Editorial: On Primary Day, Let your voice be heard

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On Tuesday, Sept. 11, New York City voters, especially registered Democrats, will have a chance to dramatically change the power structure of this city. In the past, we have not hesitated to suggest that voters go fishing on Primary Day. Not this year.

First and foremost, voters will select the candidates who will represent their parties in the mayoral race. Queens is expected to play a pivotal role in the Democratic mayoral primary. Comptroller Alan Hevesi of Forest Hills and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone of Astoria have strong ties to the borough. Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer is expected to get heavy support from the Latino communities of Queens. Although Public Advocate Mark Green has maintained a strong lead in the four-way race, the Queens vote could force a runoff.

That means, if you’re a voter in Queens, this time your vote really counts.

As is our custom, the TimesLedger will not make any endorsements. It is our hope that the extensive coverage we have given to the borough’s many races will help voters make an informed decision when they go to the polls.

Thanks to the term limits law, none of the 14 council members representing Queens can run for re-election. In some of the northeast Queens districts, as many as five candidates are running in the Democratic primary. The fact that they were able to survive the rigors of the nomination process, is evidence that these are people who have already made a serious commitment. In most cases, the candidates are familiar faces who have been active in their respective communities for many years.

The dawn of term limits has forever changed the political landscape in Queens. Nowhere is this more evident than in the borough’s ethnic communities, where for the first time immigrant groups are just beginning to flex their political muscle. Until now, there has never been an Asian-American on the city council. That could change soon.

Voters will also have the chance on Tuesday to choose the candidates for borough president. Those who cannot see beyond the definitions of the City Charter tend to think of the Office of Borough President as mostly ceremonial. Queens Borough President Claire Shulman has demonstrated just how powerful and influential the office can be. She has worked tirelessly to unite this diverse borough. By forming a close working relationship with Mayor Giuliani, she has put this borough on the forefront of development and growth.

In addition, voters will choose a new city comptroller and public advocate. In the next four years, these positions will be especially important. They will serve as watchdogs making certain that the budget is on sound footing and that all people have equal access to city government.

We urge voters to take advantage of this historic opportunity to make their voices heard in city politics.

Editorial: A brand new Shea Stadium

We are pleased to hear that plans are moving forward to build a new stadium for the New York Mets. The stadium will be a modern version of Ebbetts Field complete with a retractable roof.

We have no problem with the city and state contributing to the stadium as long as they can demonstrate that the tax dollars generated and the positive economic impact will offset the expense. This certainly appears to be the case in Brooklyn where the new stadium for the Cyclones has been a shot in the arm for the economy of Coney Island.

We can only hope that the next administration will see the value of the new stadium for all New Yorkers.

Posted 7:23 pm, October 10, 2011
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