May 25, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
There are four candidates running in the Democratic primary for the 37th Assembly seat and last night they squared off in a forum that was organized by the Queens Post and Sunnyside Community Services.
The event was held at Sunnyside Community Services and approximately 100 people attended. The crowd was limited to 100 given COVID-19 restrictions. The forum, however, was streamed live.
The four candidates—Juan Ardila, Johanna Carmona, Jim Magee and Brent O’Leary—were asked a series of questions covering topics ranging from affordable housing, education to bail reform. There were also questions from the public and a lightning round of yes/no questions.
The event was moderated by Christian Murray, co-publisher of the Queens Post, and Judy Zangwill, executive director of SCS.
The candidates are running for a seat currently represented by Cathy Nolan, who is stepping down at the end of the year after being in office since 1985.
The geography of the district has undergone some change with this year’s redistricting—although much of it remains unchanged.
The district covers Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Maspeth and the Hunters Point section of Long Island City.
The primary is scheduled for June 28.
Forum and topics addressed:
Candidate introductions: 3:25
Affordable Housing: 10:15
The Department of Education and its responsiveness to parents: 14:30
Immigrant services, such as social programs for undocumented workers: 18:30
The Interborough Express and public transportation: 23:40
Bail reform and crime: 28:00
Small Businesses and a living wage: 33:25
Lightning round, where candidates provide yes or no answers: 46:00
- –Given the high price of gas, do you support removing the state gas tax right now?
- –Should the NYPD budget be reduced?
- –Have you taken donations from real estate developers or real estate lobby groups?
- –Would you vote in support of a bill that called for term limits for state officials—such as Assembly Members and state senators?
Public Questions and comments submitted online and in-person
— Race and diversity: 48:50
— Eliminating Medicare premiums: 54:50
— Con Ed rate hikes and the New York State Build Public Renewables Act: 58:45
— Improving the bike infrastructure in western Queens 1:02.50