2013-10-04 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

We are very excited and proud to announce the opening of our campaign headquarters this Sunday October 6th at 5 p.m. It is located at the old One Hour Photo store at 114-03 Beach Channel Drive. It is next to the Rockaway Park Post Office and Waldbaum's parking lot. We will be giving out posters and lawn signs. Call (718) 945- 1216 for questions or to confirm your attendance.

On Wednesday October 16th we will hold a campaign fund raiser at the Bungalow Bar. It is at a beautiful location on the bay next to the Crossbay Bridge at Beach 92 Street. The suggested donation is $50 and there will be a cash bar. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer will attend if his schedule permits. We are proud to have the endorsement of State Senator Joe Addabbo, who represented the district on the City Council, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, Council Member Donovan Richards who represents the east end of Rockaway and Council Member Liz Crowley who represents the district north of ours in Middle Village.

I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of hearing that we cannot have the boardwalk with seawalls built around it. We are demanding that the Army Corps of Engineers quickly finish their Rockaway protection study. It is very sad that the NYC Department of Parks and the Army Corps of Engineers do not talk to each other. It is time now to put all concerned in one room and get them moving forward with our need of protection. We want them to have a unified plan for recon- struction and protection under way before the end of the year.

On Saturday we attended the STOP FEMA rally at the American Legion in Broad Channel. All of the people agreed that “United We Stand Divided We Fall.” We need to send a clear message to the U.S Congress to amend the Biggert Waters Act to allow our community to be rebuilt, to be resilient and to prove that seawalls will provide the protection we need. If the Act goes into effect the way it is written, many people will lose their homes before the seawalls are even built.

Do not be fooled into believing that the problem was solved by a resolution introduced into the City Council by Council Member Peter Vallone Jr. and our local Council Member. Only an Act of Congress can solve the problem now. We must work together with the millions of Americans across the nations who live near the ocean, rivers, and other areas subject to flooding who are facing the same problem.

As we all sit and wait for Build it Back, we question if it will be enough to help everyone to raise their elevation and to do necessary repairs. Anger and depression are running rapidly through all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Saturday afternoon we watched the building of a beautiful children's park in Breezy Point by Kaboom along with hundreds of volunteers from WABC TV with President and General Manager Dave Davis of the Disney Corporation. The beautiful children of Breezy Point gave their input of what they wanted in the park and it was made a reality. They could show the NYC Parks Department how to get things done. It is a piece of heaven for the children and families of Breezy Point.

We have spoken to WABC TV and Disney about a park on Shorefront Parkway, It is very important that children affected by Hurricane Sandy have a place to go and unwind and enjoy themselves.

I make my personal commitment as the next Council Member from the 32 C.D. to make sure that we bring funds home to rebuild our parks. As part of the Council majority, my goal is to become Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

In addition to funds in the regular NYC capital budget, each Council Member has been able to allot funds to projects in their own districts. Our current Council Member has started the process of trying to decide what will be in the next city budget which must be adopted by July 1, 2014. Of course there will be a new mayor and many new Council Members at that time. We do not know how the new mayor and council will allot funds. In our district we intend to get funds for needed projects in every part of the district. We will work with the community to get everyone's input and cooperation.

We plan on being a voice of reason to protest the closing of emergency rooms and the shortage of beds for patients waiting to be admitted to our local hospitals. We will work with all concerned to end the policy of closing hospitals and leaving critically ill patients far from help.

We now need volunteers to make telephone calls, ring doorbells, deliver and install lawn signs and do fund raising. Come in to our campaign office Sunday to be part of our campaign.

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