Sparks fly as candidates for City Council District 30 go head-to-head in a lively debate hosted by the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Oct 29 2013
Sparks fly as candidates for City Council District 30 go head-to-head in a lively debate hosted by the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/craig-caruana-liz-crowley-debate-jpca/
Aug 12 2013
Caruana, a Research/Information Specialist at Fox News and former Research Assistant for The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute has been active in the community building name recognition and putting together a formidable campaign operation in the weeks leading up to the general election in November.
The district was a history of GOP representation previously held by Republican Anthony Como.
Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota was also on hand to celebrate his campaign office opening at 64-01 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale.
District 30 includes: Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood and Woodhaven.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/countdown-craig-caruana-vs-liz-crowley/
Nov 28 2012
Press Release: The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association blasted the New York City Districting Commission’s proposal to split Woodhaven’s representation in the City Council.
The Commission had initially proposed placing nearly all of Woodhaven in a single City Council district. The WRBA submitted testimony to the Commission lauding this proposal, and even urged tweaks to ensure that a sliver of Woodhaven left outside the district would be incorporated. Instead of heeding the WRBA’s testimony, the Commission did the very opposite by discarding their original plans for Woodhaven and slicing the neighborhood into three parts spread over two districts.
“The Commission decided to throw Woodhaven under the bus. It should be embarrassed about how its final proposal treats our community,” said WRBA Director of Communications Alex Blenkinsopp. ”Now that the final decision is in the hands of the City Council, we want all City Council Members to know that a vote in favor of this gerrymander is a vote against Woodhaven.”
Woodhaven is currently divided between two City Council districts: District 30, represented by Council Member Elizabeth Crowley; and District 32, represented by Council Member Eric Ulrich. Instead of preserving the current division, the Commission significantly worsened the split by switching large parts of the neighborhood from Crowley to Ulrich and vice versa. In addition, the final proposal places the far west portion of Woodaven in the same district as the extreme northeast corner, but excludes any residential area in between.
At the WRBA’s Town Hall on September 15, 2012, both Crowley and Ulrich made public statements indicating that the Commission’s original proposal was preferable for Woodhaven.
At that Town Hall, Crowley said the initially proposed lines are “good news for Woodhaven. It actually puts you all together in one Council district.” Ulrich said, “I think that Woodhaven, just like I think where I live in Ozone Park, should be in one district. It should be in one district. People ought to be able to hold their elected officials accountable. It ought to be easy for them to know who represents them in the City Council…. I just think that’s the right thing to do. It’s the fair thing to do.”
Now the WRBA is calling on Ulrich and Crowley to make good on their public statements and to vote in the best interest of their Woodhaven constituents. The Block Association has written to both Council Members and urged them to vote against the final proposal. The draft lines will be enacted unless a majority of City Council members vote to send the Commission back to the drawing board.
“We don’t know why the Commission decided to split and scramble Woodhaven’s representation, but we won’t just sit there quietly as the City Council rubber-stamps this awful proposal,” said WRBA President Edward K. Wendell. ”This is an opportunity for City Council Members — both our current representatives, as well as those who might want Woodhaven’s support in the future — to show whether they actually care about our community.”
The WRBA has been an extremely strong voice for Woodhaven on redistricting matters this year. In January, it vigorously objected to the gerrymandered State Senate lines that split Woodhaven three ways. In March, the Block Association opposed the congressional lines that divided Woodhaven into two portions and basically separated Woodhaven from the rest of Queens.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/second-round-of-district-lines-are-far-worse-says-civic-group/
Jun 04 2012
The two-term councilwoman is seeking the Democratic nomination for the new 6th Congressional District.
Crowley is in the midst of her first full term. She served a year prior to that after winning a special election.
On transportation, she said she is tired of projects such as the Long Island Rail Road’s East Side Access project and the 7 subway line extension, “projects that pass through here that we don’t benefit from.”
Actually, quite a few of her potential constituents would benefit from this project. LIRR runs east of Flushing and would bring all those folks into Grand Central. As for the 7 subway line extension, that doesn’t run through her potential district, it’s in Manhattan only.
Crowley said the 7 could be extended in other directions, such as to connect LaGuardia Airport and the future development at Willets Point to Manhattan.
When did the 7 train STOP going to Willets Point?
In addressing the nation’s $16 trillion deficit, Crowley could not identify any non-military programs that she would eliminate from the budget.
