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Ariola right choice for D32

Political upstart Felicia Singh has made a significant impact in her candidacy as a Democrat for the City Council in the 32nd district, which includes the neighborhoods of Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and Rockaway.
The Ozone Park native is running on a platform focused on the issue that the district is underfunded. Her progressive approach towards governing fits into a global and citywide narrative that is gaining momentum in the City Council. We believe we will see at least a dozen new progressive representatives in the legislative body this next session.
If she wins this seat, in all likelihood each City Council seat in Queens will be filled by a Democrat, with the vast majority likely to push a more progressive agenda.
Joann Ariola, a Howard Beach resident and leader of the Queens Republican Party, is our choice for the seat. If we are serious about diversity then we need a voice that differs from the rest in the City Council.
Ariola is more aligned with the constituency over the entire district and appeals to even Democrats in the district. We know her agenda is more about her neighbors than an ideology, and her leadership skills are apparent.
From Woodhaven to Rockaway, Ariola knows the district, and we believe her office and staff will be much more accessible to meet the needs of the residents of the district.
Ariola’s support of public safety, true infrastructure issues, school choice, and willingness to advocate for the small businesses community make her our choice to replace Councilman Eric Ulrich.
On November 2, cast your vote for Joann Ariola.

Singh celebrates Eid al-Adha in Liberty Plaza

Felicia Singh visited Liberty Plaza in Ozone Park to observe Eid al-Adha with local residents and celebrate her recent victory in the Democratic Primary for City Council. She handed out sweets and masks to passersby, helping others check their voter registration status at times.
In November, Singh will run against GOP candidate Joann Ariola. Unlike many areas in New York City, District 32 has a significant Republican base, ensuring that the general election will be competitive. It is also the last Republican-held City Council seat in Queens.
If Singh wins in November, she will be the first woman, as well as first Indo-Caribbean and first South Asian person, to represent District 32 in the City Council.
“The Rockaways are great and so important, but we don’t talk enough about Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill,” said Singh, referencing the neighborhoods that make up District 32. “My first tour here was purposeful because we wanted to celebrate Eid with the community.”
Eid al-Adha commemorates the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience of a command from God. Before Abraham could carry out the deed, however, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Singh won the race to represent her district in June, earning a total of 4,684 votes – 52.5 percent – over lawyer Mike Scala’s 47.5 percent. She is the first woman of color to run for the seat on the Democratic line.
“We’ve been struggling for far too long and haven’t had someone who understands the issues our community is facing,” said Mahtad Phen, a volunteer from Singh’s campaign who first became involved in politics in 2018 when they volunteered for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
Since then, he’s been helping similar progressive candidates running to bring representation to their communities.
Singh believes her ability to build coalitions across the five boroughs makes her a strong candidate. She is endorsed by numerous organizations and elected officials, including State Senator Jessica Ramos and Rockaway Women for Progress.
In their endorsement, the group said Singh has the “intellect, resolve, integrity, and energy to represent the Rockaways.”
A central part of her political agenda is in addressing climate change and creating environmental sustainability. Her district is especially vulnerable to coastal flooding, and not just in the Rockaways where Queens meets the Atlantic Ocean.
“The more we wait to take on the climate crisis and reduce our carbon emissions, the more will be impacted in the north of this district,” Singh said. “We have to understand that high tides by 2030 are going to reach Ozone Park and start to impact everyday life.”
Her resilience plan includes a K-12 curriculum that is rooted in environmental science and funds to help families and individuals file claims for flooding caused by sewer backups.
She encouraged people to learn about their elected officials, talk to them and register to vote.
“Everything you have and everything you don’t have is a political decision made by somebody else,” said Singh, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement. “Even if you’re just talking to one person about getting involved and changing something in your community, that’s owning political power.”

Will Queens go all blue this November?

The general election later this year probably won’t excite many voters.
The Republicans won’t be fielding many competitive candidates in the numerous City Council seats that will be open this year thanks to term limits. The Democrats who won their primaries will likely have a cakewalk into office.
As for citywide races, there are Republican candidates for mayor, public advocate and comptroller, with mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa enjoying the greatest name recognition.
However, as we pointed out last week, Eric Adams is basically being treated like the next mayor of New York City already, so it’s unlikely the Guardian Angels founder and radio show host is going to stand much of a chance in November.
Although, perhaps voter apathy will help the GOP. Given the overwhelming advantage Democrats have over Republicans in registered voters, Democratic voters failing to show up to the polls because they think the race is already won might be the Republicans only chance at victory.
Doubtful, but it’s a longshot.
We caught Tony Avella at an event recently during which he referred to Assemblyman Ed Braunstein as his “colleague in government” before rightfully checking himself. Avella only won the Democratic Primary for his old City Council seat in northeast Queens, and as such isn’t in government yet.
Avella actually has a Republican challenger in Vickie Paladino, who knows how to run a competent campaign and has already been engaging with voters because she actually had a challenger in the Republican Primary.
But while Avella was in office, he appealed to voters of both parties because he focused primarily on quality-of-life issues facing his constituents and steered clear of party politics, that is until he joined the Independent Democratic Conference in Albany, a group of renegade state senators who caucused with Republicans.
That decision became part of his downfall when progressive groups campaigned hard against him and helped get John Liu elected.
Now that he has won the primary, he is out there focusing on the issues that always helped him get elected. He recently called on the city to fix the roads in College Point, the LIRR to shut down a noisy Bayside rail yard, and we hear he is going to be calling attention to a controversial land issue soon.
If he sticks to that playbook, it’s going to hard for Paladino to make any headway with voters.
Another race worth paying attention to is in south Queens, where Councilman Eric Ulrich – the lone Republican elected official left in the borough – is term-limited out of office.
Felicia Singh won the Democratic Primary, and she will face off against Joann Ariola, who is also chair of the Queens County Republican Party. The district leans conservative, and some voters, even Democrats, might see Singh as too progressive.
There are pockets across Queens where Democrats have no problem voting for a Republican if they prefer the candidate, and south Queens is one of them. Ariola could benefit from that tendency.
But there is a monkey wrench in the race. Kenichi Wilson was kicked off the ballot in the Democratic Primary after a supporter of fellow candidate Mike Scala challenged his petition signatures.
The Board of Elections validated his signatures and said he could remain on the ballot, but the same supporter filed a peremptory lawsuit with the state before that decision, which kept him off the ballot for good.
During the whole process, Wilson incurred tens of thousands in legal fees, much of which he paid with matching funds from the city. If he didn’t run in either the primary or general election, he would have to pay all of that money back.
So partially to stay out of debt and partially to run for the seat he intended to from the start, he formed his own third party. Wilson will run on the Community First line this November.
Remember when we said conservative Democrats could be persuaded to vote for Ariola? That might not be the case with Wilson on the ballot. Those votes could go to him instead, hurting her chances.
As for Singh, some Democrats who don’t necessarily care for her but would never vote for a Republican, might instead vote for Wilson, which would hurt Singh’s chances.
It’s going to be interesting to see which candidate is effected most by Wilson’s decision to stay in the race.
And if Ariola and Paladino both lose, it means Queens will be all blue.

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