District 19 candidate Shafran wants to clean up City Council


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com |

One candidate has a plan to clean up the city council.

Austin Shafran, who is running in the District 19 race, believes the key to fighting government corruption is to limit politicians’ outside influences, and take the power out of their hands and put it into the local community.

“Our community isn’t getting the fair share we deserve because of the corrupting influence of outside business interests.

For our voice and our needs to be heard at City Hall, we must clean up the corruption and create an honest and effective government that gets things done,” said Shafran.

His three-point proposal targets conflicts of interest for councilmembers and their employees, and makes sure funding is fairly distributed among districts.

Shafran would like to prohibit all outside employment from which city councilmembers receive income. The ban would make the position “full-time” and eliminate outside corrupting interests, he said.

Councilmembers would still be allowed to derive profits from stock and bond investments, personal and family trusts, retirement funds or through inheritance, he said.

Another plan point would eliminate conflict of interests arising from lobbyists.

“We need to take the ‘who you know’ out of government,” said Shafran.

His proposal bans city-registered corporate lobbyists and their firms from lobbying family members who are elected to public office and elected officials they work for as campaign staff or consultants for the duration of the term immediately after the most recent election cycle.

His final point ensures local communities have a final say in what projects receive funding from the city council, and every district receives an equal share.

“It’s the taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Shafran said [his campaign] “is about protecting our neighborhoods through public service,” and that is why he is proposing his plan.

 

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