BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
On Oct. 22, Costa Constantinides, Democratic candidate for City Council District 22, unveiled a four-point plan to keep Western Queens safe.
Standing with civic leaders at Columbus Triangle in Astoria, Constantinides said after knocking on 12,000 doors during his campaign, the most important concern the residents have is to continue to feel safe in Western Queens.
The former legislative director for Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Constantinides said since 2001 we have seen a decline in our police officers, from 41,000 to 34,500, so his first priority is to come up with a comprehensive plan to hire more police officers and firefighters with the next administration.
The second point on Constantinides’ plan is to continue to support the “common sense” gun control laws and term-limited Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s (D-Astoria) Gun Offender Registry Bill.
Constantinides said since “90 percent of the guns that come into our City are from states with relaxed gun laws,” he wants to come up with ‘common sense’ gun control laws that would respect the Second Amendment, like background checks.
“For sex offenders, we have a registry so someone knows if a sex offender moves in next to them, so we should have the same public records for illegal gun offenders,” Constantinides said. “That’s just common sense for keeping us safe and informed.”
Constantinides’ third point is to pay the City’s uniformed officers a competitive wage and ensure fair contracts.
”It is a travesty to see this administration has allowed the contracts of our uniformed officers to expire,” Constantinides said. “Our firefighters, policemen, detectives and correction officers are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe, and all they are asking for their families is a competitive wage and fair contracts.”
Last, but not least on the list of ideas to keep Western Queens safe, is saving neighborhood firehouses from closing.
“Closing firehouses should never be a political solution,” Constantinides said.
Constantinides’ list of contenders on Nov. 5 includes Green Party candidate Lynne Serpe, Republican candidate Daniel Paterson, Independent candidate Danielle De Stefano and Populist candidate Gerald Kann.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.