013

The Rise of Lew Simon, Hurricane Sandy Hero


2013 is the year of political comebacks.

Democratic District Leader Lew Simon’s ship may have landed after Hurricane Sandy.

According to our sources from the Rockaways, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, Lew Simon organized the community and played an instrumental role in advocating for the recovery and rebuilding of the Rockaways.

The voting constituency has taken due notice thereof.

Now let’s be real; Simon lost a few elections in the past, however his colorful antics have become legendary in South Queens – he’s known by everyone. But now the tides have changed -and with a missing in action Republican councilman in a pivotal reelection year – the smart money is stating that Lew Simon may actually have his day in the sun and defeat incumbent Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Rumors of an in-house poll placing Lew Simon neck and neck with Eric Ulrich have circulated the political establishment and may have played a pivotal role in reassuring Democratic leadership that Simon could actually pull it off this time around.

He is running unopposed in the primary and will face off with Ulrich in November.

In the meantime, rain or shine, he’s pressing the flesh and going door to door spreading his message of advocacy for increasing public transportation options, storm relief for The Rockaways, Broad Channel, Breezy Point, and Hamilton Beach, plus construction of sea barriers, including a new boardwalk and a new hospital for the Rockaways and in south Queens as well.

It’s ironic that the individual who was sometimes seen as the misunderstood activist of the Democratic Party could finally put the nail in the coffin of the Southern faction of the Queens GOP. In On The Waterfront Marlon Brando’s character yelled, “I coulda been a contender,” but in this city election on the Rockaway waterfront, yes Lew Simon, you are finally a contender.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/the-rise-of-lew-simon/

Feb 05 2013

Meng and Vallone Teamup To Fight For FEMA Relief

Peter ValloneTwo of the most powerful Dems in Queens politics have teamed up to fight for FEMA Aid for houses of worship that played a vital role in sheltering residents before and after Superstorm Sandy.

This week Councilman Peter Vallone plans to introduce legislation calling on the federal government to pass Congress Member Grace Meng’s bill and allow houses of worship damaged by Superstorm Sandy to receive aid from FEMA.

“Our houses of worship were here helping Queens when the government wasn’t, and now they need our help,” said Council Member Vallone. “Turning our backs on them now would be adding insult to injury – first the storm devastates them, and then, despite the charity they have displayed for centuries, we abandon them.”

Both during and after the storm, houses of worship were on the front lines taking care of the refugees and evacuees. But despite holding their doors open (and sustaining significant storm damage in the interim), all houses of worship are currently excluded from qualifying for federal aid to cover the cost of repairs.

Grace Meng, Queens Politics“Three months since Hurricane Sandy battered our region, houses of worship continue to be denied the same treatment that is afforded to other non-profit entities,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “This is unfair, wrong and must change as churches, synagogues, mosques and temples still struggle to secure the money they need in order to repair or rebuild their facilities. I will continue to keep up the fight in Congress, and I thank Councilman Vallone, Speaker Quinn and Councilman Recchia for their leadership on this issue, and for highlighting my effort in the New York City Council.”

The City Council’s Committee on Finance will be holding a hearing for the bill on February 7th, which is co-sponsored by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Domenic Recchia.




Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/meng-and-vallone-teamup-to-fight-for-fema-relief/

Nov 08 2012

NYC Transit Forward Coalition and NYC Communities Step Up for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Help for the Rockaways is pouring in from all across New York City. Yetta Kurland, a City Council hopeful for Christie Quinn’s seat, led the Transit Forward Coalition to bring food, supplies, and an extra set of hands to help aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

[Press Release] The Transit Forward Coalition, a community-based coalition of New York City Transit Riders and Workers, has played a key role in responding to damage from Hurricane Sandy in New York . Most notably, members of the coalition from Transportation Workers Union Local 100 are working tirelessly to get New York City ’s essential transportation lifeline back on track. Within a few days, most lines in the 100-year-old system were restored. The work is arduous, often dangerous, vital and ongoing.

As though that were not enough, the Transit coalition spearheaded a major volunteer and donation drive throughout the five boroughs. Teaming up with members of the West Village in Manhattan , Transit Forward hosted a donation collection and distribution party at the famous Stonewall Inn on Saturday. The bar, site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots which gave birth to the modern LGBT movement, quickly filled with water, clothes, canned goods and medical supplies.

