PAV QUESTIONNAIRE
WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES STAND ON ISSUES IMPORTANT TO THE POLISH-AMERICAN COMMUNITY?

The Questionnaire has been created by community leaders and key Polish-American  organizations and Institutions. The Questionnaire has been sent to all New York City Mayor, Borough President and City Council (District 30 & 33) candidates running in 2021 elections. 

NEW YORK CITY ELECTIONS

NYC COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Would you politically and financially support bringing about the Greenpoint's own Polish-American Heritage Festival?


Polish people have been part of the Greenpoint / Williamsburg community for over a century now. Greenpoint is considered home to some of the most important Polish American Institutions in America like The Polish and Slavic Credit Union, Pilsudski Institute, Polish and Slavic Center and the Polish National Home to name a few. It is also home to a significant number of Polish owned businesses, schools, churches, associations and sports clubs and of course the Polish-American population. Yet, this vibrant community does not have a local event that would celebrate the Polish Heritage and allow others to indulge and explore the richness of Polish culture, cuisine, arts and entertainment in a grand way and also provide a platform for local businesses to showcase themselves. Polish Heritage Festivals are a very popular tourist attractions in other parts of the United States. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I would absolutely LOVE this. One of my first observations in this race was that there was not a large-scale celebration of the rich Polish culture embedded in our district. This is one of two events I believe we are severely lacking. We have gone too long without paying ample recognition to how the Polish community has continued to flourish here and as you mentioned, it would be a wonderful way to highlight local businesses. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Absolutely, my focus is to help bring back the pride of Greenpoint for the Polish American population. This festival needs to foster a sense of community, while introducing the rest of NYC to the amazing things this community has to offer. Together we can build a bigger and better Greenpoint that will continue the long-term commitment the Polish American population has given to support Greenpoint. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) It is long over due, there should be a yearly Polish-American Heritage Event in Greenpoint. In my time working I the community I have had several conversations about such an event but it has never come to pass. In my first year as Council Member I would coordinate with the community and create the first one. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you help to initiate and support the creation of an official "Little Poland" tourist trail in Greenpoint with proper street signage in designated areas and other ethnic elements additions that would serve as an attraction for tourists?


Greenpoint has traditionally been home to the largest Polish-American community in New York City and for a number of decades it has been referred to as "Little Poland" . A great number of restaurants, gift shops, delicatessens, concert venues and other businesses are still a magnet for tourists and outsiders to visit and shop for all things " Polish" in Greenpoint. This ethnic uniqueness is a great asset to the neighborhood and it provides an exceptional cultural value to North Brooklyn that is not found in other NYC boroughs. Polish parts of Greenpoint are a wonderful addition to the diversity and ethnic vibrancy that our great New York City is so proud of. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) While I had not previously considered this, I think this is a wonderful idea! With community support, I would definitely rally around the idea. It is so important to honor our history and that great cultural traditions in our community are recognized. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I pledge to help create in conjunction with the community an official “Little Poland.” Throughout NYC we see so many celebrate diverse communities, Little Italy, Chinatown, etc. Polish people have a rich history in the melting pot that is our city. And for over 100 years, they have created a life, community in Greenpoint. This needs to be preserved and celebrated. I will do all that I can to ensure this happens when I am elected. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I believe supporting our historical roots is very important and recognizing the landmarks in our community to celebrate them is very important. I would work with local Polish leaders and residents to determine the best routes and landmarks and get them properly identified and publicized. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How would you support the city’s small business community and in particular ethnic entrepreneurs for whom a language barrier is often another obstacle to following the complex set of rules and regulations for doing business in the city.


Many Polish Americans are self-employed, small business owners. Despite the fact that small businesses are the backbone of the city’s economy, the city is seen by many as being hostile to the small business community with a hard-to-navigate bureaucracy, a constantly changing and growing regulatory burden and excessive fees and costs associated with doing business in the city. Many businesses which were on the verge of collapse because of the pandemic were faced with heavy fines for the smallest infractions of a forever changing set of Covid rules and regulations. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) This is a very important question. If elected I have already decided that I will make every effort to hire someone who speaks Polish and someone who speaks spanish so that there is always an advocate in our office that residents can turn to. I definitely believe that we have to find ways to streamline the system and offer up more corrective opportunities before punitive measures are taken. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Cutting regulation to help support small business grow. Removing the incredible number of fines that business face due to minor infractions. Adding small business education materials to help owners starting out, the opportunity for success. Many landlords are small business owners themselves and need the income to pay property taxes, building maintenance, and salaries. While I whole-heartedly agree that we all need to share the fiscal burden of the pandemic, Brooklyn is home to many single building landlords that will then not be able to pay their bills without rental income. We can and must figure out how to lessen this burden without sending people into foreclosure. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I fully agree that the regulatory burden is too great for small businesses and we need a one stop office to get the permits you need to open. And language accessibility is crucial to making sure everyone gets the help they need. We need offices in the community that can help our local businesses directly that speak Polish as native speakers. I would also advocate to suspend fines given during Covid for anything but the most major infractions. And I want to establish Commercial rent control that is fair to landlords but prevents businesses from having sudden excessive rent hikes. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you support the reinstatement of Polish language signage in local parks, tourist materials, subways and other public locations that are located within Greenpoint?


Greenpoint is undeniably one of the most Polish neighborhoods in the North Eastern United States. Poles are a huge part of the neighborhood and they are sensitive to making sure that they are equally represented and respected when it comes to local issues. One of the things that shows that respect and equality is the foreign language signs in the public locations in our neighborhood. Polish, Spanish , Hebrew and English signs were traditionally placed together in places like City Parks, trash cans, subways and other locations. In recent years some of the Polish signs have disappeared from various public locations in Greenpoint which caused an uproar within the Polish community and the decision was met with criticism and negative emotions towards the decision makers. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Absolutely. I cannot promise that it will happen all at once since various agencies are involved but this is a terrible affront that needs to be remedied. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Similar to other communities, throughout the city, we should be embracing different cultures. That includes languages. Yes, I will reinstate and support additional Polish language signage in public locations throughout Greenpoint. Not only for those that may need Polish instead of English. But to bring back a sense of community for all Polish people and encourage more people to learn about the Polish language and culture. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I would definitely support Polish language signs. It is just as important if not more then any other languages in the neighborhood. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How are you going to address an increase in crime? What steps are you going to take in order to restore the safety on our streets?