“I would cut parts of programs,” she said. “I’m sure there is waste and fraud.”
Wow, now there’s some deep thinking.
She did not directly acknowledge that saving the money by pulling out of Afghanistan, where the Taliban allowed al-Qaeda to hatch its 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, could once again leave a dangerous vacuum where terrorists could plot more attacks on the United States. “I don’t know where it ends over there,” she said.
What a fine grasp of foreign policy and homeland security!
While demographics in the Unites States have changed dramatically since Social Security’s inception in 1935, Crowley said that there is no need to restructure the program, even with President Obama’s own experts saying the fund is unsustainable at its current ratio of workers to benefit recipients.
“I think when more people get back to work and begin paying into the system again that will fix itself,” she said.
And there you go. Stupid is as stupid does. Or in this case, doesn’t do.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/an-educated-failure-liz-crowley-dont-vote-for-her/
May 29 2012
It was a debate much like any other ordinary debate unless you were watching Liz Crowley.
The Kisenna Park Civic Association hosted a candidates forum where Congressional candidate Liz Crowley was caught cheating on film.
We understand candidates must find time to balance their personal lives around their campaign schedules. We understand smart phones provide an invaluable reference with the Internet in our palms, but ask any high school student and even they will tell you it is not acceptable to cheat by using the phone for any reason during a test or in this case a debate. Even if she was texting about groceries (or Brian McLoughlin) we will never know for sure but there’s just no excuse for this.
“At the very least, it was amazingly rude, and stupid not to give your full focus to the debate,” said the videographer to the Daily Politics. “If I saw Lancman do this, I would call him out, or any of the other candidates,” he said. “A congressional seat is too important to have someone seemingly getting fed answers.”
In the video you will see a flustered Crowley pounding away on her qwerty keyboard while signaling her staff in what seems like a call for help to hand feed and guide her with approved responses.
We call that cheating.
Oh and the audience noticed too.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/crowley-cheats-jokes-on-the-voter/
May 21 2012
Here we go again Liz.
Last week Queens-Politics uncovered the fact that Liz Crowley blatantly lied about her achievements and now the County organization has removed her from the official County slate.
Why was she removed? Is it because of last week’s article? Or is it because Liz is trying to take credit for things she’s not responsible for? A look back at recent events reveals the true story.
In the budget process for fiscal year 2011, Elizabeth issued a press release stating that she saved the firehouses. Low and behold, the negotiations were not complete. The budget negotiation team had not finalized it and Elizabeth jumped the gun for her own political personal gain.
As punishment, Liz’s discretionary funding was reduced to $358,321 directly below indicted Council member Larry Seabrook. She brought in the least amount of money from the City Council and her community was jilted because of her incompetence.
Liz jeopardized the budget process by taking liberties with the truth. The truth, however, doesn’t seem to matter much. On her recent political mailer where she talked about saving schools she also mentioned saving firehouses. Were these the same firehouses she was chastised for taking credit?
Questions persist. Perhaps County is starting to recognize that Liz Crowley is unfit for public office? We know Speaker Quinn isn’t happy with her fraudulent scheming.
In City Council, you can’t take personal responsibility and issue press statements without ensuring the money is in the budget.
Rescuing a firehouse from the brink of closure is an effort of everyone involved in the Council from the Speaker, the finance committee, to the budget negotiating team, not just Liz Crowley.
Her ineptitude cut much-needed funds for community groups and neighborhood projects.
Do you want Liz Crowley overseeing your district with your money?
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/here-we-go-again-liz-lies/
Apr 11 2012
With years of political experience, why is it so easy for a professional legislator to fly off the handle?
Rory Lancman is enraged and we can see why, sort of. His camp – as well as many insiders – believes that the candidacy of Jett Gottlieb is a sham perpetrated by the County organization to split the Jewish vote that Lancman needs to win.
As the rumors were finally confirmed that another Jewish candidate will be running, Lancman went out and lambasted County for allegedly propping up Gottlieb and trying to derail his chances of winning. The rationale was that Gottlieb had a patronage gig at the Board of Elections so he must be susceptible to their influence.
The conspiracy theories grew like weeds on a neglected tomb, but so far it’s just speculation.
