Tag Archives: Daneek Miller

Councilmember Daneek Miller gets to work his first two weeks in office


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Councilmember Daneek Miller is “rolling up his sleeves” and taking the ball into his own hands, creating partnerships throughout the southeast Queens community to form one voice for City Hall.

“There’s the potential to do really great things as a collective,” he said. “To be successful you have to be inclusive. You have to empower others, and you do that by being inclusive and engaging.”

Miller’s first two weeks in office have been a testament to his campaign – meeting with various community and clergy members to form those coalitions early on. He also introduced City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to area residents because “we have a different set of concerns. We needed her to come out and see specifically what to do,” he said.

Getting guns off the streets leaped to the top of Miller’s agenda after the city’s first murder of the year took place in Jamaica, when a 22-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest.

“I’ve been a young man in the streets. There’s no reason you should walk around here and not feel safe,” he said. “That’s not what this community is about. We’re better than that.”

He hopes to target the area’s youth, work on conflict resolution and provide a means to get them focused on school and employment.

Miller was officially sworn into office on Saturday by Mark-Viverito at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in front of a crowd of dozens of elected officials, community leaders and residents.

Former Councilmember Leroy Comrie passed the torch to Miller, and said he expects the new councilmember to not only lead the 27th district but to have a great impact on the city.

“Daneek understands government. Daneek understands more importantly people, the needs of people ,” he said.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressmember Gregory Meeks, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Mark-Viverito and labor leaders also spoke about Miller, and said he will be a voice for the middle class.

Moving forward, Miller is determining the feasibility of participatory budgeting, establishing community policing and taking “full advantage of all amenities that the district has to offer.”

“I’m going to shoot hoops at one of the youth centers later,” he said. “I don’t have to change who I am or what I’ve done in the past.”

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Melissa Mark-Viverito elected as next City Council Speaker


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC City Council Flickr/Official NYC Council Photo by William Alatriste

Melissa Mark-Viverito was unanimously elected as the next City Council Speaker Wednesday by the 51-member body, becoming the second most powerful politician in the city and the first Latin-American to take the spot.

“We will work together, because that is what New Yorkers expect and that is what New Yorkers deserve,” she said. “We unite for a more equal and just New York.”

The two-term East Harlem councilmember first declared victory on Dec. 19 after receiving support from 30 council colleagues — more than the 26-majority vote needed.  Reports later surfaced that city officials wanted a unified backing behind Mark-Viverito.

Shortly before the Jan. 8 vote, her opponent, Daniel Garodnick, conceded and sealed Mark-Viverito’s win with a hug in the City Council chamber, followed by cheers from their fellow councilmembers.

“In the spirit of strengthening the council, which animated my candidacy from the start, I now formally concede to the next Speaker of the City Council – my colleague Melissa Mark-Viverito,” Garodnick said. “I look forward to working with [her] … She is a smart and committed public servant, and we have worked extremely well together in the past.”

Garodnick also vowed to do his part to “resolve any rifts” the process may have caused among colleagues.

Mark-Viverito is also the first Puerto Rican woman and the first member of the Black Latino and Asian Caucus to take the Speaker spot.

Several Queens councilmembers supported Mark-Viverito from her December announcement, including Daniel Dromm, Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich and Jimmy Van Bramer.

They confirmed their support at the Jan. 8 vote, along with the remaining Queens delegation.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras called Mark-Viverito a “passionate advocate for reform” to “bring transparency” to city government.

“We owe it to the people to elect a strong and principled woman,” she said.

Mark-Viverito said the vision for the “new City Council” is one of “unity, independence, integrity, transparency and accountability.”

Her agenda includes fighting for affordable housing, improving the city’s education system, raising the minimum wage and uniting for the city’s first responders.

“This council will be unified,” she said.

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Melissa Mark-Viverito says she has support to become next City Council speaker


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC City Council Flickr/Official NYC Council Photo by William Alatriste

Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito is claiming she will have enough votes in the City Council to become its next speaker.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Mark-Viverito, who represents District 8, said she has the backing of 30 councilmembers and councilmembers-elect, including Queens members Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich and Jimmy Van Bramer.

“I am humbled to have the support and confidence that my colleagues have placed in me. Today is the culmination of over two decades of my work at the grassroots, in non-profit organizations, in labor and as a public servant. I know that my fellow members will work with me in the City Council to create more inclusive legislative body where every member’s voice is heard and validated,” Mark-Viverito said.

She will only need the support of 26 members, when the vote for speaker takes place on Jan. 8.

Mark-Viverito received the backing she needed when Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio convinced Brooklyn Democratic Chair Frank Seddio to support her, according to published reports.

But her remaining opponent, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, isn’t giving up, and called her statement “premature,” reported Politicker.