Shootings and violence are on the rise in NYC overall, but neighborhoods like Greenpoint, have also seen an increase in crime. Residents, but also businesses, are concerned about the fact. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to start by getting our city moving at 100% again. We need to address the instability many people feel right now that is leading to desperate measures. We also need to increase police presence on our streets but through real community policing where officers build a rapport with the neighborhoods they serve to help deter crime before it happens. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to start by replacing the top brass who have been part of a racist system. Let’s offer early retirement to those who cannot be part of the solution. Let’s fire cops with a history of violence. We need a new vision for the NYPD. We can and should be the example for the rest of the country. We cannot begin to rebuild the relationship until there is respect, and a complete overhaul of our economic priorities. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We all want to feel safe in our neighborhoods. I my current job with Council Member Levin have been working with the 94th precinct to find solutions to the problem in Greenpoint. The current command feels they have the staff to do the job and by working through initiatives such as Manhattan Ave Business Association we can bring the community together which is an important step. Burglaries are up as well as quality of life issues like noise and garbage. We need to revisit our noise laws to make them more enforceable and make sure our sanitation pickups are actually getting all the garbage. I would support a temporary increase of officers to walk the streets for the summer and try to bring things under control. We also need to recover economically as a city so that people have jobs and there are after school programs so residents can find opportunities outside of crime. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Do you support the recently proposed city/state rent stabilization regulations for commercial real estate?


Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes. We need to create avenues to increase stability for small business owners. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Some of my opponents have proposed legislation that will create rent control for commercial real estate. I think this may be illegal. It would hurt mom and pop real estate businesses. I do not and would not support it. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) As I said before, we need commercial rent control that protects businesses and lets landlords get by, so a model of the Rent Stabilization Board allowing a controlled increase yearly makes sense. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How are you going to address an increase in crime? What steps are you going to take in order to restore the safety on our streets?


Shootings and violence are on the rise in NYC overall, but neighborhoods like Greenpoint, have also seen an increase in crime. Residents, but also businesses, are concerned about the fact. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to start by getting our city moving at 100% again. We need to address the instability many people feel right now that is leading to desperate measures. We also need to increase police presence on our streets but through real community policing where officers build a rapport with the neighborhoods they serve to help deter crime before it happens. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to start by replacing the top brass who have been part of a racist system. Let’s offer early retirement to those who cannot be part of the solution. Let’s fire cops with a history of violence. We need a new vision for the NYPD. We can and should be the example for the rest of the country. We cannot begin to rebuild the relationship until there is respect, and a complete overhaul of our economic priorities. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We all want to feel safe in our neighborhoods. I my current job with Council Member Levin have been working with the 94th precinct to find solutions to the problem in Greenpoint. The current command feels they have the staff to do the job and by working through initiatives such as Manhattan Ave Business Association we can bring the community together which is an important step. Burglaries are up as well as quality of life issues like noise and garbage. We need to revisit our noise laws to make them more enforceable and make sure our sanitation pickups are actually getting all the garbage. I would support a temporary increase of officers to walk the streets for the summer and try to bring things under control. We also need to recover economically as a city so that people have jobs and there are after school programs so residents can find opportunities outside of crime. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How do you plan to make the living/making business more affordable?


Even before the pandemic, the city has become less and less affordable, with rent prices going up for residential as well as commercial spaces many people were forced outside of the city. (Especially in neighborhoods like Greenpoint, which has seen the increase in new residential buildings being built, but where “affordable” housing starts at 80k; also, many commercial spaces are left vacant, due to rent increase.) Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I believe that supporting our small businesses is vital to getting our city back on track. I support the small business jobs act previously submitted to city council with some addendums which will improve the lease renewal process for businesses. I support working with the state on rent stabilization for commercial real estate and vacancy taxes. We need the banks and/or their finance companies to be in this conversation. We cannot revitalize our city without preserving the businesses we have and providing a hospitable environment for aspiring entrepreneurs. Our district has borne the brunt of development in this city. Time and time again deals are made with developers and the city gets the short end of the stick. Negotiations on land use have to put the interest of our citizenry first. We have to challenge and reassess the affordability levels and actually build to the needs of our city. For me this means that if we know that we need 30% of affordable housing to accommodate people at the lowest income levels then we need to build to the ratios. We also need to capitalize on this moment to repurpose office and other spaces to increase the number of units available. If we don’t make this a priority, our city will suffer enormously. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) There needs to be a coalition between the Economic Development Corporation, local Business Improvement Districts, and lenders to provide a lifeline for small businesses to still be here on the other side of this pandemic. Over the past two decades the city has incentivized developers to build expensive market rate housing. Between the late 60s and early 70s the city incentivized developers to build affordable housing. We will work with big and small developers to once again incentivize building 100,000 affordable apartments over 10 years. This will also include new commercial spaces that can be subsidized to help small family owned businesses get their start, bring jobs and homes back to Greenpoint. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to scrap the current Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. It does not provide enough truly affordable housing. We can’t put all our housing needs in the hands of the free market, but when we do ask developers to provide affordable units, they must be deeply affordable, 20%, 30% or 40% of AMI, and permanent. And AMI needs to be redefined, using surrounding suburbs as part of the NYC AMI does not reflect the reality of our neighborhoods. Most importantly we need to build on Community land trusts to provide long term affordable housing based on community needs. Housing should be built by non-profits that are focused on the local community with their needs in mind. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How would you support the Polish community in the city, and in particular how do you plan on cooperating with Polish senior centers, which provide social services for Polish senior citizens?


