Assembly District 22 (Flushing, etc.) Debate Transcript by Gotham Gazette Staff, Aug 23, 2006 TwitterOPENING STATEMENTS JULIA HARRISON: The Assembly seat is open because Jimmy Meng has retired due to ill health. Flushing is my home and it has been so since 1954. My children were raised in Flushing, they went to PS 24, they went to Junior High School 189, to John Bowne High School and to Flushing High School. I joined the Parent Teacher Association, I became president of PS 24 PTA and the others as well. We moved into a coop building, and I was elected to serve on its board of directors, fairly early on. I was president of the board for 18 months. At this moment, I am now serving as its secretary. Ever since my family moved into Flushing from the Bronx, I have been a volunteer civic worker, and a political activist as well. I was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1983, and to the New York City Council in 1986. I worked there as a representative for this district until the term limits law forced me to resign. In each of the elections following 1986, my constituents approved me over all challengers because they approved of the work that I did. And they trusted my honesty and my integrity. I am ready to go back to work now to serve my community, and all of its residents. TERRENCE PARK: I just want to let my supporters know that I am back on the ballot! Back in 1973, when I was a child, my father came to America and worked at a gas station and my mom at a factory. I went to Francis Lewis High School, and briefly went to Queens College and got transferred to NYAC University. I got my Masters at Binghamton. Upon graduation, I worked under three mayoral administrations -- under Koch and Dinkins as well as Giuliani in the NYC Housing Authority. I have dedicated myself to serving my community for more than 20 years. I'm a Community Board 7 member almost 10 years; Flushing Hospital Advisory Council member almost 8 years; NY Hospital of Queens Community Advisory Council member almost 10 years. I'm a founder of the Democratic Organization of Flushing. I am ready to serve you. I want to thank my supports for their help during the arduous time that I was challenged by my opponent. ELLEN YOUNG: In the future two years, we'll see a lot of changes in the state and city - especially in Flushing. I will fight for a better education system, for safer streets and neighborhoods, for better access to health care (especially for our senior citizens), and for affordable housing, so that working families can stay in our community. For the past four and a half years, before I resigned to join this race, I worked in Councilman John Liu's office, in charge of running office with legislative items and constituent services. I'm a proud mother and single parent. My kid went to public school education system, starting in kindergarten all the way to SUNY Binghamton. She is my campaign manager. We need State Assembly to be more responsive to our constituents. DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS Question: What distinguishes you from the other candidates? TERRENCE PARK: Of course I can't compare with Miss Harris, who was the first woman to become State Assemblywoman and a City Council member for a long time. I have a unique experience in city government. I worked under Mayor Koch and Dinkins and Giuliani. My job was to work closely with civic associations in conjunction with city agencies. I had to work very closely with Community Board 7, and all the city's community boards, in conjunction with the Business Development Association and grassroots civic associations. I learned a great deal about solving problems. Certain community-based organizations working together with the city agencies -- that is one of the most valuable assets I have. I have dedicated more than 20 years in community based activities. And, I am the only Community Board 7 member among the candidates here. ELLEN YOUNG: As a grassroots community activist, and also as office staff of Councilman Liu, my 27 year dedication to my community: I was first first female asian auxiliary police officer of NYPD. I also helped to establish a women's association to help battered women and single parent families. I also helped establish the Parent's Association to help parents to participate in our education system. I am the best candidate based on my proven record of the past 27 years. The endorsements by elected officials helps a great deal, also: queens borough president, state senator, council member; and other future colleagues in the state assembly. I believe that everybody should work together, and I have the skills and experience working with everyone. JULIA HARRISON: I think I am the best candidate because I have served in office and as a volunteer. I have accomplished a great number of things during the course of my involvement. Mr. Park showed me a letter tonight that was sent to him by a constituent. He wrote that in 1950, or sometime early on, that he had complained about a traffic corner at 150th St and Willets Point Blvd., where there were continual automobile crashes. This is interesting because I had planned to mention tonight that I had a traffic light installed at that intersection. A