Eric Ulrich Tag All blog entries tagged as Eric Ulrich http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:22:31 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Immigration Advocates Set Ambitious Albany Agenda http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/civil-rights/2013/02/27/immigration-advocates-set-albany-agenda http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/civil-rights/2013/02/27/immigration-advocates-set-albany-agenda The New York City Immigration Coalition may have its work cut out for itself this year: Its 10-point agenda is ambitious and will require action from Albany as well as cooperation from law enforcement.

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The groups top policy priority is expanding access to college by passing New York State's version of the DREAM Act. The State's DREAM act which is backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn would open up tuition assistance to students regardless of their immigration status.

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Despite massive grassroots pressure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not make the DREAM legislation a part of his State of the State Speech in January. The Democratic-controlled Assembly has passed a version of the DREAM Act in the past and seems poised to do so again.

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The Senate is a different story. The breakaway Independent Democratic Conference has indicated major support for the legislation but Senate Republicans have generally been opposed to the measure and have prevented floor votes. To add to the difficulty advocates face, it is unclear how many in the Democratic conference actually support the legislation.

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Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo said at a debate in October that he felt his constituents had a hard enough time finding money sending their children to college so he could not support the DREAM Act. His Republican opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich, said at the time that he supported "some version" of the legislation.

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The DREAM Act could make its way into law as part of some grand bargain, but at the moment the governor's priority seems to be getting a minimum wage hike through the Legislature. But that will likely require concessions on progressive items.

The group's second policy priority for the year is improving public safety by limiting city and state police interaction with federal immigration enforcement activities. Advocates are celebrating success on that front today, with the City Council currently considering legislation that would further distance the city's Department of Correction and police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Under the law, the city would not honor any detention requests where immigrants are youthful offenders, dont't have significant records and have only been accused of low-level offenses. The city will honor detainer requests for immigrants who are accused of or have been convicted of major crimes or who match descriptions of those on terrorist watch lists.

Earlier in his term Cuomo, withdrew New York State from the federal Secure Communities program that mandates local law enforcement agencies share digital fingerprints of arrested immigrants with US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Advocates said the practice lead to the deportation of numerous innocent immigrants.

However, federal authorities who had earlier suggested Secure Communities was voluntary insisted state involvement was not optional and Cuomo's withdrawal was meaningless.

A number of the issues in the top 10 also rely on funding and focus from the state budget.

The rest of the top 10 includes:

#3 Enhance Access to Health Care

#4 Protect and Expand Immigrant Services

#5 Protect Immigrant Workers

#6 Support Adult Education and Job Training

#7 Promote College Readiness For English Language Learners

#8 Support Immigrant Parent Engagement in Their Children's Future

#9 Protect Immigrants From Harsh Immigration Enforcement

#10 Provide Disaster Relief to Victims Regardless of Immigration Status and Provide Safe Working Conditions for Disaster Relief Workers

For more on #10, check out this National Public Radio story.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) Civil Rights Wed, 27 Feb 2013 20:06:35 +0000
Ulrich Concedes; Dems Look to Add Seats http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/11/07/ulrich-concedes-dems-look-to-add-seats http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/11/07/ulrich-concedes-dems-look-to-add-seats

Councilman Eric Ulrich announced via Twitter this morning that he has conceded to Sen. Joe Addabbo in the race for the 15th Senate District in Queens.

“This morning I called Joe Addabbo to congratulate him on a decisive victory & pledged to work w/him to unite our community," he tweeted. He followed that tweet up saying, "This was a hard-fought campaign and while I truly appreciate the strong support I received on election day, its time to get back to work."

This was a bitter contest between two men who went to the same school, attended the same church and are beloved and respected figures in their neighborhood. Hurricane Sandy ravaged the district and saw both men drop their campaigns to focus on the recovery. But Ulrich's camp complained that the response to damaged polling places was detrimental to their campaign. Ulrich is still seen as a bright star for the Republican Party and holds his seat on the Council.

Meanwhile, it seems that Senate Democrats have defended their turf and can only add seats depending on the outcomes of the races in the 41st and 46th districts. Senate Dems still have to contend with the Independent Democratic Conference if they want to hold a majority but even if they don't take control, as Nick Reisman of State of Politics pointed out this morning, the enrollment numbers favor them so strongly that it seems to be only a matter of time before they take control for good.

Senate Democrats became increasingly confident of pickups in the days leading up to the election. It looks like their confidence was justified.

