A highly illuminating article courtesy of the Daily News. This report explores the dynamics between a longtime district leader and her political rival in Flushing.
Julia Harrison is a former City Council Member. She has some harsh comments for John Liu.
Foreword: Harrison is best known for blaming the asian population for increased crime, higher real estate prices, and displacing old timers.
Her comments became the hallmark of Harrison’s political career.
The publicized slip blew up in her face as a protest took place on the steps of City Hall.
In 1996 the protest was led by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Governor George Pataki who joined more that 2,000 Asian-Americans and civic leaders to rebuke Ms. Harrison for her published comments.
In response, Harrison who is now 91, stood before her colleagues in the Council’s chamber and read an empty apology. She never meant to insult immigrants, she was misunderstood. But it’s par for the course considering Harrison is part of the old guard – a dwindling bloc of grey haired voters who resist any type of change in a neighborhood that is predominantly asian.
Despite the controversy, Harrison ran for reelection and won another term as Councilwoman until she was eventually term limited out of office in 2001.
Since then, deep wounds have festered in the underworld of Queens politics and while her opponent is weak, Julia has returned for a moment in the limelight.
During the last election, turnout was abysmal. But to Harrison’s credit, she pulled her base out to the polls.
As the newly minted elected District Leader, she’s feeling her oats.
“If you survive long enough in the murky world of Queens politics you will see your fortunes change.”