Gazette Endorsements 2018
We at the Queens Gazette present our endorsements for the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 6. On the whole we have been pleased with the performance of our incumbents, some seasoned veterans, and some fresh new faces. There is much work to be done and those who have been on the case have made much progress and are ready to build on the achievements thus far.
Governor – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has done a good job in handling the gargantuan task of governing the state of New York. He is more than up to the task, having capably dealt with the many issues of our state in every category. Cuomo is from Queens, so he has first-hand knowledge of our borough and shares our concerns, and we know he can handle all present and upcoming hurdles.
Lieutenant Governor – We endorse Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul as Cuomo’s chosen lieutenant who has represented and worked compatibly with the governor.
State Comptroller – Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has done a good job as comptroller and deserves another term.
Attorney General – Public Advocate Letitia A. James has shown with her substantial achievements that she has the knowledge, skill and moral compass we are looking for and will be an excellent attorney general. We feel sure she is the right person for the job and encourage our readers to vote for her. She is impressive in person as well as in front of a microphone. We know she will do well.
US Senator – Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand has done a good job bringing attention to New York as Senator Charles Schumer’s co-senator.
Representatives in Congress:
District 3 – Congress Member Thomas R. Suozzi has a good understanding of our eastern Queens neighborhoods.
District 5 – Congress Member Gregory W. Meeks is running unopposed and he deserves our endorsement.
District 6 – Congress Member Grace Meng has done a remarkable job protecting our community and fighting for the people of Queens, both in Washington and here at home. She has done an outstanding job in highlighting some of the deficiencies in our system and has worked to try to repair them.
District 7 – Congress Member Nydia M. Velazquez has done a good job representing the 7th District and deserves another term.
District 8 – Congress Member Hakeem S. Jeffries has highlighted issues of concern in his district and in the larger scope and deserves another term in office.
District 12 – Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney has been a tough, determined and focused national leader in the fight for women’s rights, access to affordable healthcare, infrastructure funding, gun safety, and more.
Maloney has worked with her colleagues in New York to author the Zadroga 9/11 healthcare act and is fighting to fund and extend permanently the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund set to expire in 2020.
A steadfast champion for the city, Maloney has secured $10 billion in infrastructure funding, part of which helped build the new Second Avenue subway and new Kosciuszko Bridge. She has worked with colleagues to secure $3 billion in federal funds for East Side Access, extending the LIRR.
The Congress member is a huge consumer advocate who has taken on credit card companies to save consumers $12 billion a year; she recognizes the importance of protecting our environment, and pushed for the EPA to designate Newtown Creek a superfund site; and has secured much-needed millions in federal funding for education, supporting new schools and effective programs in Queens.
Maloney has been standing up to the Trump administration and is a powerful voice to counteract a majority conservative Supreme Court and to help flip the conservative Congress. “Americans are ready to stand up to Donald Trump and the right-wing extremists in Congress, whose dangerous policies threaten New Yorkers,” declared Congress Member Maloney back when she announced her candidacy for another term in Congress.
Maloney has been endorsed by every state senator, Assembly member, and City Council member who represents New York’s 12th Congressional District – Sen. Gianaris, Assembly Members Simotas, Nolan, Barnwell and Council Members Van Bramer, Constantinides; along with three citywide elected leaders – Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate James and Comptroller Stringer; all four Democratic borough presidents including our own Borough President Katz; and the entire New York House Democratic delegation.
Without Carolyn Maloney in Washington representing us, New York could not and would not be the same. We therefore unequivocally and without hesitation give her our 100% endorsement and urge our neighbors in her district to come out in support of her candidacy.
District 14 – We cannot imagine Rep. Joseph Crowley not being in Congress. We have to take time here to thank him for his outstanding work in Congress, and everywhere he’s ever been involved, to try to help our communities. There is no question that we will never forget his effective participation in so many areas that we could not possibly list them all here. More than an endorsement for Joe Crowley, this is a salute to an amazing career of an amazing person of whom we are most appreciative. We believe he has done a tremendous amount of work for New York on a national level and we wish him great success. We know he will continue to fight for the best interests of our community. Those who vote for Crowley will be sending a giant thank-you to our Congress member.
