The Next Borough Prez

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By Beth Mellow

At a forum last Thursday hosted by the East Side Democratic Club, candidates for Manhattan Borough President met with constituents to present their platforms and answer questions.

Gale Brewer has represented the Upper West Side in the City Council since 2002 and is chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the Committee on Technology.

On Paid Sick Leave:

"I am the author of the Paid Sick Leave law. One million New Yorkers who did not have paid sick leave days will now have them."

On the E. 91st St. Marine Transfer Station:

"I did not vote for the establishment of the Marine Transfer Center. You have been the heroes on the East Side trying everything to fight it. There was very little input on where to put these sites. I think you have to start the planning over in Manhattan."

Robert Jackson is a City Council Member representing parts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. He was elected to City Council in 2001 and serves as chair of the Education Committee and co-chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.

His efforts to improve NYC schools:

"We sued the state of New York because we felt that they weren't providing children with a proper education. After 13 years we won the case."

About the Marine Transfer Station:

"I want to open up the entire solid waste management plan [and scrutinize it], which people don't want to do. I say, if it needs to be done, let's do it."

Jessica Lappin was elected to New York City Council in 2005. She has chaired the Land Use Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.

About affordability in Manhattan:

"This borough is becoming less and less affordable for the middle class. No matter where you live you should be able to send your kids to a good school. And when those kids grow up, they should be able to find affordable housing."

Her biggest City Council accomplishment:

"I established crisis pregnancy center regulation [which cracks down on deceptive crisis pregnancy centers that are actually fronts for anti-abortion groups]."

On senior citizens residing in Manhattan:

With the population of seniors continuing to expand in the coming decades, she said she wants to challenge "community boards to start planning ways to help seniors live in New York."

Julie Menin is a former chair of Community Board 1 and started the community organization Wall Street Rising to help give voice to residents affected by the events of 9/11.

On freedom of religion:

"I led the charge for the approval of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque. I believe in freedom of religion. My mom lived through the Holocaust."

On rapid development in Manhattan:

"Open space is critical. How do we build park space going forward? When there is a proposal for development on the table we have to insist on creating a certain percentage of open space."

What she thinks about the Marine Transfer Station:

"So far there have not been a lot of other alternatives. If other people have ideas they should definitely be put forward."

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