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Image of Ulrich by William Altriste, courtesy of the City Council.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 07 Nov 2012 17:33:55 +0000
Cuomo Allows Hurricane Victims to Vote Anywhere in State http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/11/05/cuomo-allows-hurricane-victims-to-vote-anywhere-in-state- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/11/05/cuomo-allows-hurricane-victims-to-vote-anywhere-in-state-

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order allowing voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote at any polling place in the state.

Voters from the five boroughs can fill out an affidavit ballot at any polling place in the state and the local Board of Elections will then mail their ballots to the correct county.

However, ballots will only be available for local elections, so voters who are displaced out of their Senate or Assembly districts will only be able to vote for the statewide races.

"We want everyone to vote. Just because you're displaced doesn't mean you should be disenfranchised," Cuomo said at a press conference this evening.

The move could drive down turnout in lower-ballot races. The contest between Sen. Joe Addabbo and Councilman Eric Ulrich in Queens could be severely impacted.

The NYC Board of Elections has set up multiple alternative polling places to replace sites rendered unusuable by Hurricane Sandy.

For up-to-date information on polling place locations, voters can text "NYCVOTES" to 877-877. Spanish speakers can text "DONDE" to 877-877 for information in Spanish.

Polls open at 6 a.m. tomorrow and close at 9 p.m.

Cuomo briefs the press on executive order, earlier today. Photo provided by The Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 05 Nov 2012 23:07:30 +0000
Tuesday is Election Day — Sandy Be Damned [Updated] http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2012/10/31/tuesday-is-election-day-nsandy-be-damned-updated http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2012/10/31/tuesday-is-election-day-nsandy-be-damned-updated

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with statements from the city's Board of Elections.

"Election day will be on Tuesday, that is not going to change," John Conklin, spokesman for the New York State Board of Election, said earlier today.

He said county boards across the state are currently assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to polling places and trying to determine what alternate arrangements need to be made to make sure everyone who wants to vote can.

"The local boards impacted by the storm are assessing damage to the polling places right now," Conklin said. "We have been in meetings with the governor's office and local boards to work on these assessments. We have to see if power still remains at the polling site, if they remain accessible to the public, the board and the machines. We also need to make sure the sites are safe. Once that is done, we will check on alternate polling sites and make sure they have tents, generators and whatever else they need."

Conklin said he hopes that all polling sites will have power, but he admitted, "Some might not." In that case, paper ballots will be made available for voters. The ballots will be put in a lock box and then scanned at county BOE headquarters.

There isn't a firm deadline on when the poll site evaluations need to be completed. "We didnt give a deadline," Conklin said. "I dont know how to put a deadline on a thing like this. We hope to have it done by the end of the day."

Obviously, with the damage done by Sandy, voting may not be on the top of everyone's to-do-list. Conklin said turnout for the primary election last year was depressed in the parts of the state that were effected by Hurricane Irene.

"I hope turnout is not siginificantly impacted," said Conklin, adding that "some people's homes also were burned down, some are under water and voting is not their biggest concern ... But we want to make sure that when they choose to vote that they have a place to do it."

City Board of Elections Commissioners Maria Guastella and Frederic Umane said in a statement on the agency's website that the BOE staff "has been working diligently to make sure that we are prepared for Election Day."

They said they have been assessing damage to poll sites caused by the storm. Meanwhile, poll workers are being trained and a temporary Manhattan office has been opened.

The BOE's usual Manhattan office is in lower Manhattan, where power is still being restored.

The commissioners also said that the "processing of absentee ballot applications has been delayed."

"But our staff are working diligently to process all absentee ballots that will be distributed by USPS overnight mail," they said. "Other NYC agencies have assigned some of their workers to assist in our efforts and we appreciate their assistance."

Sen. Joe Addabbo of Queens issued this statement in response to questions about how voting in his district might be affected.

“As of now my main priority and that of my campaign staff is to focus on assisting my district in the clean up and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as many areas of my district were hit incredibly hard by the storm," said Addabbo, who is in a battle to retain his seat from his main challenger, Councilman Eric Ulrich. "The safety and well-being of my constituents is the most important to me, and I will not focus my attention elsewhere until the recovery is well on its way.”

