Maloney touts experience in bid for reelection

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, pictured outside her home on the Upper East Side (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While hardly an open seat, the race for candidates hoping to represent the 12th Congressional District (most of Manhattan’s East Side as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens) is proving to be a competitive one. While the Democrat primary on June 26 has just two candidates, the only reason there are just two names on the ballot is that one of them, Suraj Patel, sued successfully against another candidate, Sander Hicks, claiming he didn’t have enough valid signatures. He did the same to an additional candidate, Peter Lindner, though he’d already been booted off the ballot by the Board of Elections. This leaves Patel, a hospitality executive who also worked on both election campaigns for the Obama administration, and Carolyn Maloney, the 25-year incumbent.

On this, Maloney, while interviewed at her home on the Upper East Side last week, mused, “For someone who said he wants more participation, I’m mystified why he’s throwing his opponent off the ballot.”

Meanwhile, Patel has also been fundraising like crazy, outpacing Maloney in recent months and trying to engage people who wouldn’t normally vote.

As for Maloney, perhaps in part due to her history of clobbering challengers at the polls, she has managed to rack up just about every endorsement there is to be had from elected officials, unions, women’s organizations and local clubs. She’s also gotten the nod from Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem.

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Students participate in March For Our Lives

Protesters on Central Park West (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Young students and gun control advocates participated in the March For Our Lives on the Upper West Side this past Saturday, calling on Congress to pass stricter gun laws. Mayor Bill de Blasio posted on Twitter following the march that 175,000 New Yorkers had participated in the protest.

The rally prior to the official march along Central Park West to Columbus Circle included survivors from the Parkland shooting, as well as survivors from the Las Vegas and Sandy Hook shootings. Volunteers for the march were also wandering through the crowd encouraging participants, especially high school students about to turn 18, to register to vote and helping them fill out the appropriate paperwork.

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The Soapbox: More guns don’t equal more safety

By John Cappelletti

I am a retired teacher who does not agree with President Trump’s proposal to equip teachers with guns and echoing the NRA’s position that “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

But if the government is going to equip teachers with guns to prevent tragedies like the one in Florida on Valentine’s Day 2018 which was the 18th gun-related incident on school grounds this year, it must equip workers in other professions to prevent more tragedies in places where large groups congregate.

For example, if you’ve seen “The Godfather,” you know that hospitals are not necessarily safe. Shouldn’t the government require all doctors and nurses to have a Glock at their hips? And since we’ve had shootings in churches, shouldn’t priests, ministers, rabbis and imams display small handguns around their necks like pendants? Workers in government buildings like the post office in Edmond, OK, should have guns as well as those who work in shopping centers, theaters and concert halls, restaurants and sporting events like the Super Bowl and the World Series. Maybe the players could carry guns as part of their uniform. Think Tom Brady. Then James Brady.

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As students protest, gun safety legislation languishes

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney with student protesters in Washington (Photo courtesy of Congress Member Carolyn Maloney)

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman, who’s been pushing for stronger gun laws for years, was in Albany on Wednesday negotiating Republican-proposed budget measures as the walkouts were taking place. His own second-grade daughter Silvia Hoylman-Sigal was participating in one of them at her school.

However, when reached on the phone, Hoylman said that gun control bills, including his own, have recently been blocked by the Republican majority before they could even be heard on the floor.

This includes his own legislation, co-sponsored with State Senator Brian Kavanagh, which would allow families and law enforcement officials to intervene when a person known to be dangerous has a gun.

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Students take aim at lax gun laws

Across the nation, students participated in a 17-minute walkout from their schools on Wednesday morning as a protest against gun violence. One school with many protesters was Gramercy’s School of the Future. Town & Village intern Kristy Ye-Ling, a high school student there, attended and reported a crowd outside of Gramercy Park that appeared to be over 1,000 strong. Students circled the park while chanting and holding signs that read things like “We shouldn’t be afraid to go to school!” and “Parkland? Yikes!” The high school walkouts were in response to last month’s massacre at the Parkland, Florida high school where a disturbed 19-year-old shot 17 people to death. (Photos by Kristy Ye-Ling)

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Letters to the editor, Mar. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Hicks wrong about Israel and Maloney

Re: Candidate blasts Maloney on Israel, Middle East,” T&V, Mar. 8

Sander Hicks is no match for Mrs. Maloney. Firstly, what kind of activist is he? I also have a book he should read, if he’s smart enough, Old-New Land by Theodor Herzl. Herzl said, “Zionism is a return to Judaism and that even before the return to the Land of the Jews.” He needs to learn that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism, which means hating Jews. Is his kind of “activism” spray painting swastikas on synagogue doors in the dead of night? It wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t trust him to listen to me with his immature and idiotic viewpoint.

