Click for larger image
Hiram Monserrate 3,718
Luis A. Rosero 2,459
Angel Del Villar 1,550
Aida A. Gonzalez-Jarrin 1,315
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Incumbent: Helen M. Marshall (can't
run in 2001)
- Hiram Monserrate (Dem/Lib/Gre/Wor)
Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
to Marvin Bentley
to Angel Del Villar
to Mary France-Daniels
to Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin
to Hiram Monserrate.
to Luis Rosero.
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
Eyes on the Ground
The runways at LaGuardia Airport are notoriously crowded, creating
flight delays throughout the country. But the candidates for City
Council from District 21, which includes the airport, are more
concerned about other over-taxed facilities in the area, particularly
Every flight increase at LaGuardia causes "more traffic, air
pollution and noise," says candidate Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin. Despite
that, says Angel Del Villar, "There are a lot more home issues
that I'd like to tackle" before turning attention to LaGuardia's
headaches. His opponents apparently agree.
District 21 includes East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights.
New arrivals from Peru, Ecuador and India, among other countries,
have shifted the demographic makeup of some neighborhoods that
were once largely Italian and African-American and put pressure
on schools and housing.
The candidates, among them a pastor, lawyer, teacher, newspaper
publisher and a former police officer, all want the city to address
overcrowding in schools, some of which have twice as many students
as they were built to hold. But the politicians do not all agree
on what the best solution is to the problem.
"There is money. There is plenty of money," in the school board
budget, says Angel Del Villar, an attorney who advocates building
more schools to house what candidate Luis Rosero calls "the largest
generation of students ever" in the district.
But another candidate, Marvin Bentley, who served on the community
school board for seven years, says it may not be that simple.
"It's trying to find a space we can buy with the money available"
that is the problem, he says.
Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin, the former director of Cultural Affairs
of Queens who's also in the race, cites a different obstacle.
"Some efforts to build new schools meet with resistance from some
communities," she says. In the short term, Gonzalez-Jarrin proposes
year-round classes, while Del Villar suggests busing students
to less crowded schools.
Overcrowding is not the only educational issue. "We're losing
some of the best teachers to other school systems" because of
salary gaps, says Hiram Monserrate, a Democratic district leader,
adding that this "doesn't just impact my district, but the whole
Alluding to two recent sexual assaults in area schools, Francisco
Moya, another candidate who is also a Democratic district leader,
says, "We need to protect our children and educate our children."
Moya says money is needed to provide guards and electronic surveillance
Candidate and teacher Mary France-Daniels thinks that some of
the school system's problems could be alleviated by increased
parental involvement. "A lot of parents are intimidated by the
system," she says, adding that she hopes to create parent advocacy
centers to help parents play a greater role in their children'
The influx of people into the district has put a strain on housing,
creating what Monserrate calls "one of the most severe shortages
of adequate, affordable housing" in the city. To remedy the situation,
Bentley says the city as a whole must look at lower-income housing
initiatives. "This mayor is one of the few mayors in recent years
who hasn't put together a housing program at all," he says.
With the former director of Cultural Affairs for Queens, a former
staff member for Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and three current
or former Democratic district leaders among those vying for a
seat on the City Council, this is a very competitive race. But
all the contenders professed optimism about their prospects. When
asked who is the candidate to beat, most named themselves.
To try to win in this diverse district, the candidates are focusing
on issues that cut across racial and ethnic boundaries. James
Lisa, a former Democratic district leader and the publisher of
the Queens Times, for one, says, "You can't have splinter groups
going off in different directions."
Most of the issues mentioned by the candidates, such as hospital
administrator Moya's call for increased health services and programs
for seniors, affect the community at large.
Economic development is another such concern. "The majority of
people haven't felt this boom we've had in recent years," says
France-Daniel, and with a recession looming "this needs to be
addressed." Rosero echoes these sentiments, calling for increased
governmental assistance to local small businesses, the "lifeline
of the community."