curious coincidence. One of the things I have been able to do is to have traffic light installed at dangerous intersections: at 154th and Willets Point, as well. I have tried very diligently to extend the crossing time for seniors at Casino and Elder Avesnues. So, I've done that kind of down-to-earth office work. I've supported cultural societies. I've sponsored traffic studies of the downtown Flushing area. I've sponsored a study of the entire structure of the area, as well, with a recommendation that construction take place on the West side of Main St. - which is not as developed as the East side.That has gone by the sidelines now because the City Planning Commission has changed its perspectives, and instead of trying to improve the quality of life here, they are building for the future. Every square inch is being developed. Older houses are being knocked down, even if they're beautiful, and great big apartment buildings are going up without an inch of space between them. We are going to live in a much more congested community than many of you live in now. I have been a member of the Howey Civic Association, which I chaired for two years. Dory Wu has taken it over, and is doing an admirable job. I've advocated for acupuncture. I've done things like organize a Korean War Memorial Association, to put up a memorial honoring who took part in the war effort. The statue is being worked on right now. I've given money to all kinds of organizations during my time at City Council. PARKS Question: State law and the State Constitution require a legislative vote on any transfer of park property from city control. Do you support extending this protection to state-owned parks? ELLEN YOUNG: I support more open, transparent, and inclusive law that gives a well informed public the right to decide - either city or state. JULIA HARRISON: Our parkland is the most precious commodity we have in our community. It should never be subject to chance or individual whim. I think it need protection. It cannot be replaced, and it should not be commercialized. It should be retained for the relief and relaxation of our people and citizens. We need open space in this heavily congested and over developed community. So, I would extend them, I would. TERRENCE PARK:It's a very appropriate question, in relation to my name: Park. Park should be protected and shared. I support it. AFFORDABLE HOUSING Question: The 22nd has been target for growth in multiple droves. The development so far has been high rent; changing the rental climate of these communities drastically. What will you do to develop more affordable housing? JULIA HARRISON: First, the Urstadt law gives developers the opportunity to develop more high cost housing than there is low cost housing. I would like to repeal or amend this state law, to the city's benefit. Second, the developers are not about to build affordable housing unless they get some recompense. The builders are getting 421-a tax relief for 15-20 years because they are developing - according to what the city is pushing for - high rises and market rate rent. It's going to be a drawn out fight to get any low rent building. The only thing that might be worked out, is an accommodation where the developer puts in x amount of low-income and x-amount of mark rate. I will be willing to work on this with the tenant organizations, as well as with the commercial developers. TERRENCE PARK:I worked at the Housing Authority for six years. I am particularly interested in building affordable housing in areas where it is needed. Building affordable housing takes a trichotomy of working relationships. First grassroots, economical, statistical proof that the area needs affordable housing. We need to work closely with the City Council and mayor and the federal government to get funding. This kind of working relationship can get developer to bring affordable housing to needed area. The 22nd has 120,000 - according to census - but we have a lot more than that. I bet more than 50 percent is low or middle income individuals. We do have a solid economic status to convince the City Council that we need affordable housing. With that basis we need to get funding from the federal government. That is the key. ELLEN YOUNG: This is an immediate need in our community. The problem is funding. Who is able to get funding for these projects? I'm in support of the Urstadt law. I'm in support of rent stabilization. It is more important to think about who is going to get funding from the federal government, and the city council - which I am glad Mr. Park mentioned. How are we going to get the City Council and committee chairs to fund this? I am more than capable to get this funding. It is all about funding, and working with your colleagues, with the federal government, and city government, and I am the best candidate to secure that. I will request an immediate count of empty apartments in government housing, and see how we can match these empty apartments with constituents how have the need for them. TOP PRIORITIES Question:If elected to Albany, what would be your top three priorities? Briefly specify the nature of the issues you identify, and what concrete steps you can take to address them. TERRENCE PARK: The paramount issues in our community are: contextual zoning, parking in downtown Flushing, and better public education. We have an overdevelopment situation in downtown Flushing, and people don't want to go there because it's dirty and filthy and there is a lot of garbage. Also, there are no parking spaces in Municipal Parking Lot 1. I want to make sure development goes where there are enough parking spaces. We are going to make Main St. go one way, south, and Union St. one way, North. That's going to take away about 300 metered parking spaces. Currently we have 1,100, and developer is only offering 708 extra that will make up 1,800. Subtracting 300 something spaces away from it, we only gonna have about 1,500. That's not enough when we have movie theatre, multiple unit dwellings, condominiums, and community centers going in there. We need at least 4,00 parking spaces. There were two big houses in my neighborhood, and developer knocked them down and built 4 unit, 3 family houses at each corner. 32 people moved onto that block and took up all the parking spaces and brought all kinds of locomotion. That is happening in every residential area. I have been working with 2 civic associations in conjunction with the City Planning Department to fight this. Hopefully the contextual zoning plan get approved, by this summer and hopefully sooner. I will fight as much as possible, in conjunction with the city and civic association to preserve the amenity of our neighborhood. I graduated from Francis Lewis High School, and when I went and visited it, there were trailer all over the place. I asked the principal what they were for, and he tell me, "That's classroom." The school is 76 percent (inaudible). When I was in school, there were less than a thousand. Now, we have more than 4,500 student in morning, day, and evening sessions. We must have funding for education, better computer systems, and nurses in the schools. ELLEN YOUNG: Within the first three months, I will visit all schools, senior citizen centers, hospitals, and medical facilities to get first hand information and find out what needs to be fixed. Thank you. JULIA HARRISON: I agree with my colleagues that health, zoning, and education are very high priorities, but I am inclined to support legislation that restricts severely the use of eminent domain for the purpose of private development. We have to be very careful about what's going on in different parts of the city, like Brooklyn, for example, where the whole area is being taken away from the community, without its input. Private interests will be the primary beneficiaries. Development going on on my block has caused my entire six story coop to shudder and shake and knock things off the walls because of reverberations from a developer. Mr. Lentol, in the Assembly, has a bill that I would support, causing a contractor who causes any damage to anybody's home during the course of his construction to be responsible for making payment and restoring that building to its good stance. The enactment of a state tax-credit bill (A8252/S3794) to give homeowners a state and city income tax credit when they rehabilitate property. There are issues in the wash is Albany that I would support. DEFICIT Question: A major responsibility of elected officials is to balance the budget. What do you propose to do to close multi-billion dollar deficits? ELLEN YOUNG: If I get elected, I'll be the new kid on the block. Luckily, I'll have all these endorsements by my future colleagues, so I'll be able to sit down and discuss it with them. If there is one thing that bothers me, it's member items. The budget has been given to community groups has not been opened. I hope I can have these member items be more open and transparent. I want to go back to when Ms. Harrision mentioned these six story buildings. I don't know what she's complaining about, because all these sixteen story buildings we are talking about is the result of her upzoning from when she was in City Council. JULIA HARRISON: The major responsibility of elected officials is to stop the war in Iraq and to stop spending money overseas killing people. As a result of the war effort, we have dug our self a trillion dollar deficit nationally and locally, and we have not got any money left unless we keep on printing paper money, which will result in inflation. And I think my best effort will be to a very local effort for advocating ending the wars and building our own country for our own use. Thank You. TERRENCE PARK:I can not agree more with what Ms. Harrison said, but as an Assemblymember, I will work very closely with my colleagues to review and examine all of the budget allocations statewide. And I will work very closely with the majority leader and the newly - about to be - elected governor, Elliot Spitzer, to see what are the needs in our community and New York State and allocate money wisely, and not to raise any money to save money, and also to help the nation decrease the deficit. REFORM Question:Do you feel the operations of the Legislature are in need of reform? And there are short term and or long term steps that are necessary to make a more open, transparent, and accountable State Legislature. JULIA HARRISON: It does