I read your article and so did many Jewish friends and we were all scared to see “men” (bigots) like him rise. Maloney does respond. I worked on her campaign before and people like him called all the time requesting, often impolitely, to be called back pronto. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day for her. As well, if she didn’t jump when he called, why didn’t he just call back? That’s what I do in that situation.

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Don’t arm teachers, say teens

Following the massacre last month at a Florida high school, the idea of arming teachers in classrooms has been floated by President Trump. This week a terroristic shooting threat directed at New Jersey schools this week prompted those schools to close. Town & Village intern Kristy Ye-Ling has asked her fellow high schoolers at School of the Future what they thought of arming teachers as a way to protect students.

Diego Winger, senior
Teachers are not soldiers or police. They don’t have the proper training, and they should just be dedicated to teaching students. If it gets to the point that schools need more defense, it is the school security that should be beefed up to a reasonable degree.

Aiden O’Sullivan, senior
I think that arming teachers is counterproductive to this goal of protecting people and that’s what everybody wants — fewer children dying in schools. Arming teachers with the same weapons that killed them in the first place creates a more hostile and unsafe environment and many kids don’t go to school because they have issues with authority. Feeling even more threatened won’t motivate them to come to school.

MacKenzie
Barajas, senior
It’s unsafe because what if a student acts out and takes it out of their possession?

Letters to the editor, Mar. 8

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Albany Republicans blocking gun regs

Last week, the Senate Democratic Conference announced a legislative package to combat gun violence and protect New Yorkers. I am proud to be part of a group of Senate leaders standing up to the corporate gun lobby, and we have offered a series of common sense bills to address the repeated tragedies caused by gun violence. We brought four of these bills to the floor of the Senate as “hostile amendments” – and every Republican Senator voted no on each proposal.

To quote leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, “The madness must stop. We need to get serious about gun safety and we need to take real action.”

Studies have proven that states with stronger firearm safety laws, like New York, have fewer gun-caused deaths. Unfortunately, NY Republicans are taking their lead from their extremist Washington allies and for years have refused to move any common sense gun laws.

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Opinion: A plea from a child of the 60s

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

I am reminded that in the 1960s when I was a teenager growing up in Stuyvesant Town and attending the local public schools, it was largely student agitation and protests that helped bring an end to the Vietnam War. In so doing they brought down a president. After all, most of the 58,000 American deaths were of kids barely out of high school.

Tragic events and fate now summons this generation of students and the millennials to do what their parents and grandparents have not been able to do, to stop the insane gun proliferation and resulting carnage funded by the NRA, and fueled by billion-dollar gun manufacturers who keep pumping out more and more lethal firearms. After all, it is so many students who are the victims of mass school shootings, the latest a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The thing about idealistic youth is that they know no limits and don’t know what they are not supposed to be able to achieve. And it is in this naïveté where success is realized. Won against all odds. Won in spite of the naysayers and pundits who say it cannot be done. The sports analogy would be a 22- year-old Cassius Clay boxing for the World’s Heavyweight Championship against Sonny Liston the toughest prizefighter on the planet. Or the 1980 upstart U.S. Olympic hockey team comprised of kids facing off against the awesome unbeatable Russian national team in Lake Placid.

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Local pols shoot to kill weaker gun restrictions

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is fighting for proposed legislation. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In response to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, local elected officials joined Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in trying to push tighter federal gun restrictions.

“Congress’s first priority should be to keep people safe, but when it comes to gun violence we are failing miserably,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, while at a press conference on Saturday near Union Square Park’s Gandhi statue.

She added, “We need to pass common sense, effective reforms like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and stricter gun trafficking laws. These will help save lives, while at the same time respect the Second Amendment.”

The House was scheduled to consider legislation that would reduce current restrictions on buying silencers last week but postponed bringing it up because of the massacre the previous weekend.

