March 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Elected officials in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst appear to be divided as to who they want as their next council member.
State Senator Jessica Ramos endorsed candidate Carolyn Tran, a single mom and former council staffer, for the District 25 city council race last week. Meanwhile, about a month ago, State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz endorsed Shekar Krishnan, a civil rights lawyer and community activist, for the seat.
Both legislators have helped their respective choices collect signatures–in order for them to appear on the ballot.
Ramos joined Tran in petitioning on the weekend after having endorsed her earlier in the week.
“I want @iamcarolyntran to be my councilwoman,” Ramos tweeted last week. “As a single mom with 11+ years of experience working for us, she will ensure our economic recovery is WOC-focused.”
Tran said she couldn’t imagine running for City Council without Ramos’ support.
“From our city gov’t days, being PS69Q parents and a solid friendship rooted in love for our community – I cannot imagine being on this journey without you @jessicaramos,” she tweeted. “Energized for the possibilities when WOC lead!”
Tran had worked at current D-25 Council Member Daniel Dromm’s office since 2010 and served as his chief of staff for the last five years. Tran was let go from her position as chief of staff earlier this year, the Queens Eagle reported.
Dromm, who is term-limited and must vacate the seat at the end of the year, has not made a formal endorsement for his replacement.
However, he is known to favor Krishnan–and has retweeted several endorsement announcements that Krishnan has posted. He and Krishnan have worked together for years through the New Visions Democratic Club, which Dromm founded in 2002. Krishnan has served as president of the club.
Assembly Member Cruz has also been involved with the New Visions Democratic Club. The club, and Dromm, endorsed her in her Assembly run in 2018 and Krishnan volunteered for her campaign at the time.
Cruz, in turn, endorsed Krishnan on Feb. 9.
“I am proud to support Shekar because he has been helping build a coalition for progressive change in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst for years,” she said in a statement. “Shekar has the best platform and the most detailed policies to transform our city to work for everyone.”
Krishnan was also endorsed by Astoria Council Member Costa Constantinides, whose district includes parts of Jackson Heights, on Monday. He has collected endorsements from Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Sen. Julia Salazar and a number of powerful unions as well.
Meanwhile, Tran has been endorsed by several women’s groups, including Women of Color for Progress and Downtown Women for Change.
Krishnan and Tran are two of nine candidates running to replace Dromm. The other candidates are Fatima Baryab, Lucy Cerezo Scully, Yi Chen, Suraj Jaswal, Liliana Melo, Manuel Perez, and Alfonso Quiroz.
To let Pk. BD & In. represented in a just % on NY ethnicity, I presume Fatima Baryab will add value from Elmhurst & Jackson Height to NY Assembly.
Sadly Krishnan is a civil rights lawyer who has been accused of breaking housing discrimination laws. And found culpable.
He’s got the shamelessness of most pols, but not the street cred to win in JH.