The following day, led by community organizer Yetta Kurland and others, over 100 volunteers transported the materials to community organizer Jacques Leandre who then distributed the goods to desperately underserved areas in the Far Rockaway section of Queens – neighborhoods that still had no electricity and very limited access to resources.

The Transit Forward Coalition was joined by members of Occupy Wall Street’s #OccupySandy movement. Their grassroots, no power organizing techniques proved perfectly suited for the unelectrified neighborhoods the community is serving.

Yetta Kurland said,

“My community has just gone through a week without power, hot water and lights. We can only imagine what our fellow New Yorkers in Far Rockaway are going through.  It was incredible to see the care and thoughtfulness of the donations that people made. But given the freezing temperatures we are even more concerned for the residents of Far Rockaway and other impacted areas.”

Jacques Leandre stated,

“Nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy, the people of the Rockaways are desperate for relief and assistance. It is not fair and it is not just that the residents of the Rockaways have not received the attention they deserve, while people’s homes are still underwater in our community and families are begging for water on the streets. Transit Forward is coming to the Rockaways to not only deliver food, water, and flashlights, but also to make sure voters can still exercise their right to vote.”

 Mona Davids, President, NYC Parents Union and member of the Coalition said,

“We’re so thankful for the support from the Transit Forward Coalition and LGBT Community. The outpouring of concern is overwhelming and uplifting. Transit Forward Coalition members are in Rockaways everyday helping families and giving them the assistance and support they desperately need to recover.

The Coalition is continuing to collect information, supplies and resources for New Yorkers recovering from the storm. If you need resources, or would like to help, contact the Transit Forward Coalition at http://www.transitforward.org/hurricane_sandy_assistance.

If you (or someone you know) doesn’t have access to the internet right now, contact the borough pepresentatives:

If you do not have access to the internet, contact our Borough representatives below.

Manhattan: Yetta Kurland | 917-701-9590

Queens: Jacques Leandre | 347-613-2315

Bronx: Mona Davids | 646-807-4191

Brooklyn: Rodneyse Bichotte | 718-744-8410

Staten IslandAhmed Tigani | 718-312-9105


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/nyc-transit-forward-coalition-and-nyc-communities-step-up-for-hurricane-sandy-relief/

Nov 06 2012

Eric Ulrich concedes to Addabbo?

Eric Ulrich Daily News PhotoIt’s only 2:30 PM and whispers are flying around town that Ulrich has thrown in the towel.

According to a source close to the Ulrich campaign, in light of extremely low turnout in neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the momentum of the campaign and any hope of winning have been completely sapped.

As originally reported on Queens-Politics, Ulrich’s base is missing in action, presumably coping with the damage and cleanup efforts after the storm.

The source described the one term City Councilman as “going fucking nuts right now” in response to the dire circumstances in south Queens.

Polls are open until 9pm and a last minute rush could make the difference.

We cannot confirm nor deny any of this at the moment. Please stay tuned.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/ulrich-concedes-to-addabbo/

Nov 05 2012

Addabbo leads by setting the example

While some candidates were still on the campaign trail, Senator Joseph Addabbo suspended all campaign activity to help his constituents during Hurricane Sandy. Joe was on the front lines giving a hand wherever he could and deserves a round of applause. If you’re on the fence for Election Day we urge you to consider Joe Addabbo for New York State Senate.

(l to r) Lori Martini, Middle Village songwriter, actress and Mets Fan; Frank Kenna, Chief Deputy Queens County Clerk; Forest Hills, Joe Addabbo, NY State Senator, Howard Beach; Edward Wendell, President of the Woodhaven Resident’s Block Association, Woodhaven.  Frank, Joe and Ed are all Archbishop Molloy High School Graduates, Class of 1982, lending a hand by delivering food, clothing and supplies to hard hit Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/pols-lead-by-example-addabbo-for-queens/

Nov 03 2012

DEMS Respond to call for help in South Queens

Political offices are being used as supply depots and relief centers like the office of Democratic Assemblyman Mike Miller pictured above.