This month, shortly after Crowley threw her hat in the ring and after County convinced Avi Fink to leave the Stavisky faction to spearhead Liz’s campaign, allegedly, Lancman had enough. His tough as nails campaign team went on the offensive, “Get the fake out of the race,” he told the Daily News, which prompted responses from County leader Joe Crowley and a swath of Democratic insiders who said things like, “He lobbied too hard, [for the seat],” according to an article in the Observer by Colin Cambell.
Who is the real Rory? Lancman is an excellent communicator. He fought for six years in the Assembly and is highly regarded as an authority on matters of public policy. He’s smart and articulate yet soft-spoken, and he has an outstanding Democratic club, which he helped organize. So it seems a bit out of character to whine and cry foul particularly when all the evidence is circumstantial.
Lancman is well acquainted with the wheeling and dealing of campaign politics so why is this rumor so much of a shocker to him? This is not meant to imply that Jeff Gottlieb is some sort of enlightened statesman, but what we are saying is that everyone has the right to run for public office even if someone encouraged them to run. After all, Gottlieb said he wants to do it and it doesn’t look like anyone held a gun to the 70-year-old historian’s head.
Like the ancient Citron trees of Israel, Gottlieb has strong roots in the conservative Jewish communities. Yes, Rory has a stellar record of fighting for Israel, but conservative Jews don’t have a voice to fall back on. Gottlieb might just be that guy.
Let the people decide.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/04/the-angry-lancman/
Apr 02 2012
The endorsement battle for the sixth Congressional district in Queens is in full swing. Three candidates, Grace Meng, Rory Lancman, and Liz Crowley are traveling throughout Queens making rounds, shaking hands and kissing babies.
This afternoon Grace Meng was endorsed by the Italian American Political Action Committee while Rory Lancman was endorsed by former Mayor Ed Koch.
An announcement ceremony was held at the law office of Vallone & Vallone (whom were recently named as the best law firm in Queens by the Queens Courier) in Flushing. Many elected officials were in attendance to show their support for Meng who described her respect and admiration for the volunteerism and community service demonstrated by the Italian-American people.
Domenic Recchia, Jim Gennaro, Peter Vallone, Paul Vallone, James Lisa, District Leader Mary Ann Dorsa, and Frank Galluscio were just a few of the elects that dropped in to say hello, while an international spectrum of press members scribbled notes and encouraged everyone to smile for the camera.
On the other side of town, former Mayor Ed Koch tapped Rory Lancman as his pick for the open seat based on his advocacy for Israel and Jewish communities.
“It’s a true honor to accept the endorsement of Mayor Ed Koch, someone who has been a tireless advocate for Israel and Jewish communities here in New York,” Lancman said. “Ed Koch understands the special relationship between the United States and Israel– a relationship I will strive to build upon if elected to Congress,” said Lancman.
Last but not least, Liz Crowley, who is rumored to be a spoiler in the race to detract from Lancman’s electoral base, was endorsed by the Uniform Firefighters Association on Thursday in front of Bayside Engine Company 306. Our notice of the event must be lost in the mail.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/04/candidates-delighted-by-recent-endorsements/
Mar 24 2012
Your weekend update with Queens-Politics. Councilmember sells sneakers and more. Here’s the latest scoop.
Till next week.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/the-friday-night-speculator/
Mar 22 2012
It’s petition time and those big green sheets that won’t fit in a folder will be circulating throughout Queens. Take a look at the vacancy appointments.
What is a committee to fill a vacancy? Typically candidates can name a committee and list them on their designating petition, which is the green form where candidates collect signatures for ballot access. If something happens to the candidate i.e illness, arrest or declining to accept etc. the committee will make a decision to appoint any registered Democrat (pursuant to residency requirements) to run in the candidate’s absence – even after the petitions have been collected and successfully filed under the candidate’s name. There is a small time frame where this can be accomplished, according to a source at the Board of Elections.
In other words, if Candidate X gets on the ballot, but gets sick or says I don’t want this to happen, their committee will pick someone to replace Candidate X and they won’t have to recollect the signatures. It’s sort of an insurance policy, like a failsafe to safeguard ballot access and all that hard work collecting signatures.
Pop Quiz, what do each of the committee members have in common with each other?
If you know the answer, we’ll give you a shout out in the next article.
You can Comment on our Facebook page or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/disorder-in-politics-brings-no-objections/
Dec 14 2011
Where have you gone Tony Seminerio? The NYC mayoral candidates turn their lonely eyes to you. It was the mid-nineties and the sun was blazing down on Ozone Park. Giuliani was in the hot seat at Gracie Mansion, he had become the GOP Mayor earlier that year thanks to a powerhouse political club in South Queens.