For many Poles living in New York City who are approaching senior citizen age and have worked hard throughout their lives, language barrier is often another obstacle when it comes to obtaining social benefits for senior citizens. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) As I mentioned before, it is critically important to me that there is someone in my office who speaks Polish. I want my office to be hospitable to all who seek help and in lieu of that I want to foster healthy relationships with the organizations serving our seniors so that we can advocate for them and support them in their work. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes, I support increased funding for all of the programs. Programs like home-delivered meals, counseling, and other services that allow our older residents to age at home are essential. As I mentioned, I am the beneficiary of such programs in that I have made sure my co-op receives all of these programs. I personally understand their importance and their need for more funding. Our seniors also need protection from internet and phone scam artists. This is an area where they are very vulnerable. We will also establish a city-wide program offering Polish Translators for those who do not speak English so they are able to apply/qualify for any and all city services. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I have worked with Amber, McGuinness, Krakus and Northside Senior Centers for years making sure they have what they need and regularly showing up for them. I would continue to do so ad advocate for any resources they say they need. Especially language access, we need to provide all City services in Polish as spoken by the community. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




What exactly would your plan be when it comes to helping senior citizens in the city?


Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We must do a better job at honoring the legacy of our elders. Too many in our city struggle in their golden years. As your city councilmember I am committed to 1) Making sure that we find ways to keep our seniors engaged in our communities 2) Ensure that seniors have access to affordable housing that meets their needs 3) Work with DOT and other city agencies to ensure that our streets and resources are better equipped to serve our aging population as well as those with disabilities. 4) Further combat food insecurity in partnership with nonprofit organizations that already have relationships with our senior residents 5) Make sure that senior have access to the quality care and all of the resources available to them. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I see the many challenges our older New Yorkers face every day. One of the largest issues our aging population has to overcome is access to accessible transportation. With the lack of elevators, accessible taxis, and other issues the MTA has not addressed. We also need to make our sidewalks and curbs safer. Including banning electric bikes on our sidewalks. Our seniors need an advocate in their corner, and that is me. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need fully funded senior centers that can offer the services needed by seniors either at home or in the centers, I would work to increase funding for the centers. We need more senior housing and there are several opportunities to build that in Greenpoint especially with North Brooklyn Development Corp and St Nick’s Alliance and we need to take advantage of that. We also need more benches on the streets and open spaces for the seniors to relax outside when it’s warm. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you commit to taking action on the issue of parking? How would you resolve the problem of lack of available parking space?


A growing problem for Greenpoint residents and especially visitors is the lack of available parking space. Oftentimes people avoid coming to Greenpoint for this reason alone which obviously has a negative impact on the small businesses and local institutions that are so integral to Greenpoint’s cultural identity. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) This is an issue that affects nearly every neighborhood in our district. Even as new developments include parking, many individuals like the convenience and affordability of street parking. While I do like the idea of residential parking permits, it may not resolve the issue. In speaking with several residents, they wanted a municipal lot which I support if the city has the space and the resources to support such an initiative. The location would have to make sense to accommodate businesses and area attractions alike. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Local residents should have access to a neighborhood parking permit program that allows them to park on streets (or portions of streets) reserved exclusively for permitted vehicles. These designated areas could be expanded even further at night to allow residents to park near their homes after work. The city should also invest in more municipal parking areas – this allows for visitors to more easily support local businesses and makes our streets safer by putting an end to circling for spots, double parking, blocking bike lanes, etc. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) While I understand that some people need cars we do need to move towards providing better public transportation to help get cars off the streets. We also need to reconfigure how we move freight so that trucks and deliveries aren’t clogging our streets. Cars are dangerous and cause health problems, we don’t want to get rid of them but we want to reduce their usage. Safely walkable streets attract tourists and business interests. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




How would you ensure that the buildout of the Greenpoint waterfront takes place on schedule and more public space is available to be used by residents?


The Greenpoint waterfront is being developed at a snail’s pace and due to the never-ending construction, there is no pedestrian access for residents. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) By the time development has started, it is too late. The city overall has to do a better job and make sure that developers are held accountable to any agreements made during the land use process. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) The current administration is responsible for turning D33 into a showroom of multimillion dollar market rate housing. We need to refocus our relationship with developers and provide for them the tools so that they are building 100% affordable housing complexes. Providing incentives for affordable housing, we will not only see construction happen faster. Residents will move in at a quicker rate, providing a much-needed economic boost to Greenpoint. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Both Box Street Park and Bushwick Inlet need to get done as soon as possible. It will be my priority to fully fund Bushwick Inlet Park and to kick the MTA off the Box Street site so we can have our full park. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you support programs that promote the entry of Polish companies into the New York City market? Would you support initiatives and programs that would support New York Companies that try to establish their operations in the European Union by working with Poland?


The City of New York and Greenpoint in particular has many Polish Business organizations that take initiative in creating meaningful business relationships with companies and economical government agencies in Poland. For example The Polish Investment and Trade Agency based in New York and initiatives like the 60 Million Congress that took place in New York City help to create a meeting platform and promote economic cooperation between New York and Poland. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) This is an interesting idea. While I am laser focused on revitalizing our business districts by cultivating home grown businesses, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the feasibility of such an initiative. I know that other cities around the world have benefitted from similar arrangements. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) [No answer...] Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) This sounds a little beyond the scope of the City Council but I would do whatever we could to promote safe and effective economic development in our community and for our businesses. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




What are you going to do to stop the outflow of small businesses and their employees from New York City?


Many small businesses in the US operate as Sub-Chapter “S” Corporations, which distribute all the profits to owners as dividends, and zero out the bank accounts by the end of each year. These dividends are then shown on the owners’ personal tax returns (Form K-1) and the owners pay income taxes accordingly. Therefore, Sub-Chapter “S” Corporations are not taxed again at the Federal and New York State level, but in New York City they are still double-taxed. Due to the above, many small businesses are moving away from New York City to the adjacent Nassau and Westchester Counties, or even to New Jersey, where they are not double-taxed. This reduces the NYC employment and taxation at the personal level. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) [No answer...] Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) We need to do whatever we can to make our tax system fairer. Over-taxing people with small businesses is bad for everyone. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) As I said I would work to make the small business environment much easier for owners to open and maintain businesses and through rent control bring costs down. Property taxes also have to be looked at and reformed and any cost savings reflected in commercial leases. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Are you going to eliminate double taxation of Sub-Chapter “S” Corporations?


Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) [No answer...] Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes. That is the goal. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I will promise to review the tax and see what can be done. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Are you going to propose a change to the NYC gun laws to allow issue of an “unrestricted carry permit” to law-abiding applicants, who pass the FBI background check and complete a firearms safety course?


For the past 16 months, NY State has been conducting a mass release of convicted criminals from prisons and eliminated bail requirements for the arrested, even when they committed violent felonies. Recently NYC government defunded the police, taking away $1 billion form the NYPD budget. All this has caused a horrific increase of violent crimes in New York City and causes mass exodus of residents to outer boroughs and other States. The remaining New Yorkers feel defenseless under the current political climate, and they are scared. As you must know, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees individual rights to possess and carry personal firearms and specifically forbids the Government to infringe on these rights. This has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Yet, New York State is still a “may issue” State, where an individual must provide proof that he/she needs the firearm in order to obtain a handgun license, in violation of the Second Amendment. While it is still possible for some business people to obtain a “carry license” in Long Island and Upstate NY, it is next to impossible to obtain such a New York City license in New York City. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) While I understand the growing fears that have arisen, I would be cautious not to introduce a whole new set of problems to the landscape with such a measure. We need less guns on our streets, not more. While I believe most of the individuals who might qualify under these circumstances would be well intentioned, I fear the vigilante justice of a few misguided souls. We must really focus on reducing crime in our city so that everyone can feel safe. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Crime has skyrocketed in recent months as a result of bad government policies. We need to ensure that individuals who run small businesses who handle merchandise and cash can protect themselves. There is a difference between legal and illegal guns in New York City. Obviously, there are too many illegal guns flowing in from other states. That should not prevent those who qualify for a carry permit from obtaining such permits. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I will not propose the loosening of any gun laws. We need to continue to restrict the ability to own a gun and we need to prevent the flow of illegal guns into our city from the South. More gun ownership will not protect people, just result in more gun deaths. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Will you support a modification of the Bail Reform law to give judges the discretion to keep arrestees in jail that are violent, repeat offenders, or threats to victims and witnesses?


Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Absolutely. While I am an advocate for bail reform because I don’t think that poverty should be criminalized, I do acknowledge there are big gaps in administration of the laws that allow people to make their way out of the system that have no business being let out. This will not be perfect as judges can have their own biases, I do think they should be given more discretion over these matters to ensure the safety of the public. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes. I do support a modification of the bail reform law to give judges the discretion to keep arrestees in jail that are violent, repeat offenders, or threats to victims and witnesses. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I am willing to study the results of the revised bail laws and see if they are having a negative impact on public safety. If so they should be modified. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you support the inclusion of Polish-American history into the educational system in New York City including the the first strike in America for voter inclusion; Polish involvement in the freedom of Haiti, Polish-American revolutionary efforts, Polish American support for abolishing of the slavery and the German perpetrated genocide against Poles?


Polish craftsmen came to America in 1608 and helped to build Jamestown in Virginia. They were denied the right to vote because they were Polish which resulted in the very first North American Civil Rights protest (labor strike) . During the American Revolution Poles fought bravely for the American freedom, General Casimir Pulaski created the American Cavalry and General Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a hero fo the battle of Saratoga and has selected that section of the Hudson River that came to be known as West Point to construct a blockade to prevent British warships from sailing up to Albany; after the Revolutionary War, Kosciuszko convinced the young American government to build a fortress there which grew into the US Military Academy; Kosciuszko actually designed the earliest schematic for that West Point fortress (which includes "Kosciuszko's Garden" to this very day). Kosciuszko was also one of the first and the strongest advocates for the abolishment of slavery and equal rights to African- Americans assigning all his wealth towards freeing and education of slaves. Polish soldiers were the only caucasians that fought on the side of the Black slaves of Haiti against colonial France. The leader of the Haitians, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, referred to the Poles as the Black people of Europe, in recognition of the exploitation and repressions of Poles by the foreign occupiers of Poland at the time. During World War Two Poles were considered subhuman by the German Nazis, and were to be annihilated. Poland suffered six million dead, which includes three million Polish Jews. The country was left in rubbles and enslaved for another half a century to the Soviet communist system. Poles have emigrated to the United States for the last 200 years primarily to escape oppression and discrimination yet they have faced severe discrimination “In the Land of The Free” on economical, political and social level. One of the more visible manifestations of this discrimination are the “Dumb Polak” jokes that are nothing more than micro-aggressions that openly express anti-Polish hostility and bias. Another manifestation is the omission in education of the experiences, contributions and accomplishments of Poles. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Even in the U.S., we have celebrations of the French Bastille Day. History is so important and everyone deserves to have their history and contributions recognized. I support the inclusion of these items in education but it would be nice if they could be more than just a passing footnote in a textbook. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I will do all I can to support and provide assistance to add the inclusion of Polish-American history into the educational system. Students throughout the U.S. need to learn about heroes, groups, cultures, that got us to where we are today. This is essential to preserving our history as a whole and helping the younger generations have pride in their culture. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I support history being taught that is inclusive of all members of our society. The contribution that the Polish community has made to American life needs to be recognized and celebrated. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Will you work with the Polish community to prevent hate crimes against Polish symbols and the Poles in Greenpoint? Will You use your political influence and take action to finally install the long overdue camera monitoring over Father Popieluszko Square in Greenpoint?


Hate crimes against the Polish community in New York City tend to happen on a regular basis. The Warsaw Uprising Memorial in Greenpoint was devastated in 2014. The statue of murdered freedom fighter Father Popieluszko in Greenpoint was vandalized again on May 3, 2021. The statue had anti-polish signs painted on it and a trash bag was placed over the head of the priest with garbage strewn all over the statue area. This is not the first time the statue has been vandalized. Shortly after unveiling of the monument pro-communist signs were put on the statue. In later years the statue was defaced with red paint, the information signs were burned and the most tragic incident had the priest's head cut off. It was later replaced and the head from the original monument is now located at the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Greenpoint located just a couple blocks away from the statue. Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I am in support of finding a resolution to this problem. While I would support the installation of cameras if feasible, I am not certain this would deter vandals as they may just paint over the camera to evade detection. I am committed to working with the community to find additional ideas to address and stop all forms of bias and hate. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes, I think one of the best things we can do is to install quality security cameras in areas most affected by crime such as Father Popieluszko Square. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes, we need a camera on the statue. It is a wonderful acknowledgment to our Polish roots. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.




