June 14, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Councilmember Robert Holden held a rally Sunday in Maspeth with law enforcement unions that have endorsed him in his campaign to be reelected to represent the 30th District Council seat.
He was joined by leaders from the Police Benevolent Association, Detectives’ Endowment Association, Lieutenants’ Benevolent Association, Captain’s Endowment Association, Correction Officers Benevolent Association and New York State Supreme Court Officers’ Association.
The event was held at the intersection of 69th Street and Grand Avenue. The 30th District covers Maspeth as well as Glendale, Middle Village, Ridgewood and parts of Woodside and Woodhaven.
Holden has also been endorsed by the Sergeants’ Benevolent Association and the NYS Court Officers’ Association.
PBA President Pat Lynch spoke at the rally and called this month’s Democratic primary for District 30 “one of the most important races we have now.”
Holden is being challenged by progressive candidate Juan Ardila. Early voting began Saturday, and Primary Day is on Tuesday, June 22.
“There are very few leaders in the City Council that are willing to stand up for what’s right, that are willing to go against the grain when necessary, willing to stand up and say this is not right, our citizens are not safe,” Lynch said.
He encouraged law enforcement union members and district residents to vote for Holden.
“If we lose a strong voice in this neighborhood, we might have no voice in the City Council at all,” he said.
Chris Monahan of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association said that police commanders and officers now face “an almost impossible job.”
“It’s not because the cops aren’t working, it’s not that the sergeants aren’t managing, it’s not that the lieutenants aren’t out there with their men and women. It’s the elected officials that are making it impossible to do our jobs,” he said.
Monahan – as well as other law enforcement union leaders and Holden – criticized anti-chokehold legislation that was passed by the City Council and signed into law by the mayor last summer.
The legislation goes further than strictly banning chokeholds; it also prohibits cops from sitting, kneeling or standing on a suspect’s chest and back during an arrest—a component of the law Holden says goes to far.
Holden introduced a bill to repeal it in October, which he called the “diaphragm bill.”
“Bob wants to defend the police, not defund the police,” Monahan said.
Holden said he cherished the backing from law enforcement groups, and pointed to passing cars that honked their horns.
“They support you guys, and you should feel really proud of that,” he told union leaders and members. “Everybody cares about public safety.”
On Saturday, Holden also held a rally in Middle Village with community leaders, unions and elected officials who are supporting his reelection. The event included state Sen. Leroy Comrie, former Councilmember Mark Weprin and Councilmembers Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz and I. Daneek Miller.