The Campaign Trail
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 Congress Race
Crowley Plan For Women’s Health
City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, a Democratic candidate for the new Sixth Congressional District seat, announced her Five Point Plan for women’s health.
According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, one in four women in west central Queens have gone without health insurance within the last year. This prevents women from seeking preventative care, such as breast and ovarian cancer screenings. Women are also put at a further disadvantage to obtain health insurance because 90 percent of all insurance plans across the country treat being a woman as a preexisting condition and charge more for the same coverage as men.
A lack of insurance and the dearth of private practice obstetricians and gynecologists, many of whom have left the city due to growing medical malpractice costs, leave women with few options for prenatal care, Crowley said. As a result, the number of women who die during childbirth in the city is double the national average.
“We need to tell Congress that being a woman is not a liability or a preexisting condition,” Crowley said. “Proper preventative care can save thousands of dollars in medical costs for individuals and save lives. Unfortunately, many women simply cannot afford the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, and doctors are leaving the city because of high medical malpractice costs. At a time when women’s health care has been under attack, I will go to Washington and fight to ensure women receive the best health care possible.”
Crowley has devised a five-point plan that will ultimately change the market and assist doctors in low-income neighborhoods throughout the City:
• Disclosure and early offer programs— Doctors and patients agree that prompt and candid disclosure of errors with offers of reasonable compensation would address the two reasons patients file suits: the need for compensation and anger because of the lack of candor about errors.
• Health courts—An administrative tribunal would use independent medical experts and established guidelines on preventable injuries to make faster, more consistent compensation decisions.
• Schedule of damages—A series of dollar ranges that vary with severity of malpractice would give juries the ability to determine the proper compensation for the case.
• Tax incentives—In an effort to bring more doctors into underserved areas, the government can lower the overhead cost for women’s health practitioners. Doctors in high-risk specialties
• Strengthen the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC)— The OPMC standard for license removal should be stricter and more comprehensive.
Meng Targets Vets Issues, Soc. Security
Assemblywoman Grace Meng, a Democrat is running for the Sixth Congressional District seat, highlighted her plan to keep Social Security solvent, while protecting middle-class families from tax hikes.
“We have a serious, structural problem with Social Security, and we must acknowledge that. Anyone who contends that we can merely grow our way out of the problem either misunderstands it or misrepresents it for political purposes,” Meng said. “Under no circumstances could growth itself solve this problem; that is a fact. On the other hand, it would be imprudent to raise taxes on those earning over $110,600 while the economy is weak and possibly slowing.”
Meng’s plan for Social Security entails:
• eliminating the FICA exemption within three years, once the economy is farther along in its recovery, but not now, while it is still struggling;
• spurring economic growth, creating more jobs and undertaking comprehensive immigration reform in order to have more people contributing more dollars toward Social Security; and
• exploring millionaires paying an even higher percentage of their earnings into the Social Security fund.
Meng also outlined plans for dealing with issues related to veterans. She discussed the need to enhance and develop more Veteran Service Centers in the city, which are crucial to assisting veterans’ needs. They act as a one-stop shop for veterans to access programs, gain assistance with paperwork, and cut through red tape in order to best serve their needs.
Meng also pledged to fight for more funding to enrich St. Albans V.A. Hospital, which serves many veterans in Queens and the city.
Lancman: Build A New Pk. In Maspeth
Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a Democratic candidate for the Sixth Congressional District, rallied with local community leaders and civic associations in Maspeth last Thursday, June 14, and called for the use of eminent domain to convert the former St. Saviour’s Chuch site in Maspeth into a public park.
In 2008, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) struck down the community’s attempt to have the property landmarked. The church was eventually taken apart piece-by-piece to preserve its historic nature, and the pieces of the church currently sit in trailers near the site.
In 2009 and 2010, attempts were made by city officials to purchase the site from the developers for approximately $7 million, but not enough funds were raised. In 2011, there was a renewed push until November, when funds were diverted from purchasing the St. Saviour’s site to a different project.
More parkland is a common concern in Maspeth and the surrounding neighborhoods. According to NYC estimates for the proper ratio of park space in a community, Maspeth should have 88 acres of parkland; instead, the neighborhood has only 12. Furthermore, Lancman noted, the community has been subject to the harmful effects of industrial development which have diminished the quality of life for area residents.
