For nearly 105 years, the Ridgewood Democratic Club has been a driving force in Queens Politics.
The club's annual brunch last Saturday morning brought out a number of local elected officials, including Congressman Joseph Crowley and Congresswoman Grace Meng, who have both moved up the ranks of Queens politics to represent the borough on the national level.
Crowley, who is now vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, brought news back from Washington of the inauguration ceremonies, as well as current legislation he and his fellow Democrats have been working to get passed.
He spoke of the devastation at Sandy Hook and the importance of a national bill on gun control and his disapproval of Congressional Republicans’ views on several issues, including treatment of the LGBT community, the block for a long-term solution to the nation’s debt ceiling and their attempts to prevent the Sandy Relief Bill, which has just passed, dedicating $60.4 billion this week to rebuild from the disaster left behind from the storm.
“It was unconscionable that in the time and need of other Americans, that our Congress did not recognize the devastation,” Crowley said of the Republican’s misled focus on relieving the victims in areas hit by the storm. “We even had people who represent Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana for the Republican Party who voted against the initial aid for Sandy.”
Also in Ridgewood for the Saturday morning brunch was State Senator Mike Gianaris, council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Elizabeth Crowley, State Senator Dan Squadron and several others, who all reminded Queens residents they are out fighting for the borough.
Gianaris said he is working on strengthening state schools and commended the state lawmakers for passing gun legislation in New York in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook.
“We finally said, at least in New York, that enough is enough,” Gianaris said. “We’re doing what we can in New York, but it’s still too easy to get guns in other places.”
Following the morning’s speakers and brunch, musician and historian Arthur Kirnns played his 19th century German-styled guitar zither, singing to old marching tunes.