NY1 VIDEO: The Road to City Hall’s Errol Louis visited City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s 25th city council district in Queens.
As the dust settles in the aftermath of the City Council’s vote to extend term limits, aspiring candidates in the 25th Council District are struggling to adapt to a political future that now includes incumbent Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights).
Sears, 80 years old, would have been term limited out of office at the end of 2009. She now has the option of vying for re-election, but has not announced what her plans will be.
“I still have over a year left on my current term, and all my thoughts are with how to make the 25th Council District stronger and healthier,” she said in an e-mail.
Daniel Dromm, a Jackson Heights Democratic district leader and president of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, has raised $53,871. He said he will continue to run for the seat.
“I think I can win the race,” he said. “I have a lot of support. I’ve been district leader for over six years now, and I’ve been working in that community for 17-plus years as an activist.”
Whether you’re for them or against them, setting term limits should be up the voters alone. It’s our decision!
Go to http://itsourdecision.org/ to tell Mayor Bloomberg and the whole City Council to Respect Our Vote!
Daniel Dromm, a candidate for New York City Council, 25th District seat (Queens) issued the following statement today in response to two bills regarding the extension of term limits for elective officials.
Twice in the last fifteen years, the people of New York City have voted to limit elective officials to two full terms in office. Term limits help keep elected officials accountable to the public and defend against the abuses of unlimited tenure. The proposals now before the City Council offer a stark choice for the future of the political system our great city: reaffirm the will of the people and the basic principles of democracy and good governance, by forming a charter review commission and possibly holding a special election on term limits in the spring; or cynically toss democracy aside for personal political ambition by changing term limits legislatively.
The people of New York City benefit when our elections are more competitive and the nearly insurmountable advantage of incumbency is leveled. That is why I support term limits, and most of the people currently serving on the council owe their positions to the fact that a majority of New Yorkers feel that way, too. When the question of extending term limits to three terms was brought to the voters in 1996, they rejected it. To serve your community for eight years as a City Councilmember is not a right, but a tremendous honor. I don’t understand why some of our elected officials would be unsatisfied with that, especially when they have benefited from it themselves. Any attempt to do an end run around the will of the voters by legislative maneuvering will undermine our democracy.
Some are saying that we can’t afford to lose experienced leaders like Mayor Bloomberg because of the country’s financial troubles. This city has not faced a more dire and immediate crisis than we did in the months and years after September 11, 2001. The election that year was the first time term limits went into effect. We had an unprecedented turnover of leadership in the city that year, from the Mayor to the Borough Presidents and two-thirds of the City Council. We weathered it just fine, and the voters are perfectly well qualified to decide whether the difficult times ahead warrant a change in term limits. I encourage Councilmember Helen Sears to do the right thing and stand against a legislative change to term limits and, if she must support either bill, to vote for creating a charter review commission to look at the issue and offer it up to the voters to decide.
From Crains:“Facing the term limits squeeze” by Matt Sollars
The Working Families Party’s decision to oppose the legislative extension of term limits—and the possibility that it will campaign against supporters who seek re-election in 2009—will make some City Council members think twice about voting to allow a third term.
In Queens, council members Peter Vallone Jr. and Helen Sears represent districts that voted overwhelmingly for term limits in the 1990s. Of the two, Sears is especially vulnerable. One of the candidates for her seat, veteran public school teacher Daniel Dromm, has already won the support of the United Federation of Teachers and says he will run no matter what.
From Queens Chronicle:
Idle chatter about what Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to do next is nothing new for New Yorkers. It seems like every day the city’s leading billionaire has a new objective. President? Vice President? Governor? But now it’s beginning to look like Bloomberg is choosing to forego those ideas and go for a different gig: the one he already has.
Rumors are swirling around the city about a clandestine meeting Bloomberg reportedly held with the publishers of New York’s largest newspapers. The topic? His desire to reset the clock on his remaining time in office.
Not everyone is so keen on it, though. Daniel Dromm, a Jackson Heights district leader and City Council candidate, said on Tuesday that the mayor agreed to serve two terms — and only two terms — when he ran for office in 2001.
“I strongly believe that any attempt to overturn the will of the voters by legislative maneuvering will undermine our democracy,” Dromm said. “Term limits can help keep elected officials accountable to the public and defend against the abuses of unlimited tenure. The people of New York City benefit when our elections are more competitive and the nearly insurmountable advantage of incumbency is leveled.”
“The voters of New York City have twice voted in favor of term limits. I strongly believe that any attempt to overturn the will of the voters by legislative maneuvering will undermine our democracy. Term limits have helped bring a new generation of leaders into city government. New voices and progressive ideas are the tangible benefits from the increased opportunity for citizens to serve. Term limits can help keep elected officials accountable to the public and defend against the abuses of unlimited tenure. The people of New York City benefit when our elections are more competitive and the nearly insurmountable advantage of incumbency is leveled. I urge Mayor Bloomberg and the members of the City Council to respect the voters of our great City.- Daniel Dromm”