Tag Archives: Joan Flowers

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.

 

Springfield Gardens doesn’t want liquor store near school


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Springfield Gardens wants to make sure the area around its high school stays dry.

A construction site across the street from Springfield Gardens High School could be the new home for a liquor store. But the community is calling for its owner to put a cork in it.

“We are not going to get drunk to a liquor store,” said State Senator James Sanders. “What does he think we are, high?”

By law, a liquor store cannot be within 200 feet of a school, according to the New York State Liquor Authority. Measurements showed the school’s doors are roughly 75 feet away from the proposed site of the liquor store.

Officials said once the dismissal bell rings, hundreds of students flood out of the high school’s doors and linger in the area. The youths socialize and stop in surrounding stores.

“We don’t want our young scholars seeing drunkards, people bobbing and weaving across the street,” Sanders said.

“This is not something the community wants,” echoed Franck Joseph, Community Liaison for Councilmember Donovan Richards. “It is very disrespectful, and a backhand slap. It shows a disregard to the community.”

Community activists Michael Duncan and Joan Flowers joined Sanders and Richards at a press conference on Friday, May 11 calling on the liquor authority to shut down the proposal.

Lawrence McClean, district manager of Community Board 13, said while owners are required by law to notify the local community board if they wish to open a liquor store, they have heard nothing.

“People are trying to get away with things in the dark,” he said.

McClean and the board have sent a packet with signatures to the liquor authority in strong opposition to the proposal. They were yet to hear back, but hoped the liquor authority does not even entertain the plan.

Richards said he tried to meet with the would-be owner, Tarsem Singh, but to no avail. Richards and Sanders hope to sit down and discuss the feasibility of using the space for something more “community-appropriate.”

“Put in an after-school youth center,” Sanders said. “We could have a place where we’re teaching values. It’s their future we’re concerned about.”

Singh could not be reached for comment. The liquor authority did not return repeated calls.

 

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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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