New York State Senate:
District 10 – Far Rockaway needs NYS Senator James Sanders, Jr. for another term to represent them, and we encourage our readers in District 10 to support him.
District 11 – John Liu is an outstanding advocate and his years in elected office have proven beneficial to his constituents in every office he has held. We encourage voters in District 11 to give him their full support, as he will certainly be a great addition to the Senate. The Queens Gazette is proud to endorse Democrat John Liu for the general election on November 6. These times call for communities to work together and Liu’s work as a public servant has a long tradition of doing just that. What’s more, John Liu will fight for our values in Albany. He is a true leader who will champion the issues the people in District 11 care most deeply about.
District 12 – NYS Senator Michael Gianaris is truly a rising star in New York. We believe that he is an outstanding, effective and efficient senator who is hardworking, thoughtful and responsive to his constituents, as well as to the greater goals of New York.
His intelligence and leadership skills are unquestionably at the top of the charts and Gianaris will be a remarkable leader in whatever capacity he is involved. Fortunately for us in Queens he is our senator and he is running unopposed – and deservedly so – as he has done a magnificent job representing his district and fighting for better transportation, less pollution, and greater accountability. Those reasons alone virtually require everyone in his district to come out and vote for him.
We would like to see a humongous turnout to give him the mandate and confidence to go forward with his ideas, proposals and viewpoint. Without question, without any hesitation, we support Mike Gianaris for the Senate.
District 13 – Jessica Ramos: NYS Senator Jose Peralta, regardless of political issues that arose within his party, did a good job representing his district and we have only positive words for the work he did to help his constituents. But the reality at this time is that Jessica Ramos will be elected, and she deserves the support of her district in order to achieve the goals that will be required in her position. We think that she will do a proper job, and we are looking forward to her involvement in the many facets of her district that have been the subject of frequent coverage in the Gazette, and we are sure we will be on the same page in these matters.
District 14 – NYS Senator Leroy G. Comrie, Jr. has done an exceptional job and deserves his district’s 100% support. He has been responsive to his community and we support his reelection.
District 15 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is, as we have said many times before, one of the few elected officials who manages to serve his constituents’ agendas, regardless of their political affiliations. He has worked tirelessly for everyone in his district on a consistent basis and has served the people of District 15 in an exceptional way. We need Addabbo, not just when the unforeseen disasters such as Hurricane Sandy hit us, but for day-to-day issues. In Albany, Addabbo has 99% attendance in 648 legislative sessions since being elected in 2008, absent for only two session days; he has worked on the last eight on-time, balanced budgets providing increased funding for seniors, veterans, education and installing tax cuts for the middle class; and in 2018, Addabbo passed the most legislation (16 bills) in the Senate since being elected. And within the district, Addabbo is the only downstate senator with three district offices in addition to personally visiting, via mobile office hours throughout his district regularly; he has 24/7 live operator service to serve constituents; has created 1000’s of job opportunities with job fairs; and has saved landfills from 181 tons of electronic waste and 47 tons of paper thorough recycling events and distributed 1,000 rain barrels.
Addabbo is a hardworking, patriotic, unwavering, staunch believer in the greater good that government can provide for people when it is managed properly by leaders such as himself. We strongly urge everyone in District 15 to come out and support Joseph Addabbo for the Senate.
District 16 – NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky has been a staunch supporter of the specialized high schools maintaining their standards to benefit the students that earn their way into those schools. She has, better than anyone else, explained the strength of the existing program, and why it has produced such remarkable students who have become leaders in whatever industries they became involved with. This alone would warrant our support for her reelection. However, that said, she has done virtually endless amounts of good work and introduced effective legislation that has ranged across a wide variety of subjects over many years and we need Stavisky in the 16th Senate District. We recommend that everyone come out and vote for Toby Ann Stavisky.