The noise and traffic created at LaGuardia presents another problem
that affects all kinds of people in the 21st district. It just
isn't at the top of the list.
Marvin Bentley is pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church
of Corona. He is the president of the Corona East Elmhurst Clergy
Association and has served on the community school board.
Albertha Butts-Brinson: no information available
Jairo Casas: no information available.
Angel Del Villar heads a community-based law firm in Corona
and is co-founder and president of the Dominican-Hispanic Congress
for Community Empowerment.
Mary France-Daniels is an activist and teacher. She has
served on the New York State Regent's Committee on Low-Performing
Schools and was formerly director of the Office of Parent Involvement.
Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin was until recently director of Cultural
Affairs of Queens and has also served as a Democratic district
Daniel Jimenez: no information available
James Lisa is a former Democratic district leader, the
executive co-leader of the Northside Democratic Association, and
publisher of the Queens Times.
Hiram Monserrate is a Democratic district leader and has
served as a police officer and in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is
on the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Francisco Moya is the associate director for strategic
planning and business development at Elmhurst Hospital, president
and co-founder of the Corona Gardens Neighborhood Association,
a former presidential fellow, and a Democratic district leader.
Luis Rosero has worked as a staff member for U.S. Rep.
Nydia Velazquez and served on the White House Initiative for Educational
Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He is currently press secretary
for the National Hispanic Outreach Office of the Democratic National
Angel Del Villar, a candidate for City Council district 21 in Corona and
East Elmhurst, Queens, was present at a cop killer's hideout in 1992 where
plans were made for the gunman's escape. Del Villar was working as a bouncer
at the Palm Club in Bayside, Queens, on July 18, 1992, when another bouncer,
Patrick Bannon, fatally shot two men and wounded a third after a brawl
outside the club on Bell Boulevard. "My statement is I had absolutely
nothing to do with the shooting or death of anyone that night," he said. "I
fully cooperated with the district attorney's office. That's my statement."
Timothy Nickels, president of the housing police union at the time of the
slaying, expressed outrage that Del Villar was running for public
office. (Daily News)
Queens' 21st District has seen a huge influx of immigrants from Latin America and is about to elect its first Hispanic councilmember. Who that will be is at the center of a fierce competition among four candidates in the Democratic primary. (New York Times)
Newsday announces its endorsements in a number of Queens City Council races.
District 21. "Despite the ethnic conflict dividing various Latino communities in the district, the four candidates - all Latinos - are evenly matched. . . .Luis Rosero is the most appealing. . . .His background gives him intimate knowledge of government and politics. His contacts at the federal level wouldn't hurt, either. He also understands the common concerns of a diverse population."
One thing is certain about the Corona-East Elmhurst City Council
race in district 21: It will produce the first elected Latino
representative from Queens. The Queens Democratic party made sure
of that when it knocked two African Americans off the ballot through
petition challenges.The smart money in the race is on Hiram Monserrate,
the Democratic organization-backed candidate. But the other Democratic
candidates - Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin, Angel Del Villar and Luis Rosero
- say they also have a chance to win. (Daily
In the 21st Council District - drawn 10 years ago with the expressed
purpose of electing a Hispanic to the City Council - politicians
of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent are openly complaining of
what they call Puerto Rican dominance of Latino politics in New
York. The strong rivalries are making it possible - some say likely
- that the primary victory in September will go not to a Latino,
but to a longtime black activist and minister, the Rev. Marvin
J. Bentley, a resident of the small but politically powerful African-American
community of East Elmhurst. (Newsday)
With the April 30 deadline for undocumented immigrants to apply
for permanent residency status looming, Hispanic and labor activists
hit the streets of Corona to spread the word about immigration
Declaring voting to be "the most effective weapon against racism,"
21st Council District candidate Angel Del Villar of Corona announces
he will conduct a voter registration drive. (Western
Despite overcrowding, Queens schools perform better than many
of their coutnerparts in New York City. .(Western
Queens schools were short some 27,000 seats in 2000. (Western
An overview of Queen City Council races. (Queens