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Opinion: From Oswald to Hodgkinson

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Although separated by 54 years, the connection between Lee Harvey Oswald and James T. Hodgkinson is all too familiar.

They both possessed a legally acquired rifle, and for reasons only known to them fired shots at the government of the United States with devastating consequences.

In the case of Oswald, he bought his rifle through an ordinary mail order transaction and Hodgkinson legally purchased his weapon as well… no questions asked.

Oswald fired shots at the president of the United States and Hodgkinson fired dozens of shots at members of Congress last week. Both shooters were killed before they could answer questions or to stand trial for their actions.

But the most telling similarity of these shootings is that after more than a half century and over 1.5 million shooting deaths of famous and anonymous Americans, the government of this country is still unwilling to come to grips with the plague of ever more lethal firearms in the hands of ever more people.

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Pols rally for stronger gun laws

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Dan Garodnick at City Hall (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Dan Garodnick at City Hall (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, along with other elected officials, rallied at City Hall last Friday to demand that Congress take action on gun safety reforms, in light of the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando.

LGBT and gun safety advocates were also there, pushing for the renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, which previously banned the use of semiautomatic assault weapons, but the law expired in 2004, as well as pushing for legislation that would require universal background checks and a bill that would prohibit those on a terrorist watchlist and those convicted of a hate crime from buying a gun.

Maloney has also pushed for legislation that would lift the prohibition on federal public health research on gun violence.

“No other bill relating to gun violence has been passed except for the study of gun safety,” she said at City Hall.

“The refusal to prevent future violence is unacceptable and the ban on public health research is totally insane.”

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Hoylman: Republicans blocking LGBT, gun legislation

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

By Sabina Mollot

Meet the New York State Senate’s most frustrated member.
It’s the end of another legislative term, and yet, even the recent massacre at an Orlando gay club, the deadliest mass shooting in American history, has not been enough of an event to lead to gun reforms. Nor has it motivated Albany to pass protections for the LGBT population.
So noted Senator Brad Hoylman in an interview with Town & Village last week. For example, one bill Hoylman’s pushing that went nowhere would have banned anyone from the federal no-fly list from buying guns. This is separate from similar federal legislation.
For this, the Democrat senator laid the blame on the usual culprits for blocking any bills he authors or supports — the Republican majority.

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Opinion: Slaughter in Orlando

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

American-born Omar Mateen, an avowed ISIS sympathizer now heads the list of infamy… the roll call of U.S. citizens who have committed mass murder against their fellow citizens.

This time the city was Orlando and the target was a well-known nightclub spot where gays congregated. At least 49 persons were slaughtered with an assault weapon legally purchased in Florida.

Previously it was a shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech which killed 32 in 2007 that topped the list. More recently 26 toddlers and teachers were gunned down at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut in 2012, and a dozen theater goers were shot to death in Colorado in 2013. The shooting at a Charleston South Carolina bible study class left nine dead.  And of course Columbine High School will be forever synonymous with senseless mass murder after two of its students methodically murdered 13 of their fellow classmates.

Each incident, and dozens more, have its own unique and horrific characteristics. Shooters who held grudges, or were driven by some irrational ideological or religious madness. There is no particular rhyme or reason. Murder and mayhem have existed since biblical times and before. In some respects the human impulse towards unspeakable violence has not changed in thousands of years either on a national scale or individually. Once upon a time, they were called Barbarians, or Huns or Crusaders or Nazis or ISIS.

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Union Square man runs against Maloney

Peter Lindner

Peter Lindner

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a 23-year Democrat incumbent, officially announced that she was running for reelection.

In a press release, she touted her experience fighting for transportation improvements as well as women and children’s rights.

Meanwhile, a computer programmer and resident of Union Square has entered the race against her.

Peter Lindner, a 66-year-old Democrat, said he’s never been involved in politics, either through political clubs or working for a politician. But he came to be inspired to run one day when he felt unsatisfied with a response he got from Maloney’s office when he went there with a constituent complaint.

The issue was over what he believes was corrupt behavior by another official that he wanted investigated. But after providing the congresswoman with documentation that argued his case, he said he was told by a staffer to stop calling, and that police would be called if he didn’t.

A spokesperson for Maloney declined to comment on Lindner’s claims.

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