The Campaign Trail
In the weeks leading up to the contests, the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times will feature in this column press releases and statements sent by the campaigns of the candidates on the ballot.
The statements in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times or its staff. Mud-slinging statements which include personal attacks on candidates are omitted.
NY- 6 Dem. Primary
Lancman Touts His Social Security Plan
Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a candidate for Congress in New York’s Sixth Congressional District, stood in front of the Rego Park Social Security Administration Office with area seniors on Tuesday, June 12, to draw contrasts between himself and his opponents regarding Social Security.
Throughout the campaign, Lancman has highlighted the dire state of Social Security, especially its collapsing window of solvency: currently, the fund will not be able to meet its obligations in 2033 – down from 2037 just last year.
Lancman has advocated for lifting the exemption on Social Security taxes paid on an individual’s income over $110,600, a move that would require high-income earners to pay their fair share into the Social Security fund, guaranteeing the program’s solvency for the next 75 years.
“Our seniors, and those who will soon become seniors, deserve more than a head-in-the-sand approach to Social Security from their member of Congress,” Lancman said. “The challenge facing Social Security is immediate and severe, and so far I’m the only candidate in this race that has offered a real plan to save Social Security without reducing benefits, raising the retirement age or privatizing Social Security altogether.”
In another note, former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum endorsed Lancman last week, citing his views on improving education policy at the federal level as motivation for the endorsement.
Gotbaum, who served as public advocate from 2002 until 2010, made contributions to New York City’s education system, including establishing the Commission on School Governance as a check on mayoral control, spearheading reforms of the special education system and improving Career and Technical Education by aligning CTE programs with growth industries.
“Rory understands that we need policies at the federal level that will help our schools thrive at the local level,” said Gotbaum. “That includes giving parents and members of the community more input into the decision making process, and focusing on class size and teacher excellence instead of drilling our kids with more standardized testing. I’m proud to give Rory my endorsement, because I believe he will do excellent work to improve our schools.”
Paramedics Union Supporting Crowley
At a rally outside Elmhurst Station 46 at Elmhurst Hospital Center on Tuesday, June 12, the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 and the Uniformed EMS Officers Union Local 3621 endorsed City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley for Congress in New York’s Sixth Congressional District.
Crowley, who chairs the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, has been an advocate for the city’s first responders and pledged to continue her work in Washington.
“The Fire Department EMS Service, and the people of our city, couldn’t have a better candidate for Congress than Elizabeth Crowley,” said Local 2507 President Israel Miranda.
“Elizabeth Crowley has a long history of fighting for the FDNY EMS service and for the public safety of all New Yorkers,” added Local 3621 President Vincent Variale.
“I’m honored to have the support of so many of our city’s first responders,” said Crowley. “Our EMT and EMS workforce rush to emergencies to help keep us safe. In Washington, my top focus will be getting our economy back on track, hiring more first responders, and always ensuring our public safety is protected.”
Environment Group Gives Nod To Meng
The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) announced its endorsement of Assemblywoman Grace Meng for the newly drawn Sixth Congressional District last Saturday, June 9 at Kissena Park.
Meng received the endorsement alongside City Council Member James Gennaro, who chairs the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee.
Meng welcomed the endorsement, saying, “I am honored to receive the support of the New York League of Conservation Voters because I share their commitment to protecting our environment and ensuring that children growing up in Queens have drinkable water, breathable air, and safe and accessible parks. Whether it is making sure that our water is protected from fracking or making investments in the cleanenergy jobs of tomorrow, I look forward to working with the NYLCV on these important issues throughout my campaign and hopefully as a member of the House of Representatives.”
Meng pointed to her vote in support of the moratorium on fracking until independent scientists can confirm it will not impact drinking water. She also spoke about the need to move toward a green energy economy, where jobs and power come from renewable sources like wind and solar.
Gennaro added, “I applaud Assemblywoman Meng’s strong environmental record in Albany, and I trust her to protect our water, air, and parks as a member of Congress.”
Marcia Bystryn, NYLCV’s president, said, “Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s leadership in Albany shows that she cares deeply about protecting the environment and creating green jobs. Grace understands the need to put clean water and air as a top priority, and should be the clear choice for voters in the sixth district.”
The NYLCV is the only statewide environmental organization that uses the power of endorsements to elect environmental leaders -- fighting for renewable energy, clean air and water and open space are among the group’s top priorities.
After receiving news of the endorsement, supporters of Meng’s campaign assisted with a clean up of the park, which has served the recreational needs of Queens residents for over 100 years.
Halloran To Fight EMP Weapon Risk
If elected to Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, City Council Member Daniel Halloran pledges to fight the the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse by joining the House’s EMP Caucus.
An electromagenetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation caused by a sudden explosion, such as a nuclear detonation. According to EMPACT America, a bi-partisan nonprofit organization concerned with addressing the threat of electromagnetic pulse, “EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.”
“An electromagnetic pulse would be a truly scary thing,” said Halloran. “Creative terrorists could use this terrifying method of attack to hurt Americans for generations. As terrorists’ tactics evolve, our defenses must evolve with them to keep our country safe.”
In 2005, the U.S. Congress’ EMP Commission wrote, “Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings describe the basic principles of nuclear weapons designed specifically to generate an enhanced EMP effect, that they term ‘Super-EMP’ weapons. ‘Super-EMP’ weapons, according to these foreign open source writings, can destroy even the best protected U.S. military and civilian electronic systems.”
The House Caucus, formed by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, advocates the passage of the SHIELD Act, HR 668, which was introduced on Feb. 15, 2011, but has sat in subcommittee ever since. The SHIELD Act would put in place safeguards to prevent a massive EMP-caused disaster.
State Sen. 15th Dist.
Independence Party Is Backing Ulrich
The Independence Party has endorsed City Council Member Eric Ulrich for election to the 15th State Senate District seat, the campaign announced. Ulrich has also been endorsed by the Conservative Party.
“Councilman Ulrich has demonstrated time and again that he will work across party lines to deliver results for his constituents,” said New York State Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay. “He has been an outstanding representative in the City Council and I know he will take that same independent leadership to Albany. We’re proud to endorse him as the next state senator from the 15th district.”
“I’m extremely grateful to Chairman MacKay and the Independence Party for their support,” said Ulrich. “I have always put doing what’s right before politics and I will continue that approach as senator. Our number one priority must be growing our economy and creating jobs for the residents of Queens.”
NY- 7 Dem. Primary
Retail Workers Like Velázquez
The 100,000-member Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) of the UFCW endorsed Rep. Nydia Velázquez for reelection to Congress.
“Velázquez has faithfully served the working families of New York for decades and we are proud to endorse her reelection for yet another term,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU. “She has fought for public housing, decent wages, and the creation and preservation of good jobs across this city.”
“I am thrilled to have the endorsement of RWDSU,” said Rep. Velázquez. “Working people in the sectors and industries represented by RWDSU help drive New York City’s vibrant economy, and we must ensure these workers who keep businesses moving have the rights and representation they deserve. With RWDSU’s support, I will continue to give working people a voice in Congress.”
RWDSU represents 100, 000 workers throughout the United States and Canada, with 40,000 in the New York City area who work in retail and other fast-growing industries.
As noted, only voters who are registered with a party may vote in that party’s primary election on June 26 (Democratic voters may only vote in the Democratic primary; Republican voters may only vote in the Republican primary, etc.).
For more information on voting or to obtain a voting registration application, contact the New York City Board of Elections at 1-212-VOTENYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us.
Press representatives of candidates may send their information to this paper by fax to 1-718-456-0120 or e-mail to info@times newsweekly.com. All releases are subject to editing.
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