2014-01-17 / Community

Rock Repubs Report

By Peter Stubben

Rockaway, January 14, 2014: A room-full of local Republicans - and would-be Republicans - gathered last night at The Belle Harbor Yacht Club to visit with grassroots Republican Scherie Murray and Councilmember Eric Ulrich on the latest developments.

Scherie Murray was just elected the Republican State committeewoman for southeast Queens and Far Rockaway. She came to politics, she explained, when they took away the swings in her park and she sought explanations. While researching US political history, Murray discovered - shockingly, she said - that two of her civil rights heroes, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., were both republicans, and that Abraham Lincoln led the Republican Party and the nation through treacherous times to free the slaves and guarantee their freedoms through the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Murray's message to all was one of unity in the party and progress on important Republican issues that appeal to all New Yorkers...safe streets, better schools and good jobs. She also asked, 'should marijuana laws, for instance, be relaxed?'

Rockaway's Councilman followed to discuss and explain his controversial vote for the new Speaker of the Council and the many post-Sandy resiliency projects for the peninsula...the ferry, the boardwalk, FEMA, the Army Corps, rapid repair, build-it-back, the Beach 116th Street Partnership, street repair and 'stop, question and frisk'. At approximately 10 p.m. one evening, Ulrich explained, he took a surprise phone call from the new Mayor asking for his vote for Melissa Mark-Viverito, which was then followed by a lengthy conversation on the many needs for The Rockaways post-Sandy. Ulrich then committed to support Councilwoman Viverto for Speaker, the 26th Councilman to endorse Viverito. With respect to the boardwalk's restoration, Ulrich seeks to put the rebuild on a 12-month 'fast-track' action and to forge with the new administration a closer working relationship between Parks and EDC to finalize construction in 2014...not 2017! There were many questions to follow on all the above issues, and Ulrich conveyed the spirit of hopefulness and project completions sooner rather than later.

Rock Republican President Alan Zwirn closed with a reminder that next month's program will be open to all with a special guest speaker from IRS - a tax expert - to review all the special and pertinent situations here for Rockaway taxpayers re. Sandy. Details to follow.

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