Queens City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley will have a challenger in her re-election bid this year. Middle Village resident and community board member Robert Holden has thrown his hat in the race. Our Gene Apodaca spoke candidly with both candidates and filed this report.
“You cannot count on Elizabeth Crowley that’s the bottom line, “ said Robert Holden.
And with that, the race for the district 30 city council seat just got heated. Long time Juniper Park Civic Association president Robert Holden pulling no punches as he announced he will challenge Elizabeth Crowley in the Democratic Primary.
A steady thorn in Crowley’s side, he’s been an outspoken critic on her stances on housing development and her response to the DeBlasio administration’s push to use two Queens hotels as homeless shelters.
“Elizabeth Crowley showed no leadership whatsoever on that. She didn’t show up to any of the protests on either homeless shelter site, “said Holden.
Holden, who is retiring from teaching at the New York City College of Technology after 40 years, says his civic leadership has been proven. Serving on Community Board 5, he says he’s fought for rezoning, better parks, and worked to save an historic church.
He’s also one of the people behind the Juniper Berry, a community publication read throughout Queens.
“In politics there are people who say a lot of things and then there are people who actually get results done,“ responded Crowley.
Crowley, who’s running for her third term, says her record speaks for itself, touting her success in securing funding for 54-hundred new classroom seats, enhanced public safety by hiring more cops, and preserving essential city services such as fire and EMS.
She argues that she was on the forefront of the homeless issue actually suing the mayor over his plans to covert hotels into homeless shelters.
“Housing people in hotels is not only illegal its wrong and it’s financially irresponsible,“ said Crowley.
But, it may be Crowley’s support of closing Riker Island, which draws the most distinction.
“I worry about the people who work there and the inmates there. They are not safe on that island,“ said Crowley.
Holden supports keeping it open because closing it would create more community jails.
“Why would anybody be for community jails have prisoners in the community I mean I don’t get that,“ said Holden.
Two very different views in what promises to be a very interesting race. The primary election is September 12th.