City Council candidate Daniel Dromm was joined by state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) and several members of the Queens Latino community for a campaign rally outside the Jackson Heights post office Saturday.
Dromm, who is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) in the Democratic primary, said the neighborhood’s Latino population was being underserved by the city government and vowed to fight for their rights.
A group of nearly two dozen Latino residents concurred and cheered on Dromm’s campaign with chants of “Danny! Danny!”
“They feel it’s time for a change,” Dromm said of his support.
Sears oversees the 25th Council District, which includes Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Woodside and Corona.
Dromm said that if elected, he would aim to tackle several issues that are affecting the residents. The most important issue, he said, was that Sears’ office did reach out to the Latino community or make her office accessible when they had problems.
“I think their needs have not been dealt with or addressed,” he said.
Sears’s campaign manager Erik Joerss condemned Dromm’s accusations noting that the incumbent has always paid attention to the Latino community’s concerns. He noted that she helped to fund several groups and projects including the Ecuadorian International Center, which teaches ESL and citizenship classes.
“The needs of Latino residents in the district are a priority for the council member as they have been throughout her tenure,” Joerss said.
The candidate also said many Latinos are underserved in terms of health care and said the city should make more of an effort to provide affordable health care to families. He said he would like to see more health centers similar to Plaza del Sol in Corona for poor Latino families.
“Right now, Elmhurst Hospital is overwhelmed and a lot of that has to do with the fact that people go there for primary care,” he said.
Dromm said he would collaborate with other elected officials like Peralta and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) to create a unified group to tackle the surrounding neighborhood’s most driving issues, including education, health care and outreach to the Latino community.
Peralta, who endorsed Dromm in June, said such a partnership is needed because city and state leaders can yield better results.
“That unity doesn’t happen with the incumbent,” the assemblyman said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2009 Community News Group
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