Would you publicly condemn anti-Polonism, and if not, do you condemn anti-Polonism? Will you work to end any type of discrimination and hate towards ethnic groups in the political and social life of New York City?


Recently it was discovered that Juan Ardilla a candidate running for the City Council seat in the 30th in the 2021 elections had used the term “Dumb Polak” against a Polish person. Do you condemn the use of this term? Sabrina Gates (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) This is not only disheartening but also completely inappropriate. There is NO room for this type of rhetoric or thinking in government let alone our city. While I am careful to judge people entirely by remarks they make when they are teenagers, a time for learning and growth, adults are well equipped to understand how their words affect people. A person, particularly one looking to serve others, should not have to be called out on their behavior, before correcting course and acknowledging the error in their thinking. The diverse cultures that make up this city, including our Polish neighbors, are what make it great. We need to celebrate diversity, not use it as a tool to divide. Toba Potosky (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Yes, yes, and yes. There is no place for hate in our district or in NYC. We must actively support communities that are attacked by hate speech, vandalism, and aggression. I stand with the Polish people and will be their best advocate when a member of the city council. Ben Solotaire (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) I condemn the use of that term, it is derogatory and disgusting. I will publicly condemn any hate crimes and discrimination against the Polish community or any race or ethnic group. Elizabeth Adams (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Victoria Cambranes (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Lincoln Restler (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. Stuart Sherman (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire. April Somboun (Candidate for NYC Council — District 33) Candidate disregarded request for answers to questionnaire.





NYC MAYOR CANDIDATES

Would you help to initiate and support the creation of an official "Little Poland" tourist trail in Greenpoint with proper street signage indesignated areas and other ethnic elements additions that would serve as anattraction for tourists?


Greenpoint has traditionally been home to the largest Polish-American community in New York City and for a number of decades it has been referred to as "Little Poland" . A great number of restaurants, gift shops, delicatessens, concert venues and other businesses are still a magnet for tourists and outsiders to visit and shop for all things " Polish" in Greenpoint. This ethnic uniqueness is a great asset to the neighborhood and it provides an exceptional cultural value to North Brooklyn that is not found in other NYC boroughs. Polish parts of Greenpoint are a wonderful addition to the diversity and ethnic vibrancy that our great New York City is so proud of. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) Greenpoint is the center of our city’s thriving Polish community—I would support an initiative designed to recognize its role in New York’s history, as well as its contributions to the city and neighborhood. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) Yes, with a much more emphasized layout of the area where if you walked around you would have Polish American guides who could explain the importance of so many of the sights to New York’s history and the Polish American community. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) As mayor I would ensure that the city would celebrate and highlight the many contributions of the Polish-American community to the city. I would take the overdue step of officially recognizing Little Poland and fully support the creation of a “Little Poland” tourist trail in Greenpoint.




Would you politically and financially support bringing about the Greenpoint's own Polish-American Heritage Festival?


Polish people have been part of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for over a century now. Greenpoint is considered home to some of the most important Polish- American Institutions in America like The Polish and Slavic Credit Union, Pilsudski Institute, Polish and Slavic Center and the Polish National Home to name a few. It is also home to a significant number of Polish owned businesses, schools, churches, associations and sports clubs and of course the Polish-American population. Yet, this vibrant community does not have a local event that would celebrate the Polish Heritage and allow others to indulge and explore the richness of Polish culture, cuisine, arts and entertainment in a grand way and also provide a platform for local businesses to showcase themselves. Polish Heritage Festivals are a very popular tourist attractions in other parts of the United States. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) I support initiatives to recognize our New York’s Polish community. Our city is home to dozens, if not hundreds, of cultural festivals each year. The 200,000-strong Polish American population should certainly be able to host one of their own to introduce other New Yorkers to Polish American culture and history. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) I have attended Polish American heritage festivals throughout the United States even one in the heart of St Louis. You scratch your head and wonder why there is none in NYC. That would be a priority. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) A Polish-American Heritage Festival would be an incredible and important addition to the mosaic of New York City life. An event that would give New Yorkers the chance to eat delicious pierogi and golbaki while learning about Polish culture and history would be something I push for as mayor.




How would you support the city’s small business community and in particular ethnic entrepreneurs for whom a language barrier is often another obstacle to following the complex set of rules and regulations for doing business in the city?


Many Polish Americans are self-employed small business owners. Despite the fact that small businesses are the backbone of the city’s economy, the city is seen by many as being hostile to the small business community with a hard-to-navigate bureaucracy, a constantly changing and growing regulatory burden and excessive fees and costs associated with doing business in the city. Many businesses which were on the verge of collapse because of the pandemic were faced with heavy fines for the smallest infractions of a forever changing set of Covid rules and regulations. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) We need to unlock the barriers to help small businesses thrive in NYC. That means streamlining all laws, permits and licenses—it’s the 21st century, you should be able to get a permit on your smartphone. We also need to work with Albany to encourage flexibility of space, cap third party app commissions, and increase access to credit and non-dilutive capital for the City’s vital and at risk enterprises at amounts less than $100K and support innovative financial mechanisms that serve small businesses. And, we will prioritize supplying the most vulnerable New Yorkers with meaningful economic relief and pathways for economic mobility. That means free childcare for working families, allowing guardians, especially women, to get back to work. We need to unlock the barriers for small businesses to survive. That means rent stabilization for small businesses and cultural spaces. We will also update zoning and work with Albany to reduce commercial vacancies and encourage flexibility of space, cap third party app commissions, and increase access to credit and non-dilutive capital for the City’s vital and at risk enterprises at amounts less than $100K and support innovative financial mechanisms that serve small businesses. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) If you go to CurtisSliwaforMayor.com you will see my right to business platform which would benefit many Poles who have come to NYC in the hopes of setting up their own business. I would suspend the license and permit fees for the next 2 year, give those that are reopening or opening for the first time a business an easy pass through the many layers of government bureaucracy that has strangled initiative in the past. Also, it promotes capitalism versus the growing wave of some who’ve moved into Greenpoint promoting socialism as the alternative. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) Small businesses are the heart of New York City’s economy, but they have been devastated by the pandemic. As mayor I will immediately issue a moratorium on fines for small businesses for one year and create a process to renew licenses and permits automatically. We need to make sure that the government is a partner rather than an obstacle for small businesses. I would also spearhead programs to support small businesses by creating a People’s Bank that would provide a permanent low- or no-interest loan program for entrepreneurs from underserved communities.