deserve reform, because it ranks about the third lowest in the country, in terms of productivity. I would work with my colleagues, who are up there, because they must have got something in the wash by now to get that reform. I don't know exactly what it is because I'm not up there. It's difficult for me - on the outside - to say what is going on on the inside, and what the conversations are within the ranks of the elected officials. So, I don't know what reforms there are that I could promise, or discuss intelligently, excepting to say that I would certainly support reform. Everybody knows it's badly in need. In fact, it's not the best place to go if you want to make a good name for yourself, when it's a the bottom of the heap of the country. That's not very smart to say, but that's what I'm saying. TERRENCE PARK: We all believe that our nation is for the people, by the people, of the people. I will look at all the legislature to see if there is a need to reform for the people and of the people. One thin I will definitely look into is election law. Board of Elections is the agency to help candidates to have smooth sailing in terms of having one's name on the ballot. It's not an agency to harass, to put difficulties on candidates. It should be totally civil agency to help candidates get on ballot. Election law needs to be carefully re-examined. I will make sure that the Board of Elections is solely independent, bipartisan, impartial tribunal agency. ELLEN YOUNG: My job is to represent the interests and priorities of 22nd Assembly District. I strongly support the reform of legislature. I'm honored being endorsed by Assemblymember Mike Gianaris. And I support his bill. I also would like to propose dropping the maximum contribution limits for state races. The state should really learn from the city about giving matching funds to the candidates. It would be more inclusive, more open, and give everybody an opportunity to run for office. CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE Question: How do you feel about posting campaign literature on public property? If you do not honor this simple law that prohibits this act, how can you be expected to propose honest legislation? TERRENCE PARK: I have many enthusiastic volunteers. I have young old, young middle aged - of all ethnic background. I have die hard supports and volunteers out there. I told them not to put posters on bus sides, or any other places, but their enthusiasm is sooo strong, they just don't listen. But as an Assemblymember, I would use that enthusiasm to serve you and make this community better. But I don't take my opponents signs down, and steal them! Take them down every single day! I told my supporters not to do it. ELLEN YOUNG: I am against it. It's a violation. My supporters would never do it. And they'd never take down other's literature. Now, you can see how my supporters follow rules in this room, how behaved they are. You do not point fingers when you do not have evidence. For three months, your supporters do not know how to behave law? JULIA HARRISON: It is against city law to put election posters on street polls, trees and private property. Any of your campaign volunteers who think they are doing you a service, they are costing you money. Because, when the report goes in, that there are posters are illegally up, the candidate has to pay a substantial penalty for every poster taken down. If the inspector goes down the street, and every, every, every poster comes down, my colleague is going to pay through the nose. You have to find some other way of advertising your candidates name. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION Question:What are your positions on illegal immigrants, and what actions would you take if elected? ELLEN YOUNG: We have to look at what our community needs and how can we help our society to be stronger and healthier. Undocumented immigrants have been in our community providing manpower and raising their families. I do not encourage undocumented immigrants to come to the US, but I don't have any power to stop them. Whomever has landed on this land of opportunity, we have to see how we can make our community stronger and healthier. If their kids were born here, they are citizens, and we have to educate them, and make them somebody - like us - instead of hiding in the shadows. I strongly support more restrictive prevention to keep undocumented out. However, this is our social issue, and we just have to work together, instead of pushing someone off the boat. That doesn't help the others to decide. JULIA HARRISON: If I am running for a job making legislative laws, how can I possibly support illegal immigrants - undocumented or illegal - coming into this country? Where does the illegal immigration flow stop coming in? If we do not exercise or enforce the laws on the books, what's the point of having laws at all? Where does a citizen have any rights to employment, if there are always undocumented people coming in, working for the lowest, lowest, lowest kind of income, workers who will be fleeced by their employers - who will work them to death and hold back money and not even pay them - what kind of an economy will we be developing, encouraging, and