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Use Web for gripes: Murray

City Council candidate Scherie Murray said southeast Queens residents have many different concerns on their mind and suggested that one of the best ways to approach all of the community’s problems was to utilize technology.

Murray, the sole Republican candidate who is challenging Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton), said residents in southeast Queens do not have a central nexus from where to voice their concerns.

The 28-year-old candidate, who earned an associate’s degree in microcomputer business systems from the NYC College of Technology, said a solution to that problem would be a special social network for the people of her council district.

“When I take office, I want to incorporate a District Area Network, or DAN 31,” she explained. “We can offer transparency though DAN 31 in the form of showing people where the issues lie.”

Murray said the Web site would allow residents of the 31st Council District, which covers Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and the Rockaways, to list their complaints for her and other leaders to read and it would enable residents to offer their neighbors help on similar problems.

The candidate said technology was needed in the classrooms of the city school system to enhance the learning experience. Tools such as smart boards and up-to-date computers are essential for young learners in the 21st century, according to Murray.

“We need a smarter classroom,” she said. “We need computers, even at a small scale.”

But not all of Murray’s platforms involve technology. The candidate said she would tackle the area’s large foreclosure crisis with a “Mortgage Transplant Package.” Under the plan, Murray said she would work with faith-based organizations in the area to give needy homeowners the help to avoid losing their home but would not reveal any details.

The candidate has a tough road ahead, since she is not only going against a two-term incumbent but is also running in a strongly Democratic area. Other Democratic candidates — Jacques Leandre, Michael Duncan, Frederick Lewis and Hillard Grays — are challenging Sanders in the Sept. 15 primary.

Murray said she has always supported what the GOP has stood for and cited its early ideals in the mid-19th century.

“Most of our founding African-American leaders were in line with the Republican Party because they were against slavery,” she explained.

She also said her party’s ideology, such as tax breaks, is pertinent to the needs of the community — especially during the depressed economic times.

“They have no advantage to hire workers or pay rent without worrying about being taxed,” Murray said of small businesses.

Born on the island of Jamaica, Murray moved to St. Albans when she was 9 and went on to graduate from Campus Magnet High School in 1998. After earning her associate’s degree, she went on to create and run the Esemel Group, a multimedia company based in Rosedale from 2004 to 2008. Murray went back to school and recently earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College.

Murray said she has enjoyed southeast Queens and wants to do all she can to improve it.

“I want to be a role model,” she said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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