Several Democrats have rolled up their sleeves to pitch in and help with what is being called a war zone in Southern Queens.

Thousands are still without power, food, water, and shelter. The gas shortage is breeding tensions as patience is wearing thin. More and more people seem to be at the breaking point looking for relief. Luckily a few super Democrats have mobilized to volunteer and assist the distressed residents of the Rockaways, Broad Channel, Breezy Point, and Howard Beach.

“So far the biggest issue was getting food to the people who need it,” said Nick Roloson, President of the Queens County Young Dems. “I just came back from Rockaway and it looks like a war zone. The streets are covered in sand and mud. The air stinks of gas, and no one had food.”

Roloson has mobilized the Young Democrats and recruited friends and other elected officials to help with the disaster response. “We’ve been collecting food from all over Queens and Brooklyn making sure that these people get fed. We had pizzas, cereal, everything. It felt great when you got to see the smiles on the faces of the people who hadn’t eaten in a while.”

Democrat Steve Behar of Bayside drove his truck all the way down to the Rockaways to volunteer with City Councilman (Senator-elect) James Sanders. Together they surveyed the Rockaways helping to cut away trees and meet with people in the district. “We’re trying to get them in tough with the right people to help them,” said Behar who described a makeshift table set up in front of Sander’s office which lost power during the hurricane to help assist people. Power has not yet  been restored.

“My office literally burnt to the ground,” said Lew Simon, a District Leader from  23rd Assembly District and constituent liaison to Senator Shirley Huntley. “There’s a lot of anger and people are looting and fighting over water. It’s a war zone and people are in a total panic,” he said with a sense of exhaustion. Simon traveled to one of the worst hit areas in the Rockaways to volunteer, but said “he couldn’t be much help due to the severity of the situation and went online to assist and help people locate their loved ones.”

As far as other elected officials, many of them have taken to the Internet and social media to help spread the word, for example, posting notifications of the next available dry ice drop, or relief center stocked with donated food and cloths. But some elected officials may have been missing in action. According to Simon, “Well I have not seen or heard from Eric Ulrich, but I did hear from Joe Addabbo and Malcolm Smith.” Simon also alleged, “Eric was in the command center in Manhattan during the entire storm which is unacceptable.”

Many other pols have chipped in. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley sent a truckload of food and Senator Jose Peralta, City Councilman Danny Dromm, and  Assembly members Michael DenDekker and  Francisco Moya were down there with rolled up sleeves lending a hand wherever they could.

Despite the dire circumstances, the disaster is bringing out the best in some people and everyone seems to be putting politics aside to pitch in to help their neighbors, even strangers.

“Hey, I run a political club but as Gov. Christie showed the other day – when people’s lives are in danger you have to rise above it and use your political skill for something greater,” said Roloson.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/dems-react-to-disaster-hurricane-sandy/

Oct 30 2012

With Ulrich territory underwater, could Sandy have tipped the balance in Addabbo’s favor?

Breezy Point is absolutely devastated after Hurricane Sandy.

In Albany, state senate dems and republicans are in disarray because the dynamics of South Queens may have been changed due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Rockaways, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach – these are the neighborhoods that helped elect Councilman Erich Ulrich but with these neighborhoods devastated and partially submerged, insiders are predicting the destruction may physically stop Ulrich’s base from voting on Election day.

Everyone is worried – what’s not on fire is underwater. Questions are being raised by both camps. Who will come back by Tuesday, and if they do will they vote? How will we perform a pull operation? By boat?

The stakes are extremely high and all eyes are on this race because this seat will decide control of the Senate and that’s why so much money has been poured into Ulrich’s and Addabbo’s campaign war chest.

If the battle shifts the fight to the northern section of the district including the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village. Glendale and Forest Hills, Ulrich could be at a major disadvantage as the conservative leaning neighborhoods that support Ulrich are unlikely to be concerned about voting when their homes have been destroyed, according to a source familiar with the situation.


Update 12:34PM: Crain’s New York Confirms that the homes of Rep. Bob Turner and Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long have burned down.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/with-ulrich-territory-underwater-could-sandy-have-tipped-balance-in-addabbos-favor/

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