At the rally, Lancman proposed using eminent domain in order to restore St. Saviour’s and build a park on the grounds. If elected to Congress, Lancman said he would work with the city Parks Department and federal agencies to appropriate the approximately $5 million necessary to purchase the property through eminent domain. After purchasing the site, Lancman would work with civic groups to ensure the rebuilding of the church, the building of a community center and the preservation of public parkland for the benefit of Maspeth and the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The people of Maspeth have suffered through this saga long enough,” Lancman said. “Maspeth doesn’t need another industrial eyesore—it needs a park, and if I’m elected to Congress, I’ll fight to invoke eminent domain and raise the funds to turn this site into a public park that this community can be proud of. I’ll also work to pass my federal plan to combat overdevelopment so we can preserve the character of all our neighborhoods here in Queens.”
Halloran Talks Biz At Franchise Expo
City Council Member Dan Halloran, the presumptive Republican nominee for the Sixth Congressional District seat, spoke to dozens of local and national small business owners at the International Franchise Expo last Friday, June 15, at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
A former small business owner himself, Halloran spoke to the business owners about ways the city and federal governments can make it easier for franchisees and entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.
“New York City used to be the world’s hub of business growth,” said Halloran. “But thanks to the ridiculous regulations, taxes, and red tape we impose on our businesses, we’re now seeing small business owners and job creators flee this city at a record pace. It has to stop.”
With many restauranteurs in attendance, one of the main issues of conversation was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of sugary drinks of over 16 ounces in size. Halloran has led the opposition to the measure.
The ban is opposed by small business owners as a regulation that will hurt their sales and force them to jump through hoops in the midst of painful economic times.
“These folks are already the most regulated businesspeople in the country,” Halloran said, “and now the mayor wants to throw another rule at them. If you run a deli or bodega in this city, you’re already working hard to make ends meet, and you just lost a source of precious income. It’s outrageous.”
NY- 7 Dem. Primary
Obama And Koch Backing Velázquez
President Barack Obama endorsed Rep. Nydia Velázquez, a 20- year veteran of Congress, for reelection to the Seventh Congressional District seat, which includes parts of Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven, Bushwick and Cypress Hills.
“For the past two decades, Rep. Nydia Velázquez has been a constant advocate for middle-class families, helping to create an economy built to last where everyone has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” said Obama. “Velázquez has worked tirelessly to create good middle class jobs through community projects, provide affordable housing so folks have a decent place to lay their head at night, and invest in education so that the children in her district receive the quality education they deserve. The people of New York’s Seventh Congressional need to re-elect Rep. Velázquez so that she can keep fighting for them in Congress.”
Velázquez is currently serving her tenth term as Representative for New York’s 12th Congressional District, now known as the Seventh Congressional District. In the 112th Congress, she is the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Former Mayor Ed Koch also endorsed Velázquez for reelection, saying, “She has been a leader in Congress in support of the Jewish community and its concern for the safety and security of the Jewish nation, Israel.”
“She has helped all communities. She has provided effective leadership in the Hispanic community which has suffered enormously as a result of the recent and still ongoing recession and loss of jobs,” Koch said. “I admire her and support her. I urge you to join her campaign and reelect her by rushing to the polls on June 26th and voting for her. If possible, bring along at least 2 other voters with you.”
NY- 8 Dem. Primary
Queens Dems Are Supporting Jeffries
Prominent elected officials and community leaders from Queens, including Rep. Joe Crowley, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, announced their endorsement of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for election to the Eighth Congressional District seat, which includes Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach and Brooklyn neighborhoods.
“Hakeem Jeffries is exactly the kind of person we need in Congress,” said Crowley. “Not only will he fight to create jobs for New Yorkers, but he will also work hard to protect middleclass families, seniors and children.”
“Hakeem has always been a strong advocate for working families and affordable housing in Albany,” said Addabbo. “We have to send him to Washington to fight the foreclosure crisis and create job opportunities by making our economy better.”
“As one of the newest members of the New York State Assembly, I have looked to Hakeem for his guidance and leadership” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “His energy, enthusiasm and attention to every neighborhood he represents make him the best candidate to represent us in Washington.”
“I am honored to have the support of so many distinguished leaders from Queens,” said Jeffries. “Although our district spans two boroughs, we have the same priorities of better education for our children, preserving home ownership and getting people back to work. I look forward to vigorously representing the neighborhoods of Howard Beach, Lindenwood and Ozone Park in Washington.”
Jeffries has represented Brooklyn’s 57th district in the New York State Assembly since 2007. During his time in the legislature, Assemblyman Jeffries has supported legislation to strengthen tenant regulations, protect the civil liberties of law-abiding New Yorkers during police encounters, reform state government in Albany, and facilitate the successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals.
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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