Strolling down the block past La’ Bella Vita on any given evening you could hear the sounds of Frank Sinatra and the clinking glasses of a toastmaster. Tony Seminerio sat at the back table, the pungent aroma of cigar smoke would fill the stillness of the air as the revolving door opened and closed at what seemed like a thousand times a night.
It was that time of year again and the candidates were getting ready. Mayoral hopefuls had descended from their chic towers in the burgeoning metropolis to make the ten-minute journey over the East River and into Queens to jockey for district endorsements.
And it was then when Assemblyman Tony Seminerio was in his prime. He was already in the state Assembly for twenty years and was already a legend. He would walk in and everybody who worked the room went wild. Thousands of constituents would ask him for help, elected officials across the state would come to pay respect to a larger than life Assemblyman.
When Tony walked into a room in south Queens everyone acknowledged him. It was out of respect. A hundred people would rise to their feet as levity was swept away by pure admiration. “Hey how ya doin’ Tony good to see ya” said the doorman. “Not too bad kid I sent your son’s resume to City Hall.” Tony responded with his thick Queens accent, a question he must have been asked a thousand times before.
Tony pulled off the political Lufthansa heist for the Mayors Seat in the nineteen nineties, and he was in the perfect position to do so.
Everyone was about to find out, the 38th A.D Democratic club didn’t shine shoes anymore.
It felt like it was 1955. Tony would throw parties; classy parties and the young heavy metal looking guys would drink beer next to the men donning their Armani suits sipping cocktails. The spirit of fraternity permeated the air. In this clubhouse, brotherhood reigned supreme. The stock 1950s characters lined up at the bar comparing campaign stories, plotting their next moves and generally shooting the concordant breeze. It was an old school atmosphere, a rebirth, a renaissance, a snapshot back in time into the glory days of yesteryear where everyone was considered family.
The club’s prowess and reputation was built on the notorious charisma of Assemblyman Tony Seminerio – a cigar smoking, red wine drinking tough guy that could have been a character in a Scorsese film but was also known to have a heart of gold and would make an effort to help as many people as he could whenever they needed it. He was Tony the Gent. When people came to him with a real workable problem Tony often got misty eyed and took his personal time to help them in any community affair. While most legislators barely help constituents within their legislative duty, Tony would go above and beyond and do anything he could to help.
When most legislators have press conferences filled with false promises and false actions, Tony never held a press conference; he would assist people in total silence.
In the Mid-nineties, Tony was able to walk through the doors of Pataki’s office, Bruno’s office, and Giuliani’s office without a slight step.
Sheldon Silver’s staff called him the dream killer,
he was the only democratic lawmaker whom after Sheldon silver passed a bill in the state Assembly had enough clout with the republican state Senators to have the bill killed. In 1988, Tony helped state Senator, Serphin Maltese get elected and as payback Tony was gerrymandered to send a message, don’t ever help out the GOP. But instead of getting rid of him, they made him.
At Tony’s meetings, Giuliani would come in with his P.B.A entourage and sit at the opposite table as Queens Democratic boss Tom Manton the predecessor of Joe Crowley while Alan Hevisi would work the room.
Tony’s club had become the base for Republican chieftains like George Pataki, Al Stabile, Thomas Ognibene and Dennis Gallagher – they all had a home at the club. Tom Long would walk in and Tony would greet him with the respect that a Statesman would deserve.
The republicans would sometimes sit next to Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner. It was a weird hodgepodge but while most clubs are lucky to get their Assembly Member to show, hundreds danced while Tony Seminerio sang Italian songs.
Before he was elected to Assembly, Tony served as the Vice-President of the powerful Correction Officers union. Even though he was a social conservative and a pro-life advocate, Tony never swayed from his union roots. In return for supporting pro union legislation, the unions offered him political support – boots on the ground, which became his operative base.
Tony’s ascension to political boss climaxed as the point man, the go-to-guy for candidates vying for the votes in Queens. Hundreds owed him allegiance because he was masterful in his selection for patronage posts and favor trading. When Giuliani struggled with the Queens GOP, he went for a sit down with Tony. After all, the 38th AD was the only district Pataki took in ’98 outside of Staten Island.
Tony had a legion of lawyers, union officials, correction officers, and constituents whom would work at his behest.
