2022 Elections Profile: Senate Candidate Elizabeth Crowley

By Matthew Fischetti

[email protected]

Elizabeth Crowley wants to represent Queens again. And Brooklyn. Oh, And Manhattan too.

Crowley, a former city councilwoman from Glendale, is running in the newly redrawn Senate 26, which straddles Western Queens, Northern Brooklyn, and Eastern Manhattan. Crowley is no newcomer to politics, coming from a large political family (her cousin was former Congressman Joseph Crowley, who AOC upset in 2018)  and has run for a slew of offices over the years.

While the district originally encompassed her home of Glendale, Crowley said that her vision and platform apply to a greater swath of New Yorkers.

“I went to college at FIT, I went to grad school in Brooklyn. I identify with the city as a whole,” Crowley said in an interview.  Crowley said that while she represented different neighborhoods back in the council, she pushed for policies that benefit New Yorkers across the board.

Crowley pushed against firehouse closures, fought to close Rikers, and advocated for increased greenway and transit options during her time on the city council. She lost re-election against Councilman Robert Holden in 2020.

“Most of them [inmates] have some level of anxiety, depression and a significant amount of the population as a serious mental health diagnosis, such as schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. And many of them have no family and no support system,” Crowley said of her decision to support bail reform, even though she noted that the legislation went too far in offering bail to alleged violent offenders.”So either way, they’re going to cycle in and out, in and out.”

Crowley said that affordability issues, child care, and education would be among her top issues if elected. In order to tackle the affordability issue, she says that New York needs to build a massive amount of affordable housing with transit to support the development.

“I have constituents in this district, over $3 million houses, in Greenpoint, pay less than property tax, then a modest, 1,000 square-foot homeowner in the district – or even, let’s say, a homeowner in southeast Queens. It’s a city-wide issue that needs to be addressed,” Crowley said, highlighting her desire for broad-based property tax reform. Earlier this year, a group of bipartisan legislators from Albany to the city council called for the issue to be addressed in the next legislative session.

While Crowley said that she wasn’t a fan of 421(a), the city’s now expired affordable housing tax break that critics said didn’t invest enough in actually affordable units, she said there still is a role for the government to subsidize construction.

She also said that she would explore options to reduce construction by “working with unions and project labor agreements to bring down wages, or to get some guarantees or give back to them for the cost of the project.” Crowley has received the most amount of support from labor unions thus far in the race.

The other candidates in the race are Kristen Gonzalez, Mike Corbett, and Nomiki Konst. The election is on Aug. 23, with early voting occurring from Aug. 13 to the 21st.

2022 Elections Profile: Senate Candidate Elizabeth Crowley

By Matthew Fischetti

[email protected]

Elizabeth Crowley wants to represent Queens again. And Brooklyn. Oh, And Manhattan too.

Crowley, a former city councilwoman from Glendale, is running in the newly redrawn Senate 26, which straddles Western Queens, Northern Brooklyn, and Eastern Manhattan. Crowley is no newcomer to politics, coming from a large political family (her cousin was former Congressman Joseph Crowley, who AOC upset in 2018)  and has run for a slew of offices over the years.

While the district originally encompassed her home of Glendale, Crowley said that her vision and platform apply to a greater swath of New Yorkers.

“I went to college at FIT, I went to grad school in Brooklyn. I identify with the city as a whole,” Crowley said in an interview.  Crowley said that while she represented different neighborhoods back in the council, she pushed for policies that benefit New Yorkers across the board.

Crowley pushed against firehouse closures, fought to close Rikers, and advocated for increased greenway and transit options during her time on the city council. She lost re-election against Councilman Robert Holden in 2020.

“Most of them [inmates] have some level of anxiety, depression and a significant amount of the population as a serious mental health diagnosis, such as schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. And many of them have no family and no support system,” Crowley said of her decision to support bail reform, even though she noted that the legislation went too far in offering bail to alleged violent offenders.”So either way, they’re going to cycle in and out, in and out.”

Crowley said that affordability issues, child care, and education would be among her top issues if elected. In order to tackle the affordability issue, she says that New York needs to build a massive amount of affordable housing with transit to support the development.

“I have constituents in this district, over $3 million houses, in Greenpoint, pay less than property tax, then a modest, 1,000 square-foot homeowner in the district – or even, let’s say, a homeowner in southeast Queens. It’s a city-wide issue that needs to be addressed,” Crowley said, highlighting her desire for broad-based property tax reform. Earlier this year, a group of bipartisan legislators from Albany to the city council called for the issue to be addressed in the next legislative session.

While Crowley said that she wasn’t a fan of 421(a), the city’s now expired affordable housing tax break that critics said didn’t invest enough in actually affordable units, she said there still is a role for the government to subsidize construction.

She also said that she would explore options to reduce construction by “working with unions and project labor agreements to bring down wages, or to get some guarantees or give back to them for the cost of the project.” Crowley has received the most amount of support from labor unions thus far in the race.

The other candidates in the race are Kristen Gonzalez, Mike Corbett, and Nomiki Konst. The election is on Aug. 23, with early voting occurring from Aug. 13 to the 21st.

Undocumented residents share their stories

By Matthew Fischetti

[email protected]com

 

Members of the nonprofit New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) members last week shared how their immigration status prevents them from being able to get steady work.

Around two dozen members waited an hour outside NICE headquarters in Jackson Heights wearing masks that said “Citizenship for All” as Senator Chuck Schumer listened to testimonials about how undocumented status affects immigrants’ lives.

Araceli Cerrano is an undocumented immigrant who spoke at the meeting about how her immigration status is literally threatening her life. Cerrano has kidney issues and is on dialysis three days a week.

“Without being able to be admitted to a transplant list, her time is literally running out,” said Diana Moreno, interim executive director of NICE. “This is a truly life-or-death situation for so many of our members, not just because they might be dealing with a health issue, but in the labor we do, during the pandemic, we have sometimes risked our very lives.”

Cerrano said it felt good to have Schumer listen to her issues.

“I really hope they are helping us because we all really need it,” she said. “Especially in my case. I need to get on the list for a transplant, so I really need papers.”

Democrats in Washington have failed multiple times to pass immigration reform since President Joe Biden took office. Schumer said talks are resuming with one Democratic holdout, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and is “confident they will be able to set aside the parliamentarian”.

The parliamentarian is a nonpartisan position that makes decisions about procedures in both the House and Senate. The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, has previously ruled that immigration reform could not be tacked onto Biden’s spending bill, a crucial decision as spending bills only need 50 votes to pass and cannot be filibustered.

“As you know, Joe Manchin couldn’t come to an agreement with the president on this,” said Schumer. “And we need all 50 Democrats because we have no Republicans. But talks are resuming and we’re going to try to get as much of the BBB bill done as we can. Once we have a BBB bill on the floor, then we can move for a path to citizenship for immigrants to be added to it.”

Schumer emphasized how grassroots organizations like NICE need to get every Democratic senator to support the measures.

“I wish I could get all of my senators to hear you, but I will be your voice,” Schumer said. “You’re hard-working and want the best for yourselves and your families. We have to do everything we can to make that happen.”

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