FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
Shaniyat Chowdhury challenging Meeks for Congress
BY MAX PARROTT
Shaniyat Chowdhury, a left wing candidate
who is challenging Rep. Gregory
Meeks in the Democratic primary for
New York’s Fift h Congressional District,
held his campaign launch on Sunday,
Sept. 15, with a small crowd of activists in
Jamaica’s Marconi Park.
Th e 27-year-old South Jamaica resident
was one of the fi rst candidates to
announce out of an expanding fi eld of
left -leaning candidates who are mounting
Congressional challenges throughout the
city. In Queens, he has since been joined
by insurgent candidates across the borough
running against Carolyn Maloney,
Grace Meng and Tom Suozzi.
“A lot of people have been left out of
the Democratic process. A lot of people
haven’t voted or have been so dissatisfi ed
with our current political system that they
don’t want to vote,” Chowdhury said.
Th e event brought out a small but dedicated
group of about 10 young volunteers
who met each other through different
grassroots political campaigns.
Chowdhury said that it was the fi rst of
several launch events he plans on hosting
across the district in order to begin canvassing
and getting feedback from constituents.
Chowdhury’s speech focused on his personal
narrative. Th e son of Bangladeshi
immigrants, Chowdhury said that he
joined the Marine Corps to support his
parents aft er they lost their home to foreclosure
Shaniyat Chowdhury canvasses with a constituent in Marconi Park.
and his father was laid off from
a union job at an Atlantic City casino
around the very beginning of the recession.
During this period, Chowdury said that
he started to see his family’s predicament
as the result of systemic failures.
He became frustrated about the role that
money plays in politics, and got involved
in grassroots organizing for Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez and then Tiff any Cabán’s
campaign as soon as he fi nished his term
of service with the Marine Corps.
Asked about his policy priorities,
Chowdhury emphasized campaign
fi nance reform, adding that he would be
running without any PAC money. He
also named a number of prevailing policies
on the left wing of the house that he
supports including the Green New Deal,
free public college tuition, fair housing for
all and criminal justice reforms aimed at
decarcerating the prison industrial complex.
Chowdhury also told the Queens
Courier that he wants to take the emphasis
the narrative that his candidacy serves as
a referendum on the Queens Democratic
“I give Meeks credit that he’s the fi rst
African-American Chair of the Queens
Democratic Party. We’ve never seen that
before,” Chowdhury said. “But I think that
a lot of people have been so engulfed with
just holding power that they haven’t been
nurturing the future. Th ey will talk about
what they’ve done but they don’t talk
about what they’re doing now.”
Costa antes up
for beep's race
BY BILL PARRY
Councilman Costa Constantinides offi -
cially announced he formally declared
his candidacy for Queens borough president
Tuesday with the promise of a stronger,
more equitable, and more resilient
Queens in the face of climate change.
Constantinides, who grew up in Astoria,
the son of a Cypriot immigrant and an
education advocate, will run in a special
election if Queens Borough President
Melinda Katz defeats GOP candidate Joe
Murray in the race for Queens District
Attorney, or he’ll run in 2021 when he is
term limited out of the City Council.
Constantinides, who crafted the
Climate Mobilization Act, which is
expected to create nearly 140,000 jobs
over the next decade with $20 billion in
economic activity, is putting climate, fairness,
and protecting the borough as the
central issues of his campaign.
“Queens is already on the front
lines of climate change. It puts our
home, our lives, and our future at risk,”
Constantinides said. “We’ve already experienced
the threat of extreme weather,
when Sandy destroyed huge parts of our
beloved borough. Th at was seven years
ago, and Queens is still not ready for the
next storm, let alone the rising seas, fl ooding
and extreme hear we’ve already seen.”
His campaign will build upon his six-year
record for the people of western Queens —
where schools, libraries and parks have
seen historic investments since he entered
offi ce in 2014. Constantinides’ plans bring
a renewed vision for Queens by expanding
on those victories to create thousands
of new green jobs, quality aff ordable housing
and aff ordable clean energy.
He wants to reinvent the Queens borough
president’s offi ce to become more accessible,
proactive and transparent and repurpose
its role to meaningfully protect Queens
residents against rising rents and tides that
threaten to displace their communities.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has
announced his candidacy for borough
president, as has former Councilwoman
Elizabeth Crowley. Councilmen Donovan
Richards and Paul Vallone are expected to
join the race along with Assemblywoman
Alicia Hyndman who has already fi led
paperwork to run for the offi ce.
Queens Democratic socialist slams Van Bramer
BY MARK HALLUM
A recently appointed co-chair of the
Queens Democratic Socialists of America
slammed Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s
progressive ties as false in a dramatic fashion
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (l.) was seen publicly alongside Queens District Attorney candidate
Tiff any Cabán during the close and drawn out race.
in a Medium post on Sept. 12.
Jonathan Bailey issued an open letter
to Van Bramer in which he provided
screenshots from an email in which the
councilman attempted to set up a meeting.
More than anything, Bailey seems to
have stepped out of line with the organization
by saying an endorsement from
the DSA for borough president is not in
“I have been trying to stay off your radar
because I was afraid that if you realized
that I was the new co-chair of Queens
DSA, it might make it clear how unenthusiastic
we are about the idea of endorsing
you ... I know you have been trying to
cozy up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
and Tiff any Cabán, but that doesn’t make
you our comrade,” Bailey wrote.
But is Bailey’s sentiment shared by the
wider organization? Some sources say no.
According to a source, bad blood
between Bailey and Van Bramer may
go back aways. Bailey served as a campaign
manager for an opponent to
Van Bramer, David Rosasco, who was
chair of the Woodside Neighborhood
Association. Rosasco ran for the seat in
2009, aft er which time he defected from
the Democratic Party to the GOP. He then
went up against Van Bramer in 2017.
“I’ve been fi ghting the Queens machine
and standing up for working families my
entire life,” Van Bramer said in response
to the letter. “It took me three attempts
to fi nally beat the county candidate for
Council, and I’ve never backed down
since, whether it’s being the fi rst Queens
elected offi cial to endorse Tiff any Cabán
for D.A. or defying Joe Crowley in the
Bailey did not respond to a request for
Read the full story on QNS.com
Courtesy of NYC Council
City Councilman Costa Constantinides, wh
received a standing ovation when his Climate
Mobilization Act passed in April, announces
he’s running for Queens Borough President.