The Queens councilmembers issued the following statements in support of Mark-Viverito:

Daniel Dromm
“I am proud to have been one of NYC Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito’s earliest supporters. Having a bright, dynamic, independent and committed progressive as the leader of the Council is truly exciting. Mark-Viverito will continue to be a voice for the voiceless. Her connection to the people is her greatest strength. I congratulate her on her victory as the next Speaker of the NYC Council. This is a great day for New York City!”

Julissa Ferreras
“I’m proud to be helping to elect the first Latina Speaker of the New York City Council. Melissa is a friend and an impressive leader. I look forward to working with her to move our community forward, improve our schools, create good jobs and improve green spaces. Today is a great day for all New Yorkers.”

Daneek Miller
“I know and am thrilled with Melissa Mark-Viverito as our speaker and lead voice. We share common interests I know the council will move forward with a progressive voice.”

Donovan Richards
“Melissa Mark-Viverito has been a staunch advocate for the families of Southeast Queens and New York City for decades,” said Council member Donovan Richards. “Whether it was fighting for progressive issues such as paid sick leave days or reforming stop & frisk, she has continuously been on the front lines for our communities. This is why I stand with her in support of her candidacy to become the speaker of the New York City Council.”

Eric Ulrich
“I want to congratulate my colleague Melissa Mark-Viverito on winning a hard-fought race for Speaker of the City Council. I am happy to be part of a diverse coalition of councilmembers and look forward to working with them in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of the working and middle class families in my district and throughout the five boroughs.”

Jimmy Van Bramer
“I am enormously proud to vote for a progressive and the first Latina to lead our great body. I am equally proud to elect a woman, who as Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, a body I have stood with since day one, has dedicated her life to ending injustice in all its forms including discrimination and violence against the LGBT community. The unending struggle for a more just city continues, and working together with Mayor-Elect de Blasio, I know our best days are ahead of us.”

 

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Daneek Miller wins by a landslide, will replace Leroy Comrie


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Daneek Miller

After coming out on top of a crowded primary race, Daneek Miller easily slid past the general election and right into the District 27 council seat.

“We have a lot of uphill battles,” Miller said. “When you see how working families have been treated over the last decade, it’s imperative that we have a voice at City Hall.”

And Miller will be that voice for his to-be constituents throughout St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park, Queens Village, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens

Once election night came to an end, the Democratic candidate was declared the winner by a landslide, receiving 96.9 percent of the vote over his opponent, Independent Sondra Peeden, with 3.1 percent.

Miller was backed by longtime City Councilmember Leroy Comrie, who endorsed the union president to succeed him.

“Daneek has always been my backbone. [He] is a proven leader,” Comrie said after the primary election. “He has an ability to do the critical things that are required of a city councilmember.

Miller, a community and labor activist, has lived in the district for 35 years. He is currently the president of the Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU) Local 1056 and was previously the union’s political director.

Through his time with the union, he has worked for members’ rights, health safety, pension reform, veteran’ rights and more, and hopes to transfer that “success” to City Hall, he said.

City Council incumbents Weprin, Crowley miss DC 37 union endorsement


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

Two City Council incumbents from Queens were not endorsed by the city’s largest public employee union because they did not apply for the nod, the union said.

DC 37 released its endorsements for the November general election last Wednesday, which included multiple sitting councilmembers in the borough and candidates who won primaries in September.

Left off the Queens list were Speaker-hopeful Mark Weprin and Elizabeth Crowley — both who are Democrats, facing fairly easy challenges for re-election in a blue-dominated borough.

The pair joins a handful of city incumbents who were not endorsed because they did not apply to be part of DC 37’s long-established screening process, according to Wanda Williams, the union’s political and legislative director.

The list includes City Council incumbents Dan Garodnick, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Annabel Palma, Brad Lander and David Greenfield.

“The lack of an endorsement should not be construed as a commentary on their performance but as a reflection of their decision not to submit themselves to our rigorous screening process,” Williams said.

“Only the kind of transparent and rigorous screening process we have adopted assures we give all candidates a fair hearing they have initiated,” she added.

Weprin said he was unaware of the union’s screening policy. He was also running unopposed until August.

“We didn’t really reach out since I didn’t have an opponent until the summer,” he said. “This year, I certainly would have loved their endorsement. They are certainly a valuable and important union to me. I don’t take offense at it. I just wasn’t aware of the process. No hard feelings.”

Crowley did not comment.

Contested Queens incumbents who enjoy the union’s backing this year include Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Eric Ulrich, Ruben Wills and Donovan Richards.

DC 37 also endorsed unchallenged incumbents Julissa Ferreras, Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer and primary winners Paul Vallone, Rory Lancman, Daneek Miller and Melinda Katz.

The municipal workers’ union, which has 121,000 members and 50,000 retirees, said it sends out an army of volunteers to work phone banks and do door-to-door “Get Out The Vote” operations.

 

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City Council District 27 race still not over


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The race for the City Council District 27 seat is not yet over.