standing for, if we don't enforce our countries laws? Why should we be looking to make laws to improve our communities? TERRENCE PARK: Late president John F. Kennedy wrote a book in 1972: Nation of Immigrants. That book explains how this nation was built, where it's going, and why so many people are coming to the United States of America. Our founding fathers had an indisputable idea of this nation. Freedom, equality, and justice. This is not a perfect society, but it is the closest we can get. This is we people from all over are coming here. I am poor immigrant. In this sense, we must be able to provide illegal documented immigrants already in this nation some legal status. I would like to propose: those individuals that are willing to abide by our laws, rules, and regulations to pay tax. If that individual is able to pay tax for three years, give them opportunity to apply for green card. When they apply for green card, after five years, apply for citizenship. It cost more money, and more complication arrest all the illegal immigrant, and send them back to where they belong. But, I am very strong and adamant about illegal immigrants coming into our nation, because the burden lays upon our shoulders. We have serious home security problems. Do you know that 50 percent chance to bring atomic bomb in the nation by the terrorist? It is very serious matter. It's life or death situation in the time of terrorism. Illegal individuals coming into this nation is very, very serious matter. And also, when they go to hospital, and welfare system, all of this is payed for out of the tax payer's money. So, in order to secure and build our nation stronger, we must be strong against illegal individuals coming into this nation, but we must provide steps toward those illegal documented individuals, to become a permanent resident and eventually become a citizen. QUESTIONS FROM CANDIDATES TO EACH OTHER JULIA HARRISON: In the past six years we've seen a dramatic erosion of transparency in the political process. Under the Bush Administration, we've seen oil executives meeting in secret with the vice president to set energy policy, wire taps on American citizens without benefit of review by the court, and so-called enemy combatants held in secret prisons abroad for brutal interrogation. These are just three examples of ways the arrogance has power has lead the public officials to believe they are justified operating behind closed doors, and accountable to no one, least of all the American people. If you go to Albany, what steps would you take to increase transparency in the legislative process, and ensure that elected officials remain accountable to their constituents. ELLEN YOUNG: In Albany we have to reform the government to be more opened up, more transparent, and more inclusive. To form a good government, we have to work with Citizens Union and bring up the issues we talked about. Last week I went for an interview, and I answered all the questions. And those questionnaires, I suggest Harrison to study carefully, closely, and in all details, then she will know what to do when we go up there. TERRENCE PARK: Government should be absolutely open to public, and you as voters and citizens should come together to build strong civic association, block association, grassroots associations, to convey your ideas and wishes. We are only public servant, listening to your ideas and care. My responsibility is to make sure that government services lay down to you. In order to do that, arrogance of power in government, dealing behind closed door cannot be tolerated. When I become State Assemblymember, I will do in my best ability to make sure that all availability of governmental issues are laid down to you. I'll make sure that your issues are absolutely conveyed to the Assembly. I've visited more than 2,500 houses and most of all constituents ask will either Ellen Young of Julia Harrison independently work on behalf of the community. I ask what they mean, and they ask me is Ellen Young too dependent on Councilman John Liu and only interested in her Chinese-American community? And Harrison, are you able to be independent? ELLEN YOUNG: I enjoy answering this question as much as Terrence racist question. As Liu said, I did not depend on him, he depend on me. As the first asian female auxiliary officer, I was living in hispanic community, to help everybody in crime prevention, and preventing crime in the neighborhood. I'm still a block watcher and a drug buster. To organize blood drive and Katrina fund, you think is only serving to one ethnic? Of course not. JULIA HARRISON: It's a funny question to ask, because of anyone - female - on this platform, I'm the only one whose been an independent, outspoken, uncontrollable women. I have seldom been a part of the county Democratic organization, because they do not trust me, because I don't trust them to make decisions for me and my community. I have worked with honorable people who are intelligent and not guided by what one person will say, no matter who that one person representing a county organization is. I started my political career by bring hoisted off the platform at my first county committee meeting. I asked a question from the floor, at the