You are reading

Three Queens Council Candidates Get Endorsements From Major Union and Activist Groups

Candidates Shekar Krishnan, John Choe and Amit Bagga (Left to Right) (via respective campaign sites)

Feb. 25, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A coalition made up of a powerful labor union and two activist organizations announced new endorsements in three Queens council races Tuesday.

Road to Justice NYC — comprised of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Community Voices Heard Power and Make the Road Action — named its picks for districts 20, 25 and 26.

The coalition backed John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, for the 20th district seat that covers downtown Flushing, Murray Hill and Queensboro Hill.

“John Choe has fought for working class New Yorkers for decades,” the coalition said in a statement. “An immigrant himself, John understands the issues facing immigrants and communities of color. He’ll be a strong voice in the City Council.”

Choe has experience working in city politics. He was John Liu’s chief of staff when Liu represented the district in the city council.

The District 20 seat is currently filled by term-limited Council Member Peter Koo.

Road to Justice NYC also named Shekar Krishnan, a civil rights lawyer, as its choice for the 25th district seat covering Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

“Shekar Krishnan has dedicated himself to working for affordable housing for all,” the coalition said. “He fights for more resources for our communities, defunding the police, and the rights & needs of immigrants & trans communities.”

Krishnan has earned several notable endorsements from several labor unions, including the Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ SEIU, United Federation of Teachers, and elected officials such as Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, Congresswoman Nadia Velázquez and State Sen. Julia Salazar.

Term-limited Council Member Daniel Dromm currently represents the district in the City Council.

Lastly, the coalition endorsed Amit Bagga in the crowded 26th Council District race. Bagga recently served as the deputy director of the city’s 2020 Census campaign and has worked in City Hall as deputy commissioner at both the NYC Department of Consumer & Worker Protection and the Department of Social Services.

“Amit Bagga has built deep partnerships between different levels of government and communities to ensure the voices & needs of community members are always prioritized,” Road to Justice NYC said. “He’s a fighter for respect & dignity for all.”

Bagga has collected endorsements from State Sen. Jessica Ramos, progressive activist and actress Cynthia Nixon and unions like the Hotel Trades Council.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer now holds the seat representing Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria. He is also term-limited and is running for Queens Borough President.

Road to Justice NYC, which was founded in September, supports candidates who prioritize bringing equity to Black, brown, immigrant and working and poor communities.

The coalition has already endorsed two Queens council candidates. It endorsed Tiffany Cabán in the District 22 race in Astoria and Jennifer Gutierrez in the District 34 race — representing Ridgewood and parts of Brooklyn — in September.

Road to Justice NYC also offered second-choice picks for the three Queens races in its latest round of endorsements. The new “ranked choice #2” endorsements coincide with the city’s new ranked-choice voting option in which voters can “rank” candidates from one to five based on their order of preference.

Its “ranked choice #2” candidates are Sandra Ung in District 20, Carolyn Tran in District 25 and Jesse Laymon in District 26.

Ranked-choice voting went into effect at the start of this year and Tuesday’s special election for the Southeast Queens council seat is shaping up to be its first test in New York City.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.