Sondra Peeden ran in the Democratic primary only to come in last place out of six candidates, according to unofficial results. After the tallies came in, Peeden switched gears.

The full-time candidate is continuing the race, but on the Independence line.

“I was the underdog in this race,” she said of the primary election. “Once people get to know me and understand what I’ve been doing, they’ll like what it is I’m saying.”

Peeden initially ran against frontrunner Daneek Miller, Clyde Vanel, Joan Flowers, Manuel Caughman and Greg Mays. She said she was at a disadvantage in the primary because she wasn’t as well-funded as her opponents were.

She said she plans on working hard for the next six weeks to “level the playing field” before the November general election. Some of her former primary opponents will even stand with her to form a “unified front” in the race, she said.

Peeden has over 20 years of experience in government and politics. She said in the back of her mind, she always knew she would run for office, but didn’t “promote” herself.

In the Democratic primary, Peeden received 623 votes, or four percent, out of over 15,000 votes. Her likely opponent, Daneek Miller, is sitting at 24.4 percent with 3,756 votes.

Vanel, who came in second, has not conceded and is waiting for all votes to be counted.

Miller declared himself the next councilmember for the 27th District on election night, September 10, at his campaign headquarters. He did not return requests for comment regarding the general election.

 

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Daneek Miller declares victory in crowded Council District 27 primary


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Daneek Miller, union president and community advocate, declared victory as the newly elected city councilmember for the 27th District. The race, however, has yet to be officially decided.

Attorney Clyde Vanel trails by nearly 400 votes with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results, and he said it would “be crazy to concede now.”

Vanel said he wants to wait it out and see what results come from absentee and paper ballots before making any determination to bow out.

But for Miller, the party went on. He thanked those present at his campaign headquarters on election night, September 10, and spoke about his upcoming role as councilmember.

“There was a void, something was missing, particularly amongst labor views,” he said.

“There have been very tough times for labor and working families,” he said. “We said we needed to be in City Hall. We said we needed to be at the table. We’re at that table now.”

Miller was flagged by family, friends and the district’s current councilmember, Leroy Comrie, who endorsed Miller for his position.

“Daneek Miller is a proven leader,” Comrie said. “He has an ability to do the critical things that are required of a city councilmember.”

“He has a strong background in negotiation and arbitration. He’s a people person and he has the desire and the ability to do the things necessary to represent the 27th District,” he continued.

Comrie, who has held the district’s seat since 2002 and was term-limited out, approached Miller last May about taking over.

Miller is the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 where he has been able to negotiate various contracts for his workers among other achievements. He also is well-reputed within the district, having a 20-plus year record of volunteering and supporting neighborhood nonprofits.

“I have a voice that comes along with being the president of a labor union,” he said. “I’m happy to have a voice that I can lend to my community.”

Miller has spoken about a number of issues he wishes to address during his upcoming council term, namely upgrading transportation, job opportunities, education and more.

“Daneek is like a part of my family,” said Melanie Harris, friend and supporter. “He’s for the working people.”

Miller faced competitors Vanel, Joan Flowers, Manuel Caughman, Greg Mays and Sondra Peeden.

Caughman, who has a strong political background, received the Queens Democratic Party endorsement and was initially thought to be a frontrunner amongst those vying for the council seat.

Votes will continue to be counted next week.

 

Council hopefuls get ready to fill Comrie seat


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Sondra Peeden/Manuel Caughman/Facebook

The race to replace Councilmember Leroy Comrie for District 27 already has multiple contenders who are raring to address community issues.

Manuel Caughman, community liaison for Assemblymember William Scarborough; Bryan Block, Community Board 13 chair; Joan Flowers, local attorney; Sondra Peeden, a political consultant; and Daneek Miller, a community and labor activist, have all filed their names with the Board of Elections.

“I believe that as large a city as New York is, we can still get to a place where we have a sense of community, where people are willing to reach out and help each other and extend themselves on behalf of their neighbor,” Peeden said.

Peeden and her fellow candidates are focused on a variety of issues, namely education, foreclosures and crime.

“I want to work with young people [to] make sure they’re safe, and not perpetuating the things they can do when they’re misled or don’t have guidance in their life,” Miller said.

Caughman believes controlling gun violence is a goal to pursue and said he wants to work with police to development technologies needed to combat crime.

When it comes to education, Peeden sees the need to take schools out of mayoral control and bring it back to the community. Similarly, Caughman thinks more parental input is necessary.

Miller, if elected, hopes to look deep into school policies so they can continue to meet Department of Education (DOE) standards and avoid threats of closure.

Late last year, Comrie met with Miller about being his successor. After some thought, Miller said he took him up on his suggestion.

“[I feel] it’s a necessity to have a voice for the working people,” said Miller, who is currently the president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1056. “If you have a record of bringing people together, folks gravitate towards that.”

The primary election is slated for June or September.

Block and Flowers did not return calls for comment as of press time.

 

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