Before the dawn of the Internet and social networking, Tony would make one phone call and could organize a busload of hardened campaigners and send them to any part of the city to aid an election. He even had a group of young heavy metal guys called The Vultures whom hung out in Forest park. Tony would send them around knocking at doors. They were scary looking, but effective.
The 38th A.D club had a major contribution with Republicans like Thomas Ognibene, Dennis Gallagher, Serphin Maltese and Rudy Giuliani. Even Tom Long the Queens chair of the Conservative Party received a standing ovation and it was for a good reason, as a thank you. At the time, most of their campaign armies came courtesy of Tony. Even though they were Democrats, the 38th A.D club had become, in part, the foot soldiers of the Republican Party.
He also helped his fellow Dems. In 1996 when Ann-Margaret Carrozza ran against Doug Prescott, Shelly Silver made a personal request to Tony for help. In response, Tony sent a hundred foot soldiers into Bayside. Even Carrozza’s campaign manager was connected to him. Tom Catipano, who is also a former Assembly Member, had served as Tony’s consigliere for four decades.
When Eliot Spitzer ran for Attorney General of New York, he came by himself to a trattoria in Queens to kiss Tony’s ring. They brokered a deal and Tony agreed to help by sending soldiers to hand out fliers. Shortly after Spitzer’s victorious election, he took his time returning Tony’s phone calls – in a sense Spitzer was ducking him, a bad move that would later come back to haunt him as it wouldn’t be long before they would see each other again in the Capital. While standing in the well, Tony chatted amongst his colleagues.
When Spitzer walked into the room, Tony’s calm demeanor changed in the blink of an eye.
He unleashed a thunderous roar that echoed across the chamber, “Oh, you don’t return my calls? Go fuck yourself! Four years comes around real quick. ” Spitzer turned red as a group of legislators laughed at the top of their lungs.
Are there any clubs that could help out a candidate in the way Tony’s club could have helped a Marty Golden or Ray Kelly? With the Queens GOP engaged in a great civil war, the loss of clout compounded by a pyrrhic victory by Phil Ragusa over Tom Ognibene, the party is in shambles and far too fractal to field any viable candidates.
Presently, most Democratic clubs don’t fair any better than their Republican counterparts with the exception of clubs that focus on leadership, networking, attracting young people and performing community service, a winning combination.
It’s a strong formula for efficacy that is not mutually exclusive of strong leadership. The best clubs meet these requirements while the rest are small and disillusioned by family dynasties and lobbyists connected to elected officials. For example an inside source said, “Powhattan, Tammany, it’s not what it used to be, everyone’s old.” Jumping to the other side of Queens, The Jefferson Club has twenty members and ten of them want to run for higher office. RFK is also a maturing organization. Ask certain clubs what community service they have performed lately and they’ll stare at you inquisitively, perhaps hand over a small check- a seemingly empty gesture when compared to real political help and genuine service for the community.
Presently, the only viable political clubs in Queens are the Clinton Democratic Club and the New Visions Democratic Club because they meet the criteria. Both clubs have a roster of over a hundred experienced campaigners, incorporate young people, perform community service and can easily deliver boots on the ground. However, they are not only smaller in number then Tony’s club, but they are highly unlikely to support a Republican candidate.
The conditions that put Mayor Giuliani into office no longer exist in Queens. Since then, if any Republican wants to win the Mayoralty they’d have to ally with a powerful Democratic club. Unless that happens it’s hard to imagine another Republican winning citywide office. Nowadays, a billionaire Independent can buy the election and wouldn’t even need a powerful Democratic house to bolster their ranks as the Republican party is so weak former police commissioner Ray Kelly, Marty Gold, and even Dan Halloran have been rumored to run for mayor. That’s how weak it is.
The heyday of the 38th A.D was a ten year span from 1993-2003. The club diminished when Giuliani left office and finally lost its fire when Tony had a heart attack. He couldn’t keep up with the lifestyle after his near brush with death.
Tony served as Assembly member beginning in 1978 but finally resigned in 2009 after pleading guilty to a single count of fraud, saying he had wrongly advanced the interests of a consulting client in connection with state business, according to a report in the New York Times.
In 2010, he passed away while serving out his prison sentence. With Tony out of the picture the fallout was disastrous. Lobbyist\consulting firms like the notorious Parkside Group swelled in power and prestige as most Democrats in Queens had them on the payroll at the behest of the county organization and in return owe their seat in government. The firm’s founder is Evan Stavisky, a District Leader in Bayside that resides in Rockland County. His mother, veteran State Senator Toby Stavisky is also client of the firm, although they both allege there is no impropriety about this.
