At a time when mainstream Democrats are abandoning long-held “big tent” principles of encouraging different viewpoints for narrowly focussed progressive anti-business views, former City Council Member and Queens Borough President Candidate Elizabeth Crowley is something of an outlier.
Crowley, a former city council member, is running to fill the empty seat left by Melinda Katz (D-Queens), which she vacated after winning her election for Queens District Attorney. Representing the “It’s Our Time Party,” Crowley said she will work to get Queens its fair share, and that starts with marketing herself as a pro-business candidate.
“I’m the type of leader that wants to welcome business, be it small business or big business,” she said in an interview with Queens County Politics.
When asked her position on the recent controversy regarding the Amazon deal she proclaimed her firm backing of it. “Look I supported Amazon coming, I don’t think that our leaders went about it in the right way, they should have engaged the community.”
She especially took issue with the way New York City’s politicians addressed the situation, “if the state feels that those incentives are wrong and they want to change them then they have that discussion, but not after offering them to a company.”
“The incentives were perfectly legal and they are offered all the time, we need to offer and extend those types of incentives to small businesses too,” she went on to say.
Crowley also said that once elected, she will fight to ensure Queens gets its fair share of the budget. “We don’t get our fair share for a lot of areas whether it’s the amount of funding for our kids and our public schools or of cultural dollars,” she said.
She said lack of funding also is needed to address affordable housing and transit for Queens residents.
“We’re not building real affordable housing here and that has to do with us not getting our fair share. Queens gets less than 10% of the affordable housing budget. So I have an extensive plan to expand our rail system and I think that our areas that have transit are over drought and we need to find more areas with transit to do proper development. I have plans to bring 20 square miles of transit service to Queens,” Crowley said.
She laid out her plans for her first day in office, which included putting together an anti-semitism task force and push for a rail project for Queens.
Her office would do something similar to what was done in the Bronx with MTA for Metro-North. “We are going to do that on our lower Montauk branch our Triboro extension and half of the Rockaway Beach subway,” she said.
“We have the ability to think big and bold and put together a vision for our borough unmet before. Sort of like the world’s fair. We need those ideas and so that is what that means. It’s our time to think big it’s our time to get our fair share. Too much time has gone by with the borough of immigrants being forgotten about and it’s our time to shine,” she said.
The special election is set for Tuesday, March 24.