How are you going to address an increase in crime? What steps are you going to take in order to restore the safety on our streets?


Shootings and violence are on the rise in NYC overall, but neighborhoods like Greenpoint, have also seen an increase in crime. Residents, but also businesses, are concerned about the fact. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) When we measure the right metrics, we can incentivize the appropriate focus on eliminating crime at the NYPD and move the agency from a warrior culture to a guardian mindset. When we enforce strict accountability, we can eliminate aggressive policing. When we address the primary socio-economic drivers of crime, we can make it easier for police to succeed. What is it going to take to keep our communities safe? We need an experienced leader who is ready to work with the police union to get results. I am the only candidate that has the commitment and the experience to get it done. As the leader of a uniform agency with a 98% male force and law enforcement division, I was tough but fair–and fired Sanitation Workers that broke the rules. Right now we are seeing many retirements in the upper ranks at NYPD. A new commissioner will have the opportunity to reshape the culture. Our incoming recruits will be more diverse. Key immediate steps to refocus the agency and drive down crime include: • Reimagine COMPSTAT to include crime reduction, reduction of aggressive policing, and community engagement. • Reward officers for driving down crime, not making arrests, and promote officers who embody the guardian mindset.
• Address gang and gun violence with solutions that interrupt the cycle, such as the Bronx Connect “Release the Grip” program, which trains credible messengers such as formerly incarcerated individuals to intervene in conflict before gun violence happens. Fund Cure Violence groups that mediate conflict and connect people to resources, from education to legal assistance, and violence interrupters.
• Enforce all the rules, including and especially for “small” infractions. We lose morale, public trust and accountability when police officers defy orders to wear masks in public. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) If we don’t create safe streets, safe subways and safe parks it doesn’t matter what we do to incentive business, they will leave for safer places. But we have to stop the quotas imposed on businesses through our ticketing agencies. Every Mayor lies and says there is no quota for tickets, that it is a performance guideline, that’s the big lie of city government and it will not exist any longer when I am Mayor. There has been little covid-19 relief for small landlords and no way for them to collect rent from people receiving unemployment and/or stimulus. That has to be addressed or these buildings will become distressed, abandoned and no longer be on the property tax roles. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) New York City will not be able to recover if New Yorkers don’t feel safe in their own neighborhoods. The rise in violence and shootings has been felt in every borough and neighborhood across our city. To fight this we need to suppress gang and gun violence and make sure detectives have the resources they need to close cases. Currently there is only a 25.5% clearance rate for crimes overall and a majority of shootings go unsolved. This is unacceptable. As mayor I will make sure the NYPD receives the resources and leadership needed to reduce gun violence and keep communities safe.




Do you support defunding the police?


Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) No, I don’t believe defunding the NYPD will get to the root of the problem. To achieve real police reform, we need to take steps towards making the police a service for communities, rather than a burden. That starts with measuring what we want to see—reduction in crime, and positive community engagement—and promoting officers that exemplify those values. If we measure arrests, we will get arrests. We must also make the NYPD accountable to the public, with clear, quick and consistent consequences, as well as instituting managerial reforms: (1) Require NYC residency for new cops and increase community policing - we need every member of the NYPD to be fully bought into rebuilding the City and fully committed to the community they serve. (2) Increase the recruitment age from 21 to 25—the age at which you can rent a car. Police officers face immensely stressful situations on a regular basis; we need to make sure new recruits have life and job experiences that bring a mature perspective. (3) Require continual implicit bias training at all levels, but especially mid management such as sergeants. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) I will refund a billion dollars into the police budget. I will initiate a property tax against those who pay none like MSG, Columbia & NYU so that those monies can be dedicated to the hiring and training of 3,000 new police. Quality of life and zero tolerance will be in full effect. Look at the recent case where the Polis statue of Father Popieluszko was vandalized. Still no arrests in this case. Simple response would be cameras in the park, but the Mayor and Parks Department say no to any camera in the park, that will change. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) Defunding the NYPD is wrong for New York City, especially at a time when gun violence is surging and New Yorkers are feeling less safe in their communities. Instead, we need our police to do their jobs responsibly, effectively, and justly.




How do you plan to make the living/making business more affordable?


