BY JON CRONIN
On a bright Monday spring afternoon steps from the lush Forest Hills Gardens community, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) announced her bid for re-election.
Stavisky stood at the corner of Ascan Avenue and Austin Street, also known as Geraldine Ferraro Way, named after the first woman to run for Vice President.
Peter Tu, Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, said we need Stavisky back in Albany in order to keep a strong Democratic Party in Queens.
“Toby doesn’t only care about Asians, she cares about everyone in here district. I don’t see anyone doing better than Toby Stavisky,” he said.
Stavisky said, “It is appropriate that we’re under the sign that says Geraldine Ferraro Way because in 1984 I was a delegate at that convention in San Francisco that made history when we nominated a woman for the first time. I believe that we are going to nominate a woman for president, but women have to be given that opportunity.”
She noted, in the 63 seat State Senate there are 12 women, “We were all excited this year when the number increased from 11 to 12. We’ve got to do something about that,” said Stavisky.
She noted the Senate passed the Women’s Equality Agenda, the lowest tax rate that state has seen in 70 years, a tuition freeze at SUNY and CUNY, and a six percent increase in education funding throughout the state. “There is more to be done,” she said.
Stavisky believes that in the State Senate “ethics reform is long overdue. We gotta close the loophole on limited liability corporations. We’ve got to limit outside income because this is a full-time job.”
She also endorsed the Dream Act and funding for more transportation infrastructure in Flushing.
Meng pointed out that Stavsiky was the first woman in the borough of Queens to be elected to the State Senate.
“Must’ve been tough,” Meng said.
“Still is,” Stavisky noted.
Forest Hills Community Leader, Joe Nocerino said “Senator Stavisky has been a good friend to Forest Hills. She is someone who is always in the community, listening to our concerns, and getting results. Whether it be adding seats for kindergarten students, providing a new ambulance for our volunteer drivers, or even attending a local little league game, Senator Stavisky is someone who truly cares about our neighborhood. I am happy to stand with her today in support of her.”
Stavisky faces a challenge in the Democratic Primary from a former foe S.J. Jung, who announced his campaign last week. Jung and Stavisky also faced off in 2014, when she defeated him by 16 points.
“There is an essential need in Albany to better serve the Queens community. I will solve those problems, and I look forward to a spirited debate the coming months,” he said in his announcement.
Jung invoked the 2014 campaign, blasting his opponent for what he perceived as a “negative campaign” and “deceitful” misinformation in that race.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin