25th District (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona, Rego Park and Woodside): Even in this city of variety, it's hard to match the diversity in this district. The incumbent, Helen Sears, deserves credit for her work in seeking accommodation for day laborers in the district and extending health care services for immigrant women. She also helped the successful drive to keep Wal-Mart out of the district. But some of her votes in the Council have been off key -- like her opposition to the lead paint bill and a resolution calling on the government to uphold immigrant rights under the Patriot Act.
Her main opponent is Bryan Pu-Folkes, a lawyer who serves as a city human rights commissioner and has a long history as an immigrant advocate. Mr. Pu-Folkes, whose parents emigrated from Burma and Jamaica, shows the promise of being more than just a good public servant. He is already a role model for young immigrants and could pull more of them into civic life. Among his top priorities would be to reduce pollution and expand public green spaces, both important goals for a district with high rates of asthma. Bryan Pu-Folkes has a firm grip on the issues and exudes a confident eagerness to take them on, and wins our endorsement.