BY JOE MARVILLI
Days after the Queens Democratic Party threw their support behind John Liu for State Senate, the former Comptroller held his campaign kick-off in Bayside.
On May 23, Liu stood outside the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station, surrounded by friends and supporters, to formally announce his bid for the 11th State Senate District, as well as state his goals if elected. The candidate touched on his own experiences in office as well as the need for Democratic leadership in the legislative body.
At the kick-off, Liu was surrounded by several assembly members and council members, representatives from Community Board 7, 8 and 11 and other community leaders.
“The people here reflect the strength and dynamism of our community here in northeast Queens. This community, where I lived after I immigrated from Taiwan at the age of 5. This community, where I grew up in public schools, libraries and parks. This community, where my family frequents supermarkets, movie theaters, batting cages, mini-golf and pizzerias,” Liu said to start his speech. “This community, which I would be honored to serve again as the next New York State Senator, a position whose effectiveness I will maximize by drawing upon my legislative experience, my fiscal expertise and my real world knowledge from a career in the private sector.”
Liu said he was approached several weeks ago about running for State Senate, a primary he decided to enter due to his love of public service, among other reasons. Since January, the former mayoral candidate has been teaching a course in financial management at Baruch College.
Part of the reason Liu was approached came from a move by State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) earlier this year. The senator joined the Independent Democratic Conference, whose five members broke away from the Democratic caucus and entered into a power-sharing partnership with the Republican caucus.
“The people of New York State elected Democrats as the majority in the State Senate. It means that the people in the State of New York generally agree more with Democratic values and principals,” Liu said. “But it’s a small number of people who happen to be Democrats, but are voting all the time with Republicans. That is, in a significant way, disempowering the people of New York State.”
If elected, Liu said he would fight for minimum wage, public schools, transportation, healthcare and the rights of women and the working class.
“As State Senator, I will be a servant of the public and hold sacred the trust and confidence placed in me by the people. I’ll be a leader, not shy of advancing cutting edge programs and proposals,” Liu said. “I will be a collaborator, one who works closely with my colleagues in the Senate and other parts of government, understanding that this democracy of ours requires team effort to create long-lasting change for good.”
In the last week, Liu has received union endorsements from the Hotel Trades Council and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500.
“John Liu will fight against wage theft, work hard to keep Wal-Mart out of New York City and stand alongside our members to raise the wage of the working class in the district,” UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both said.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JoeMarvilli.