Even before the pandemic, the City has become less and less affordable - with rent prices going up for residential as well as commercial spaces many people were forced outside of the city. Especially, in neighborhoods like Greenpoint which has seen the increase in new residential buildings being built but where “affordable” housing starts at 80k; also, many commercial spaces are left vacant, due to rent increase. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) As a manager, I am going to focus on the right metrics for housing rather than putting “affordable” units up on a scoreboard. For housing, those metrics are how many New Yorkers are rent-burdened, how many are living in homeless shelters, and how many are sleeping in the streets. In order to make a meaningful dent in the number of homeless New Yorkers and reduce the rent burden across the City, I will focus City investment where it’s needed most and create 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing (<30% AMI). We will also make it easier, faster, and legal for private partners to build more housing. We have added 500k New Yorkers over the last decade, but only 100k units of new housing—we cannot reduce housing prices without increasing supply of available units. We will end apartment bans and discriminatory zoning, and allow duplexes and triplexes to create more options for families. We will legalize basement apartments, accessory dwelling units, and single-room occupancy (SRO) apartments as a safe, sustainable and efficient means of providing housing to single-adult households, who comprise approximately one-third of households in New York City. We will also accelerate approvals for new housing construction, streamline the ULURP and environmental review process as well as permit applications and inspections at the Buildings Department and sister agencies. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) Much of this can be dealt with through capitalism. We have a tremendous supply of empty commercial space but very little demand. The prices of rents and leases are falling. Let landlords and commercial tenants make deals amongst themselves. That space that cannot be occupied should be repurposed to residential housing or other uses. Government intervention in some ways will keep the space empty. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) New York is facing a housing crisis where rent for both residential and commercial property has become less affordable every year. The math is simple: New York needs to build much more affordable housing. The status quo is unsustainable where businesses and people are being pushed out due to increasing rents. The proposals of previous and current politicians are far too timid and narrow focused to deal with the scope of this crisis. We need massive and long-term reforms to address the crisis. As mayor I’m committing to producing 250,000 units of affordable housing across all five boroughs in eight years, the most affordable housing since the Koch era. I will prioritize removing barriers to constructing affordable housing such as the tradition of member deference in the City Council as well as legalizing Single Room Occupancies and Accessory Dwelling Units to expand and diversify our housing stock. We also need to work to convert underutilized hotels and commercial spaces into affordable housing now to help address the crisis in the near term while working to change zoning within the city in areas such as SoHo to build more in the long term.




How would you support the Polish community in the city, and in particular how do you plan on cooperating with Polish senior centers, which provide social services for Polish senior citizens? What exactly would your plan be when it comes to helping senior citizens in the city?


For many Poles living in New York City who are approaching senior citizen age and have worked hard throughout their lives, language barrier is often another obstacle when it comes to obtaining social benefits for senior citizens. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) Making New York a more livable city for older New Yorkers will take a serious, focused effort on behalf of the next administration—we cannot rely on policies elsewhere to address the specific needs of older residents. As mayor, I would focus on improving their access to health care, support services, and affordable housing. This begins with an increased level of funding to the City’s Department for the Aging. DFTA is woefully underfunded relative to comparable city agencies—this is an untenable situation, particularly as the population of older New Yorkers increases. We also need to reform the way our city does business with the nonprofit sector, making sure that we pay our service providers on time and supporting them with investments in infrastructure upgrades and innovation. And it is time to re-open our senior centers. We must make this a priority especially as we move into the summer, during which senior centers also double as cooling centers for many. As mayor, I will engage in a robust program of support for our senior centers. The pandemic has made clear the value these institutions can have in aging communities. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) As New York City’s first Polish Mayor how could I ignore Polish senior citizens since at 67 I am considered to be one myself. The problem in general is that the needs of the Polish American community have been ignored. There is no doubt that the language barrier for some Poles makes it difficult to negotiate the vast bureaucracy that city government has created to deal with senior citizens at every level. I will simplify that for all. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) This has been an incredibly difficult year for seniors with COVID-19 forcing many to isolate themselves from their friends, family, and routines. Even coming out of the pandemic, senior citizens face many challenges such as the rising cost of housing and accessing benefits, particularly if English is not their primary language. While I am glad that senior centers are finally reopening, we need to do more to keep seniors in their homes and have access to services and community programming, including automatically enrolling all eligible New Yorkers in the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) which freezes the rent of qualifying seniors by providing the landlord a property tax credit, and building more senior housing with supportive services.




Would you support programs that promote the entry of Polish companies into the New York City market ? Would you support initiatives and programs that would support New York Companies that try to establish their operations in The European Union by working with Poland?


The City of New York and Greenpoint in particular has many Polish Business organizations that take initiative in creating meaningful business relationships with companies and economical government agencies in Poland. For example The Polish Investment and Trade Agency based in New York and initiatives like the 60 Million Congress that took place in New York City help to create a meeting platform and promote economic cooperation between New York and Poland. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) We should support the Polish business community in its attempt to strengthen ties with New York City, Poland, and the European Union. In my administration, I look forward to deepening our relationship with Polish institutions and businesses. From fashion and film, life sciences and finance, we will make it easier to expand in New York City and look forward to ways to help New York City small businesses expand in Poland. I would seek opportunities to partner on sectors that are key to the US and Poland, engage in joint knowledge sharing, deepen University relationships, and work with state and federal partners to facilitate easier cross-border business. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) Poland is our best ally in Europe. There are many growing businesses in their booming economy that want a place in New York to sell their products and services. We should facilitate that with an agreement that allows for more American companies to have a foothold in Poland so that both countries prosper. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) It will be crucial for New York City’s recovery that the next Mayor works to build relationships across the world and to help bring investments and jobs into the city. As Mayor I would promote programs to bring companies from Poland and across Europe into New York city and help New York based companies expand their operations and customer base beyond the borders of our city.




Are you going to propose a change to the NYC gun laws to allow issue of an “unrestricted carry permit” to law-abiding applicants, who pass the FBI background check and complete a firearms safety course? Will you support a modification of the Bail Reform law to give judges the discretion to keep arrestees in jail that are violent, repeat offenders, or threats to victims and witnesses?


