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Koslowitz gets help from Quinn on trail

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and state Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) helped Democratic Council hopeful Karen Koslowitz campaign in Forest Hills Sunday in a last-minute attempt to rally voters before the Sept. 15 primary.

Quinn and Lavine, both of whom have endorsed Koslowitz, said the candidate running for Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat representing the 29th District has already proven herself to be an effective legislator. Prior to Katz, Koslowitz held the seat for eight years before term limits prevented her from making another bid to represent the district that covers Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and parts of Maspeth and Elmhurst.

“When I endorse somebody, I want to make sure they get elected,” Quinn said of her efforts to help Koslowitz campaign on Austin Street Sunday afternoon. “But Karen is not just somebody. I’ve had the luck of working with Karen for a long time, and I’ve seen her in action. As speaker, she is exactly the kind of person I want fighting for the residents of New York City.”

Lavine, who once lived and worked in Forest Hills, said he was especially pleased with Koslowitz when she led the battle to shut down the strip club Runway 69 on Austin Street in 1993-94, a move residents have said played a major role in revitalizing the area.

“Karen did outstanding work when she was on the Council,” Lavine said. “She’s completely dedicated.”

Quinn, Lavine and Koslowitz were also joined Sunday by Forest Hills resident JR Nocerino, a former opponent of Koslowitz’s who dropped out of the race a couple months ago due to health concerns. He has since thrown his support behind Koslowitz.

“Karen has been here before, and she can hit the ground running,” Nocerino said.

About 30 volunteers for Koslowitz took to the streets and made phone calls Sunday in an effort to remind voters about the primary and inform them about Koslowitz’s platform, which she said includes addressing “quality of life” issues like traffic and empty storefronts, especially along such shopping hubs as Austin Street.

“A lot of people are saying they’re going to vote, and a lot of them are supporting me,” Koslowitz said. “I have great support.”

Forest Hills resident Roman Mavashev stopped to speak with Koslowitz and Quinn Sunday about motorcycle noise on Metropolitan Avenue. Mavashev said motorcycles frequently race up and down Metropolitan Avenue, where he and his family live.

“I have two kids under the age of 3, and every night starting at 1 a.m. the noise from the motorcycles becomes unbearable,” said Mavashev, who plans to vote for Koslowitz. “The motorcycles in some cases are trying to beat the cars, and they’re revving their engines.”

Koslowitz is one of six candidates vying for Katz’s seat, and the other candidates include Heidi Harrison Chain, Albert Cohen, Michael Cohen, Mel Gagarin and Lynn Schulman.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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