New York State Assembly:
District 23 – Assembly Member Stacey G. Pheffer Amato has represented her district in a magnificent way, helping transform the area into one of the new “hot spots” of New York. It is remarkable to see her accomplishments within the district. She has been successful and effective, as well as extraordinarily communicative. Stacey Pheffer Amato will lead us to a better tomorrow and we urge all voters in the 23rd Assembly District to come out and vote for her as she deserves.
District 24 – Assembly Member David I. Weprin: The Weprin reputation in elected office has continued for many years and David Weprin has been a staunch ally in the Assembly, fighting on behalf of his constituents. Although he is unopposed, he still deserves our endorsement and your support.
District 25 – Assembly Member Nily Rozic is running unopposed and we endorse her for the 25th Assembly District. She has been active in all aspects of her district and should serve another term in the Assembly.
District 26 – Assembly Member Edward C. Braunstein is a strong and effective advocate for northeast Queens residents. In the Assembly he helped pass important legislation, such as paid family leave, common-sense gun reform, and a historic increase in education funding, while reducing middle class taxes to the lowest level in 70 years. Braunstein has also been involved in creating essay contests throughout his district and has encouraged students to be more involved in the community, paving the way for a better tomorrow. For all these reasons we enthusiastically endorse Edward Braunstein for the 26th Assembly District.
District 27 – Assembly Member Daniel A. Rosenthal took over the late Michael Simanowitz’ seat in the Assembly and has done a good job in covering his district. He is running unopposed and deserves our endorsement.
District 28 – Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, as chair of the New York State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Social Services, is a champion for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. For example, to address the alarming trend of growing homelessness, he is working with major organizations to create the Home Stability Support (HSS) program, a new statewide rental supplement for families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance and that are currently homeless, facing eviction, or have lost their housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions. This program is designed to be 100% state-funded, thereby providing mandate relief to financially strained counties.
Additionally, as support for the enactment of HSS continues to grow, Hevesi has secured $15 million in the 2018-19 state budget to create a new rent subsidy pilot program for homeless households and those at risk of homelessness. This program is the first state-funded homeless prevention program to provide a rent subsidy at 100% of the Fair Market Rent Standard. As a pilot program, it will demonstrate that a broad-based rental supplement tied to the fair market standard, like HSS, is the only way to reverse the increasing trend of homelessness.
Furthermore, understanding that the primary need for survivors of human trafficking is a safe place to stay in order to escape their abusers, Hevesi urged Governor Cuomo to sign into law S.8305/A.9566, a joint bill, to establish “culturally competent” short-term safe house residential facilities and long-term safe house residential facilities and services operated by not-for-profit agencies.
Locally, Hevesi has secured funding for schools for needed supplies like SMART Boards and air conditioning, for free legal services, and held electronic recycling and paper shredding events. Andrew Hevesi is passionately dedicated to serving his district, as well as all New Yorkers, and therefore is the correct and only choice for Assembly District 28.
District 29 – Assembly Member Alicia L. Hyndman is running unopposed and deserves your votes. She has done a good job representing the 29th Assembly District as well as highlighting the needs of her community.
District 30 – Assembly Member Brian T. Barnwell has done a spectacular job fighting for his district. He has pursued affordable housing for seniors and the middle class and has been responsible for keeping the subject as a top priority in his district. If we lose our middle class, we lose the heart and soul of our city, and Barnwell, understanding this better than anyone else, has made a point of pushing this concept in the Assembly. He has worked relentlessly to bring improvements to the 30th Assembly District and the surrounding neighborhoods and has not let outside influences distract him from maintaining his focus on keeping his district at the forefront of our growing county. Brian Barnwell is someone that we know can be counted on in the Assembly and unequivocally deserves our full support and your vote on Election Day. We want to see everyone support Barnwell.
District 31 – Assembly Member Michele R. Titus is running unopposed and she deserves your vote for the 31st Assembly District.
District 32 – Assembly Member Vivian E. Cook has helped bring major positive changes to Jamaica and deserves your vote. Even though she is running unopposed, she should still get the support of her district.
District 33 – Assembly Member Clyde Vanel as chair of the Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology can bring a positive influence to his district and the rest of Queens and we encourage our readers to vote for him.
