Ulrich Will Win & Lose
The field of 23 candidates for NYC Public Advocate is now effectively down to 10 who qualified for matching funds and an invitation to the TV debates. Seven others who may appear on the ballot will not have the resources to compete. Nine of the 10 candidates are registered Democrats. Councilman Eric Ulrich is the only registered Republican to be part of the contest. Although this is a nonpartisan election, we can assume that most voters will be aware of the party affiliation.
In previous elections for Public Advocate, the Democratic vote far exceeded the Republican vote. In 2009, Bill de Blasio defeated Alex T. Zablocki 679,366 to 164,090. In 2017, Letitia James defeated Juan Carlos Polanco 752,475 to 162,781. Each Democratic victory was more than four to one. In 2001, 2005 and 2013, the Republicans didn't even put up a candidate for Public Advocate.
With nine active and well financed Democrats running in the special election on February 26, dividing the vote, it will be difficult for Eric Ulrich to lose. As the results of the special election are counted on February 26, the leading Democratic candidates will begin a primary campaign to choose one Democratic candidate for the November election. If the Democrats choose a candidate worthy of the support of most Democratic voters, that candidate should win the two-year remainder of Tish James’ term as Public Advocate.
In the next few months, the national Republican leadership will have to decide how long to blindly follow the erratic behavior of Donald Trump. Will we have another shutdown of government services or involvement in an unwanted foreign war? Will we break with our traditional allies and support dictators around the world? Will respected Republicans come forward, and as Senator Barry Goldwater carried the message to Richard Nixon, tell Donald Trump it is time to go?
As Public Advocate, Eric Ulrich will be responsible for monitoring city services. As the highest elected Republican in New York City and the only elected Republican outside of Staten Island, he will be asked about the growing crisis in Washington. Will he answer, “I am an American before I am a Republican,” or will he silently follow the lead of a President he never supported? Will he join with such leaders as John Kasich, James Mattis, Bob Corker and Mitt Romney if they try to restore a system with two respected political parties?
As voters, we can ask our elected officials to act with courage, not just to get reelected, but to help make America great again.
Two items, if I may.
First, may I reproduce the excellent editorial (with proper credit) by Glenn DiResto about the Peninsula Hospital site on the Bayswater Civic website, as well as my own site (SolutionsNY.NYC)? (Editor’s Note: Of Course!)
Also, below are my quick questions on the plans for the site (no particular order):
- Parking. Should be the same ratio of parking spots to apartments as in Rockaway as a whole. Probably something like two parking spaces per apartment.
- There should be food shopping (supermarket) before any apartments are occupied.
- Can St. John’s Hospital handle the additional residents of Downtown Far Rockaway and this site? By this, I mean as a hospital, not various outpatient facilities and offices.
- What is the impact on NYPD and FDNY? (including EMS).
- Will actual schools be built along with the housing, or only “in the future” as was promised with Arverne By the Sea and never built?
- What is the effect of the population increase (20 percent?) on emergency evacuation needs and abilities?
- This, and Downtown Far Rock projects are not going to overburden the “A” trains since they are used so lightly, will it?
- Will they contribute to funding QueensRail?
- What will the effect be on Cross Bay Boulevard / Woodhaven Boulevard?
- What about effect on Rockaway Turnpike?
- Restore Beach Channel Drive to two lanes in each direction.
- Restore Rockaway Freeway as a through road with two lanes in each direction.
- Make all signal controlled turn lanes controlled by the presence of a vehicle.
- How many shoppers is the project likely to contribute to the Five Towns shopping area?
- What is the likely racial / ethnic mix of the residents? Will it accentuate racial segregation in the area in violation of federal law?
- Will use of federal money for streets be found to be unlawful since it is the policy of the NYC DOT not to comply with the U.S. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices as required by federal and NYS law, and is a condition of using federal funds for roads.
- The project should be self-sufficient electrically. No more apartments should be built than can be supported by available solar energy.
- Most of the land should be used for one- or two- family detached housing “in keeping with existing Rockaway development,” excluding NYCHA projects. There should be an investigation of when G-d said that the NYC population should be 10 million, and where they should live.
- Will apartments be left vacant if they cannot be rented at the required market rate ratio?
- Will buildings be owner occupied, or all rental?
- How do these plans compare with HPD’s recent Edgemere study? (I was one of the community participants.)
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