time, because I thought we were being robbed of our county committee people. The whole damn auditorium blew up practically, and in order to explain why I was asking the question, I felt I should go up to the microphone. Well, my effort was thwarted. Someone came up from behind, and grabbed me by my elbows, walked me off the stage, and dumped me on the floor. My constituents have always respected my independence, and welcomed it. They always tell me, after I have been dumped on by some newspaper or some other organization, that "you did the right thing. You said the right thing." I have this record of being independent, whether it's my greatest fault, or best thing about me. ELLEN YOUNG: According to her record, Ms. Harrison did not help people in Flushing. When everybody, including borough president, state senator, state assembly, wants to build a library, she opposed it. When everybody wants to renovate a subway station in order to have an escalator and wheelchair accessories, she opposed. And most (laughs) important thing is she constantly kept proposing legislation to legalize prostitution. JULIA HARRISON: I did not reject the idea of building a library. I the time the idea of tearing down the old library and building the institution we are in came up, we were proposing a master plan for the orderly development of FIushing, and the municipal parking lot number 1, which is now again under development by a very fine organization. At that time, we had wanted the library to be a part of a community center that would have been built around a green open space, which would have been a cultural meeting ground for the entire community. And it would have been accessible to the kids coming from Flushing High School, who always cut across the municipal parking lot, and they wouldn't have to cross all the streets to get to this. I was not opposed to the library, I was opposed to the placement of the library. As far as the subway is concerned, nothing could be farther than the truth. The MTA said they wanted to get rid of the congestion that occurs at Roosevelt and Main st. In order to do that, they wanted to build another entrance and exit. My thought was, the intelligent thing to do, would be to go to Prince St., where the Foster brothers had a great big empty lot right on top of the station. They couldn't have gone down there, because we knew at that time, that Joshua Muss on the Con Edison lot, and he was going to put up 12,000 units of housing, in addition to having all kinds of recreational facilities, a movie house and other things that would attract people to that entrance. So I suggested, and I think it's still a good suggestion because the MTA said they now have to build a second entrance, instead of going where I suggested, they went up the hill, and disrupted all of the merchants who had business on Roosevelt Ave. They killed a lot of those stores, disrupted the free flow of traffic, and put the escalator where there are the fewest people. That was a very stupid thing, because the only way to justify having built where they built, was to reroute the busses. Now the Main St. bus - the number 44 - instead of going straight down Main St., now has to turn down Roosevelt Ave. to discharge passengers. As regards to prostitution, at Prince St. and 35th Ave., I was getting all kinds of complaints from stores about prostitution being trucked in every night, and discharged, then being hauled away to wherever they came from in the morning. The women who would go down the street to their local market to buy a quart of milk would get propositioned by the johns, and the kids who were playing out front were seeing evidence of what prostitution is. The families who lived in that neighborhood were absolutely outraged, so they came to Macedonia church, went down into the meeting room, and said, "We have got to do something about this!" So, we went to the police station and said we were going to chase the prostitutes away, and you can do whatever the hell you want you officers who are not around to help us in this problem. We had prostitution posses who would walk every night for a year made up of people who lived in the area, every age, nationality, and size. We walked, and walked the streets, and the prostitutes didn't show up. My suggestion at that point was, I'm not going to be a moral judge as to what people want to do with their private life, just get it the hell out of the neighborhood, where people are living, children are growing up, and families are established. Also, from a health point of view, instead of having a man who has a family in the 22nd use the services of a prostitute and then go home and infect his wife - which had been happening, because women were having more and more HIV and AIDS infections - there should be control over the established act of prostituting. What I suggested was making a red light district in the area where the cement factories were, along the river. And give health care to every prostitute on a regular basis. I brought in a woman who works with prostitutes and offers them alternatives. