Queens, NY, June 12, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Citizens for Queens (CfQ), a Democratic multi-candidate committee, today announced the launch of a campaign to challenge Senator Michael Gianaris in the 2020 Democratic primary election for New York Senate District 12. The committee’s mission is to support candidates with a focus on creating new jobs, addressing housing affordability and infrastructure issues, improving the business climate, and increasing access to opportunity in a fiscally responsible manner.
“When the Amazon deal collapsed due to the strident opposition of a few local politicians, Queens lost an extraordinary opportunity,” said Bipin Mathew, Treasurer of CfQ. “Our borough deserves representatives who will embrace transformational opportunities for our residents and small business owners rather than chase them away.”
CfQ is developing a policy platform centered on inclusive and equitable growth in Queens with strong support for business development while also recognizing the importance of unions and collective bargaining. The committee believes decisions must be made in the best long-term interest of the community and constructive solutions are required to address the borough’s challenges. All Queens residents deserve respect, consideration, and a good faith hearing, which they were denied by our representatives when it came to the Amazon deal.
“We are currently represented by politicians who have run unopposed for far too long and like to talk about essential infrastructure and community improvements – subways, schools, and housing – but at the same time do not seem to understand the basic economic engine needed to drive these efforts,” said Christopher Talbert, Chairman of CfQ. “Turning away over 25,000 high paying jobs and more than $27 billion in new tax revenue was a shameful political stunt meant to further personal career aspirations rather than support the long-term prosperity of Queens. Now we are working to ensure we never miss an opportunity like this again by removing these self-serving politicians and showing interested companies that Queens is once again open for business.”
As a first step, CfQ has initiated an exploratory period of attending meetings and listening to people in the community in anticipation of supporting a candidate to run for New York State Senate against incumbent Senator Michael Gianaris in the 2020 Democratic Primary. In October 2017, Senator Gianaris signed a letter urging Amazon to select New York City for its second headquarters. When the political winds changed after Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joseph Crowley, the incumbent whom Senator Gianaris had earlier endorsed as “the progressive leader we need,” Senator Gianaris abruptly changed course and became the most outspoken critic of the Amazon deal.
"Without conducting any meaningful, good faith outreach, Senator Gianaris launched a 'Stop Amazon: #NoHQ2 in LIC' petition, refused to participate in a community advisory committee, and accepted the nomination to the state Public Authorities Control Board in an effort to veto the project," said Jacqueline Daley, a Queens resident and graphic designer looking forward to expanded job opportunities in the borough. "This is widely regarded as the pivotal act that killed the deal. Senator Gianaris did all this despite multiple polls showing strong support for the deal."
“We can no longer trust Senator Gianaris to shepherd the future for Queens,” said Justin Potter, a Queens resident and father of two, who has filed to run against Senator Gianaris in the 2020 primary election. “We believe Senator Gianaris is more interested in scoring political points than he is in protecting the long-term viability of our community. We need a representative who will embrace and leverage extraordinary opportunities, and who is focused on constructive solutions to issues such as affordability, infrastructure and access to opportunity. I’m fully committed to running as long as I am the strongest candidate to ensure voters have the opportunity to hold him accountable.”
About Citizens for Queens (CfQ)
CfQ is a Democratic multi-candidate committee formed in April 2019. The committee’s mission is to support candidates with a focus on creating new jobs, addressing housing affordability and infrastructure issues, improving the business climate, and increasing access to opportunity in a fiscally responsible manner. For more information and to learn how to donate, visit CitizensForQueens.org