From the Times Ledger:
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has decided to throw his hat into next year’s race for Queens borough president, the lawmaker told TimesLedger Newspapers Monday.
Avella was rumored to be mulling a run for months, but made up his mind in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, he said, after witnessing the borough being passed over for recovery resources that went to Manhattan and Brooklyn instead.
“I thought we should have had a much more active borough president and much more of a coordinating effort from the office of the borough president,” Avella said. “That convinced me Queens needs a voice.”
Avella is fresh off winning re-election to his northeast Queens seat earlier this month, where he captured nearly 60,000 votes, according to records from the city Board of Elections, a number the lawmaker believes makes capturing the boroughwide spot viable.
From the Queens Chronicle:
There are many things the three-term lawmaker and head of the Queens delegation has on his agenda. First and foremost, after witnessing the effects of Hurricane Sandy and hearing that meteorologists are predicting that such a storm could hit twice a year in the future, Comrie is naturally concerned about disaster preparation.
He wants to re-examine the flood zone maps, and possibly revamp them to better reflect the likelihood of more communities being in a storm’s path. Also, Comrie wants to make sure there is a strategy to quickly and effectively deploy assistance to those affected.
“Even our B areas can be impacted by an A Zone,” Comrie said, referring to the city flood zones where residents were not evacuated as they were in Zone A. “Superstorm Sandy created a high tide situation for 24 hours and impacted our B areas.
We need to work with the state and federal government to fight for the best courses of action to protect the shoreline and fortify resources.”
One cannot talk about the borough of Queens without mentioning its cultural diversity, something Comrie said should be celebrated publicly and spoken about more in schools.
In addition, Comrie wants to create more opportunities to educate Queens communities in an effort to make people more sensitive to different ethnicities. Part of that effort includes promoting volunteerism and parental participation in education as well as hosting public forums and other culturally-oriented events.