City Council hopeful is breaking the chains
Aug 23, 2017 | 2130 views | 0 0 comments | 236 236 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland announced that she would be stepping down from her Queens City Council seat, she really laid the groundwork for this year's most contentious primary race.

Former state senator and councilman Hiram Monserrate, who was forced to leave office under a cloud of controversy, was already planning to challenge Ferreras-Copeland in the primary, eager to regain a political post.

But when Ferreras-Copeland announced her resignation, Assemblyman Francisco Moya announced that he was interested in the seat. Ever since, the two have been nipping at each other in the press and public; there's definitely no love lost between these two.

Monserrate claims that Moya has done virtually nothing of note during his seven years in the Assembly, while Moya brings up Monserrate's previous scandals – he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud – as examples of why he is unfit to return to public service.

Despite his troubles with the law, Monserrate has his loyal supporters who have never wavared in their support of him and he has a lot of experience running campaigns, so he's a formidable challenger in the district even if he doesn't have the support of the Queens County Democratic Party.

But they haven't always been the only two candidates in this primary. In fact, until recently there were three other Democrats interested in the position. Two of them were Erycka Montoya and Christina Furlong, who were both kicked off the ballot after their petitions were challenged.

Monserrate immediately pinned the blame on Moya for getting the two of them booted from the ballot. However, the third former candidate hasn't given up his quest to get on the primary ballot.

Yonel Letellier Sosa, past president of the New Visions Democratic Club of Jackson Heights and former chief of staff to State Senator Jose Peralta, held a protest outside New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn this week to protest the court's decision on August 8 to keep him off the ballot.

And he brought chains!

He argues that the Queens Democratic Party lacked sufficient evidence to challenge the petitions.

“Just as we anxiously prepared for a solar eclipse that provided parts of the country with three to four minutes of darkness, I would also like to highlight the community eclipse that has been orchestrated by the Queens Democratic machinery for three to four decades that has provided darkness to the electoral process of our communities,” Letellier Sosa said in his statement.

We are all for letting as many candidates running and participating in the Democratic process, and agree that this practice of tying up prospective candidates in lengthy court battles over their petitions, a battle they can hardly afford – in either money or time – to fight is less than fair.

But man, these are some strained metaphors! And what do the chains represent?

“We are gathered here in front of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court wrapped in chains as a symbolic gesture of the way the Queens Democratic machinery has chained our communities,” Letellier Sosa explained. “Our message is very clear ‘let go of our community.’”

We wish Letellier Sosa the best of luck in his fight, but maybe he should just keep his message simple and on point.

That said, we have a soft spot in our hearts for anyone who would drag a heavy chain all the way to Brooklyn just to make a point!
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