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Question: In recent years we have seen quality store leave our area. There seems to be no plan for the future of our commercial strips, as more junk stores replace those quality stores. What will you do to reverse those trends, and will you create a business diversity program to enhance ethnic business growth? ELLEN YOUNG: I don't understand what you mean when you say quality stores are leaving. Macy's is doing good business, and they joined the Flushing Business Improvement District, paid their share to clean up downtown Flushing. Barnes and Noble is possibly coming to our community, that was my project. Modell's is doing great business. There are a lot more quality businesses coming to Flushing, I know so because it was my project. JULIA HARRISON: People who have spoken to me, all coming from the 22nd, say they don't want to go down to Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue because there is nothing there for them. There are not stores that appeal or cater to them. I don't know whether any other big firms are going to come, because there are good stores within driving distance with good parking spaces, and the buying market here is not that strong - that's what I've been told by other firms who were approached to come here. They just didn't see they could make a profit on their investment in the downtown Flushing area. It's not clean, not inviting, no parking - it's not appetizing. TERRENCE PARK: I wouldn't say quality, by diversity. I used to work at a shoe store right next to McDonald's. Blue Star was right next to it, and Gloria's, and all this nice diverse stores. Rent is rampant on Main St. In order to pay that kind of rent, you have to generate lots of revenue. We have to look at the parking situation. It's the number one reason they don't want to come to downtown Flushing. When you go to Municipal Parking Lot on a Saturday, it takes fifteen minutes to find a spot. It takes fifteen to get out. Without parking spaces, development is not going to be successful because the development is only for people in the surrounding area are able to come there. People fromDouglaston, Little Neck and other places would not come to downtown Flushing, because there is no spaces. Parking space is crucial to have diverse store, in order to have quality store. CLOSING REMARKS JULIA HARRISON: I have worked in Flushing for a long time - 30 years. I represented it as a paid worker, and I enjoyed the job very much for 20 years. I've been unemployed on forced retirement for five years. But I've been busy with the Howes Civic Association on zoning problems. I've been working with my coop's board of directors. I've been working in the schools, I tutor students in PS 129, and I worked in the Hopkins Hewes Institute. So, I've kept busy, but I really miss the structure I would have if I were going to Albany as a regular job. I enjoyed it. It's my very own specialty, that I have always done service. I've never taken a job because it paid well. That's why I worked so many years in trade union offices. I think I have developed a great skill working with my constituents. When I went to the Democratic Convention in Buffalo this year, people came up to me who worked with me 20 years ago to greet me. The job is made for me because I really, really like it. I like meeting people like you and answering your questions, and being available to be useful. And if I don't know the answer; referring you to where you can get it. TERRENCE PARK: I see a beacon of hope in our community. Look around you. This auditorium is filled with concerned citizens and supporters. I must pay a great respect to my opponent, Ellen Young, for her courage and dedication to her community. And as well as my admiration for Julia Harrison, and for her long years of dedication to her community. Lets give them a round of applause. If I may distinguish myself from my opponents, it's the energy I have, and dedication, and enthusiasm I have for you. As of yesterday, I visited 2,544 houses. When I visited individuals, I feel their living condition in their heart, and what are the issues in each neighborhood. That really imbued the spirit of more dedication and more enthusiasm. And because of that support, even though I was off the ballot, I couldn't give up. I STOOD UP, and fought for those supporters. I didn't want to let them down. I vowed to my supporters: I shall return. ELLEN YOUNG: I have roots. I have experience. It's very important to be able to bring people together in the community. That's what we call unity. Flushing has a very diverse community, I can represent everybody's interests and priorities. I urge everyone to look at each other. Hold their hands and shake them to say hello. Leaving from here with their love in your heart, and say, "We are going to have the best we know on Sept. 12." I urge everybody to vote within the Democratic party, and we also need a good new governor, and that's all in our hands. All of the issues we discussed today, we all have shown our concern. The most important thing is, who can make that concern come true, and that's Ellen Young. Â Tweet Editor's Choice Everything Dot NYC Council 2.0: Rules Reform Outlines Next Steps in Open Data Overdue & Over Budget, Capital Projects Roll On Comments Comment(s) The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.