2011-09-09 / Columnists

East End Matters...

Goldfeder, Weprin In Special Election On September 13
Commentary By Miriam Rosenberg

While many associate former Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer with the west end, due to the strange way in which the two assembly districts in Rockaway have been sliced, she actually represented a majority of those who live on the entire peninsula. That is the reason the special election on September 13 to decide who will replace her in the Assembly is important to all of Rockaway.

The two candidates for the job are Democrat Y. Phillip Goldfeder and Republican Jane Deacy. Like Pheffer, who lives in Bayswater, Goldfeder is a product of the Rockaways – specifically Far Rockaway. He has served in local and federal government. He got his start as a community liaison for Councilman James Sanders Jr. As a result of his work he moved on to City Hall where he became Mayor Bloomberg’s Queens Director for the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit. After that he became a member of the staff of New York’s senior Senator Charles Schumer as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Goldfeder’s background working on such issues as transportation, the annual mosquito problem in Rockaway – especially in the east end – and rezoning is vital to those who live here. I applaud Deacy, who is currently a Republican State Committeewoman and district leader for the 23rd Assembly District, for her work as a NYPD officer, her years as a teacher and her charity work. But we need someone with the knowledge and background to hit the boards running as soon as the election is over. While some are calling Goldfeder “the kid,” this “kid” has years of experience at various levels of government that can only serve him well once he is elected. In 2009, Goldfeder was named to the 40 Under 40 list of Rising Stars in New York City politics and government.

Because of that and more, this column endorses Y. Phillip Goldfeder for the New York State Assembly. Since we are talking about elections, while the east end has no horse in the race to replace former Congressman Anthony Weiner, until any redistricting is made official this peninsula still has two seats in the House of Representatives. Running to replace Weiner is Democrat David Weprin and Republican Bob Turner.

Turner says on his website, “America needs to grow our way out of debt by lowering taxes and reducing regulation on small businesses.” How do you grow out of debt? Anyone who runs a household knows you need money coming in to offset the money going out. Lower taxes equals less money coming in. What is needed is for Washington to close loopholes that help big business pay less than their fair share of taxes or no taxes at all, for that matter.

If there is anything we should have realized by now it’s that businesses, especially small businesses, are holding on to whatever extra money they can rather than invest in new hires. But the question is why does Turner talk about only small business? It’s because it resonates with the hardworking Joes and Janes who fight to keep their stores and companies open through these tough times. What he needs to do is discuss big business and the wealthy and what their contributions to the economy should be. Turner has also said the same thing about jobs, “I believe the way out of the economic crisis is to cut spending, cut taxes and allow our businesses to grow. I will fight to balance the budget and dramatically reduce spending, and eliminate redundant and wasteful federal programs.”

I have no problem with getting rid of wasteful government spending, but be careful about who decides what programs should go. It always amazes me how people would rather cut spending, but then, when the shortages in services arise, the same people cry about the problems the cuts caused.

Turner is a businessman. While government can confound us with budgets and numbers galore, it should not be run as a business. Government should be about people. David Weprin has served in the City Council, as chair of the Finance Committee for eight years, and is now in the state Assembly. During his years of service to the people of the city and the state he has worked for the average New Yorker like you and me.

This column endorses David Weprin, the democratic candidate, for the United States House of Representatives in District 9.

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