2013-09-06 / Columnists

Simon says...

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Tuesday September 10th is a very important day in my life. After nineteen years of serving as Assembly District Leader in the 23rd A.D., we will get one step closer to speaking for our community and neighbors in the New York City Council. We urge all registered Democrats in the 32nd C.D. to vote for me on Tuesday September 10th.

Our district covers the west end of Rockaway, including Breezy Point, up to Beach 73rd Street along Shore Front Parkway. In the 31st C.D which starts at Hammels and runs through Far Rockaway, my friend Donovan Richards is running for reelection. You will be able to vote for mayor, comptroller, public advocate and borough president, but don’t forget to vote for your voice in the City Council. Remind your neighbors and friends to get their vote in. The 32nd C. D. also includes Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and part of South Ozone Park.

We are very proud to have the official support of labor unions such as the Communications Workers Local 1189, Ornamental Iron Workers Local 580, EMT and Paramedics Local 2507 of DC37, FDNY Inspectors Local 2, Uniformed Fire Officers Association FDNY, 504 Democratic Club and the Coalition of Latino Voters. We have friends in many other unions we have worked with over the years.

The most important issue that affects us all is rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. We have all shared in the terrible pain and anguish of this hurricane. My first priority is the rebuilding process and to assure we have protection, protection, protection. We need a boardwalk with seawalls, a double dune system along the beach and bay walls along the Jamaica Bay bay front. As your next Council member, I am requesting to be Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, so that we can have a major say in the rebuilding of our shoreline.

Transportation is another priority for our community. The Rockaway ferry is one of the biggest shots in the arm we have gotten. We must keep the ferry permanently at the current $2.00 fare or even free. Staten Island has a free ferry. Why shouldn’t we have one also? It is extremely important that we have express buses to Manhattan from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. We need to reactivate the Rockaway Beach line so we can get to midtown Manhattan in 32 minutes. We must make the Crossbay Bridge toll rebate permanent and will not sleep until it is free for all Queens residents. We will help get an HOV lane on Woodhaven and Crossbay Boulevards in peak hours.

Quality education is needed so our children will be able to meet the challenges of the future. We will secure funding to build much needed schools. We will make school safety and stopping bullying a priority and reduce busing and keep siblings together in neighbor- hood schools. We will continue to fight for additional police and firefighters and never even think of closing fire companies.

The loss of community hospitals has made access to emergency rooms, clinics, preventative care and routine operations a major challenge. We will continue to help St. Johns staff and patients plan the fight to make sure that a good general hospital is available to all local residents. We will continue our personal service for everyone in the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are proudly endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Organization and will work with all our City Council colleagues to get needed services for our community and Queens. You can now see my video statement on the website of the NYC Campaign Finance Board. Go to Voter Guide and then to City Council 32nd C.D.

It was sad to see that after all our complaints about the lack of sand replenishment; the Army Corps of Engineers did not have the courtesy to allow us to use our beaches on the Labor Day weekend. A little better planning could have prevented this slap in our faces.

Our campaign will go on through Election Day Tuesday November 5th. We need volunteers to make phone calls and ring doorbells. Your contributions may be matched 6 to 1 by the NYC Campaign Finance Board. Call me at (718) 945-1216 if you can volunteer or have any questions.

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