Without viable political clubs, the Parkside Group expanded due to the power vacuum. And who could stop them? Not a political boss, they’ve either passed on or are in bed with the firm.
The Parkside Group have not only ascertained the best election lawyers in New York, but they use a brilliant strategy of propping up placeholders like Evan and other absentee district leaders like Michael Sais to control the flow of business into the firm, eliminate opposition and dole out the patronage posts in exchange for loyalty. It’s a game changer.
Would Tony have employed the Parkside group? Doubtful, as he was his own powerbroker. This siege is underway across Queens from Astoria to Little Neck and there are only a few independent voices that stand in Parkside’s way. Tony must be rolling in his grave.
To put it into perspective, Tony’s 38th A.D Democratic club was by far the largest democratic club in Queens County; it dwarfed any club that exists today. Presently, the 38th A.D Democratic club now boasts 20 members under the tutelage of incumbent Assemblyman Mike Miller and Councilwoman Liz Crowley. Down from the Seminerio heyday when there where over 750 active members.
As a citywide candidate, you can make a thousand phone calls yet it is unlikely that one political club or one Republican county organization could have a major impact. Why? Because Tony Seminerio was the last of the clubhouse bosses.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/the-last-of-the-club-house-bosses/
Nov 04 2011
City Councilwoman Liz Crowley (D-Middle Village) has co-sponsored legislation to stop the Department of Corrections from snitching on immigrant detainees to the Feds.
Old enemies are up in arms.
The bill, Intro 656 will stop funding from the City that supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to detain immigrants who have been cleared of their crimes and have no previous criminal background, according to a report in the Times Ledger.
If a person sent to Rikers is found to be an illegal immigrant, the city squeals to ICE under an agreement called the Criminal Alien Program. If you are not a criminal, they still squeal, and you will sit in a jail cell awaiting deportation. Intro 656 will cut the city’s funding for the program that has turned Rikers Island into an unorthodox Customs detention center.
These people are not a national security threat.
In a City long known to protect the immigrant community and in a heavily Democratic City Council, I doubt the theatrics of a jingoist civic prez who takes on the air of a klansperson and a few Council Members, one known to support Liz Crowley’s formal rival, Tom Ognibene will have any effect, if at all on the outcome.
As of Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, it didn’t. The Bill was approved by the Council 43:5 and now sits on the Mayors desk awaiting his signature.
“What they are doing at Rikers is running an alien program rather than a criminal alien program,” said Daniel Dromm, Chair of the NYC Council’s Committee on Immigrant Affairs. “Many innocent immigrants are unfairly being detained and deported because of this broken immigration system. We cannot allow the cooperation between ICE and the DOC to continue tearing families apart and destabilizing immigrant communities that pose no threat to public safety.”
Chairman of Public Safety, Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Astoria) raised an interesting point in opposition to Intro 656. He is the only opponent to use legal reasoning rather than an appeal to notions of xenophobia.
“The City Council is ignoring federal law and claiming that people illegally in this country who are arrested for a crime are somehow required to already have been convicted of yet another crime before we even cooperate with federal authorities. As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that many dangerous criminals who have recently snuck into our country have no criminal record. This policy will only succeed in making our streets more dangerous,” said Vallone in a report appearing in the Forum.
On the national level the proposed legislation appears to be in sync with White House policy and with immigration officials who said they will exercise “prosecutorial discretion.” This means authorities will evaluate charges on a case-by-case basis to concentrate enforcement efforts on criminal cases and people who have flagrantly violated immigration laws, according to a report in the New York Times.
Despite a sprinkle of opposition, Intro 656, was supported by a majority of Council Members including Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Ruben Wills (D-Richmond Hills), Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea), and 36 other Council Members. Even Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) voted in the affirmative.
“We need to stop needlessly and excessively deporting people who have had no prior criminal records, said Speaker Quinn. “Since our bill was introduced we’ve had productive discussions with the Bloomberg administration. We are pleased that they’ve agreed to support our legislation that will reduce unjust deportations. This is an important victory for all New Yorkers particularly our City’s immigrant community,” said Quinn.
Write to the Mayor. Tell him you support this bill.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/liz-crowley-defender-of/