____

Aerial photo of Breezy Point, Queens provided by the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) Elections Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:04:07 +0000
Addabbo, Ulrich to Debate Today http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/18/addabbo-ulrich-to-debate-today- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/18/addabbo-ulrich-to-debate-today-

Sen. Joeseph Addabbo and his Republican challenger Councilman Eric Ulrich are scheduled to debate tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Church 100-05 159 Ave. in Howard Beach. The debate is sponsored by The Forum, The Queens Chronicle and Citizens Union the sister organizaton of Gotham Gazette's publisher. Have questions for the candidates? You can send them to markw@qchron.com.

For more on the issues in this heated race check our article on the two men who went to the same school and attend the same church.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Thu, 18 Oct 2012 14:02:44 +0000
Addabbo Attacks on Fracking http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/10/addabbo-attacks-on-fracking http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/10/addabbo-attacks-on-fracking

Sen. Joseph Addabbo is holding a news conference tomorrow at Russo's on the Bay in Queens to discuss hydrofracking and "its adverse affects, and what it would mean for the district and state if hydrofracking is legal."

Addabbo used his opponent Councilman Eric Ulrich's support of hydraulic fracturing as a way to paint him as falling in line with the wishes of the mostly upstate Republican Senate Majority in a recent interview with Gotham Gazette. Ulrich has used his cash advantage over Addabbo to air a blitzkrieg of television spots focusing on small business in the district.

The Addabbo camp has responded with events dealing with small business across the district but this event may be an attempt on their part to dictate the issues of the campaign. A recent Siena Poll showed Addabbo only two points over Ulrich and also found that jobs and the economy are a major concern across the district.

Both men will debate at Our Lady of Grace Church, at 100-05 159 Ave. in Howard Beach on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The debate will be co-hosted by The Queens Chronicle and Citizens Union, the sister organization of Gotham Gazette. Members of public can send questions for the candidates to mark@qchron.com.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:43:09 +0000
Good News/Bad News for Addabbo http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/09/good-newsbad-news-for-addabbo- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/09/good-newsbad-news-for-addabbo-

Sen. Joseph Addabbo has had a good start to his week. Yesterday, one of the most popular governors in the country (Andrew Cuomo) endorsed him.

Cuomo's endorsement has been a rare commodity for Senate Democrats, but Addabbo likely earned the endorsement by changing his 'no' vote on same-sex marriage to a 'yes' to help the governor score a major political victory.

“Political courage, which is what Sen. Joe Addabbo exhibited, should be encouraged and should not be discouraged,” Cuomo said before marching in the Columbus Day parade.

"This is not a man who makes endorsements on a whim," Addabbo told the Gazette today. "I appreciate his endorsement."

However, a recent Siena College Poll shows that Addabbo's challenger, Councilman Eric Ulrich, is only two points behind him. It also appears that Ulrich has set the agenda for the race, or at least seized on what is most important to voters in his district by focusing his campaign on small business and jobs. Thirty-one percent of those polled by Siena said that jobs is the most important issue facing the district. Voters, however, rated Addabbo higher on job creation than Ulrich.

"I could be two points up or two points down," Addabbo said. "We know what we need to do and it does not change because of a poll."

To read more about the policy differences between the two men, check out our story on the race.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorses Sen. Joseph Addabbo. Photo provided by Addabbo campaign.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 09 Oct 2012 21:47:54 +0000
Legislative Pay Raises? Addabbo and Ulrich Say No. http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/02/legislative-pay-raises-addabbo-and-ulrich-say-no http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/02/legislative-pay-raises-addabbo-and-ulrich-say-no

Legislators want more pay. Despite the last few years of turmoil and scandal in Albany legislative pay raises is a hot topic — one that may come up in a special session following the elections.

The question has also come up as an issue of debate in races for state office, including the one for the 15th State Senate District.

So what do Democratic Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. and his challenger Council Eric Ulrich think of legislative payraises? Glad you asked.

Ulrich told Gotham Gazette last week that he doesn't support raises for legislators. "If they want them they should go to the voters for a referendum," he said.

And Addabbo told Juniper Berry this:

"We don't right now. We have larger issues to deal with than legislative pay raises, which as of now is a mere rumor. There's not one single piece of legislation that proposed a legislative pay raise. Legislative pay raises are certainly not on my radar screen right now."

Fore more on the race between Addabbo and Ulrich, check out our feature on the race.

Image of Sen. Joseph Addabbo provided by Addabbo for Senate.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 02 Oct 2012 17:34:51 +0000