District 34 – Assembly Member Michael G. DenDekker is running unopposed. Den- Dekker works every day and although he has no opponent, he never takes anything in his district or surrounding neighborhoods for granted. He is constantly all over the neighborhood, interacting with his constituents and addressing their various concerns. He deserves a huge victory, even though he is unopposed. We applaud his hard work and steadfast support of the 34th Assembly District.
District 35 – Assembly Member Jeffrion L. Aubrey has proven over the years to be a hardworking member of the Assembly. He highlights the myriad issues that concern his district, both in the Assembly and the greater community. He is an esteemed leader and deserves our full support.
District 36 – Assembly Member Aravella Simotas – What can we say about one of the hardest working, staunchest supporters of Astoria and the surrounding areas? Aravella Simotas, since she took office, has been at the forefront of every major and minor discussion about every aspect of her district. The 36th Assembly District has had distinguished representatives for many years and Simotas has met or exceeded every expectation that anyone could possibly have of any elected official. She has focused on so many areas and has always pursued every aspect of every issue in our community 100%. She has been involved with legislation, as well as bringing to the public’s attention and her fellow Assembly members’ attention issues of great importance in the booming, thriving area she represents. While Aravella Simotas is unopposed, and clearly will serve in the Assembly for another term, we want everyone in the district to vote for her as a sign of support for the path she is on.
District 37 – Assembly Member Catherine T. Nolan who is running unopposed has been on the case for education for many years, as well as traffic issues and concerns. More than anyone, she pursues these areas with a great interest in accomplishing what is best for her community. Cathy Nolan, although unopposed, has never rested on her laurels and instead seems to work harder all the time. We cannot say enough about her and encourage everyone to vote for her.
District 38 – Assembly Member Michael G. Miller has steadfastly pursued the proper course for his district and consistently brings to the public’s attention the issues that are the most crucial to his fellow residents in the 38th Assembly District. He has been involved with legislation and community activities to try to accomplish what is best for his district, and although he is running unopposed, he deserves our full support on Election Day.
District 39 – Attorney Catalina Cruz has good experience in the city and state, for example as counsel to the City Council’s Immigration Committee, chief of staff to former Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, and serving on the state Department of Labor’s immigration affairs division and on the governor’s Exploited Workers Task Force. Cruz is an activist for tenant protection, has worked on legislation to remove ICE from Rikers Island, fought fraudulent “notaries,” and demanded the MTA improve service, efficiency, and transparency.
Cruz lives in Jackson Heights and has been involved with the community in the current struggle against the placement of a Target and high-rise building right near Elmhurst Hospital Center. She has a 39-point policy platform, based on consultation with community members on issues including public education, health care, senior services, and the rights of women and the LGBT community.
We believe Catalina Cruz will be the best person to handle the unique challenges of Assembly District 39, and we urge voters of the district to support her.
District 40 – Assembly Member Ron Kim brings to the Assembly experience within the community that is unrivaled. He has done a great job bringing much-needed attention to concerns within the 40th Assembly District that only he would know about, as he has paid close attention and followed the needs of his constituents, bringing smart and fair solutions to many issues within the district. He deserves our full support and votes on Election Day.
Justice of the Supreme Court, 11th Judicial District; Judge of the Civil Court, County; and Justice of the Civil Court, 4th Municipal Court District – There are many judges running for the Supreme Court and Civil Court, and we encourage our readers to go and read about the candidates and vote for the judges who will best serve the needs of the people.
The Three Propositions in the General Election:
Proposition 1 on Campaign Finance – We encourage our readers to think about this one, as we see pros and cons on this proposal. Because we are unsure, we think that a “No” vote on this would be preferred, in that we do not see the point to limiting a person’s freedom to support their views if they are paying for it.
Proposition 2 on a Civic Engagement Commission – We think that this would be redundant as we already have enough representatives and officials and do not see the value to this duplication.
Proposition 3 on Community Boards – We are opposed to term limits for community board members. People with experience in the community should be encouraged to give of their time and talent for the betterment of our neighborhoods.