For the past 16 months, NY State has been conducting a mass release of convicted criminals from prisons and eliminated bail requirements for the arrested, even when they committed violent felonies. Recently NYC government defunded the police, taking away $1 billion form the NYPD budget. All this has caused a horrific increase of violent crimes in New York City and causes mass exodus of residents to outer boroughs and other States. The remaining New Yorkers feel defenseless under the current political climate, and they are scared. As you must know, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees individual rights to possess and carry personal firearms and specifically forbids the Government to infringe on these rights. This has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Yet, New York State is still a “may issue” State, where an individual must provide proof that he/she needs the firearm in order to obtain a handgun license, in violation of the Second Amendment. While it is still possible for some business people to obtain a “carry license” in Long Island and Upstate NY, it is next to impossible to obtain such a New York City license in New York City. At this time, only those politically-connected can obtain the “carry license” in NYC, but they do not even have to complete a firearms safety course, believe it or not... Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) As mayor, I will not support legislation that would make it easier to sell, buy, own, or carry guns. While the US Supreme Court did hold in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a firearm, it also held that this right is not unlimited—states are allowed to regulate the circumstances under which someone within its borders can own a gun. Crucially, the Court has never held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a gun. New York’s gun regulations are constitutional, and they keep the city safer. Instead of increasing the flow of guns into the city, we need to do a better job of getting guns off the streets. Nobody should be made to feel unsafe in New York City because of gun violence. We need an interdisciplinary and data-driven approach to getting guns off our streets, and will focus on solving the problems that drive youth in particular to violence: housing and food insecurity, and lack of economic opportunity. Bail reform is controlled by Albany, not the Mayor, so my primary impact will be as an advocate for my preferred policy. That said, while I support giving judges some discretion in determining whether an individual poses a threat to public safety, one must also consider potential sources of bias, racial or otherwise, that may result in said discretion being applied unevenly or unfairly. Allowing dangerous individuals back onto the streets is a policy failure; so is detaining an individual who does not need to be in jail. There is no easy solution here—I will look to work with experts on corrections reform to advance policy solutions that are equitable and just. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) On June 19th of 1992 I was shot with 5 hollow point bullets on the orders of John Gotti to the Gambino crime family. I was offered one of the rare carry permits that the NYPD makes available. I chose not to apply but learned how outrageous and rigorous the demands are, especially for those who have been victimized by crime. That will change when I am Mayor. The no-bail law which has been working in New Jersey allows the Judge to make the final determination. We need to replicate that bill and we will have less issues with criminals being released into the streets. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) I’ve stated throughout my campaign that those who commit violent crimes must be held accountable for what they have done and kept off the streets. We are failing New Yorkers when we release those who are prone to commit violent acts onto our streets. As mayor, my number one focus night and day will be on keeping New Yorkers safe by investing smartly in our police department, building bonds between communities and the NYPD, and ensuring that those who commit violent acts are held accountable.




Would you support the inclusion of Polish-American history into the educational system in New York City including the the first strike in America for voter inclusion; Polish involvement in the freedom of Haiti, Polish-American revolutionary efforts, Polish-American support for abolishing of the slavery and the German perpetrated genocide against Poles?


Polish craftsmen came to America in 1608 and helped to build Jamestown in Virginia. They were denied the right to vote because they were Polish which resulted in the very first North American Civil Rights protest (labor strike) . During the American Revolution Poles fought bravely for the American freedom, General Casimir Pulaski created the American Cavalry and General Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a hero fo the battle of Saratoga and has selected that section of the Hudson River that came to be known as West Point to construct a blockade to prevent British warships from sailing up to Albany; after the Revolutionary War, Kosciuszko convinced the young American government to build a fortress there which grew into the US Military Academy; Kosciuszko actually designed the earliest schematic for that West Point fortress (which includes "Kosciuszko's Garden" to this very day). Kosciuszko was also one of the first and the strongest advocates for the abolishment of slavery and equal rights to African- Americans assigning all his wealth towards freeing and education of slaves. Polish soldiers were the only caucasians that fought on the side of the Black slaves of Haiti against colonial France. The leader of the Haitians, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, referred to the Poles as the Black people of Europe, in recognition of the exploitation and repressions of Poles by the foreign occupiers of Poland at the time. During World War Two Poles were considered sub-human by the German Nazis, and were to be annihilated. Poland suffered six million dead, which includes three million Polish Jews. The country was left in rubbles and enslaved for another half a century to the Soviet communist system. Poles have emigrated to the United States for the last 200 years primarily to escape oppression and discrimination yet they have faced severe discrimination “In the Land of The Free” on economical, political and social level. One of the more visible manifestations of this discrimination are the “Dumb Polak” jokes that are nothing more than micro-aggressions that openly express anti-Polish hostility and bias. Another manifestation is the omission in education of the experiences, contributions and accomplishments of Poles. Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) We should make more efforts to include Polish visibility and affirmation in our educational system. This means incorporating the history of these communities and the stories of the leaders in that space into curriculums in tandem with a broader push to create culturally responsive education. As you describe above, Polish history is woven throughout that of New York and the United States. Omission of this history does a disservice to our city’s students as well as its Polish community. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) As a Polish American student in the public and parochial schools of NYC in the 1960’s I was never taught any of this. My Polish father Chester exposed me to these great deeds and accomplishments. In fact, my Italian cousins on my mothers’ side didn’t even know what Polish was. They thought it was what you put on a car to wax and shine it. This is also true throughout America, not just NYC. The most embarrassing example of this was on the day that I was the Grand Marshal of the Annual Pulaski Day Parade some tourists from San Diego asked me why the Poles have a parade in honor of Roman Polanski? Need I say more? Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) Polish history is American history. America’s struggle for independence was aided by many Poles, most famously by Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who saw our struggle for independence from Britain as mirroring their own country’s struggle for freedom from Austria, Germany, and Russia. Beyond playing a crucial role in our national history Polish-Americans have been part of the New York City life and culture since its founding. The names of Polish heroes already exist on monuments, parks, and bridges across the country, including New York, we should make sure that our students know the history behind them.




Will you work with the Polish community to prevent hate crimes against Polish symbols and the Poles in Greenpoint? Will you use your political influence and take action to finally install the long overdue camera monitoring over Father Popieluszko Square in Greenpoint ? Would you publicly condemn anti-Polonism, and if not, do you condemn anti-Polonism?


Hate crimes against the Polish community in New York City tend to happen on a regular basis. The Warsaw Uprising Memorial in Greenpoint was devastated in 2014.
The statue of murdered freedom fighter Father Popieluszko in Greenpoint was vandalized again on May 3, 2021. The statue had anti-polish signs painted on it and a trash bag was placed over the head of the priest with garbage strewn all over the statue area. This is not the first time the statue has been vandalized. Shortly after unveiling of the monument pro-communist signs were put on the statue. In later years the statue was defaced with red paint, the information signs were burned and the most tragic incident had the priest's head cut off.
Kathryn Garcia (Candidate for Mayor) New York City is in the midst of an alarming rise in hate crimes, and I will absolutely seek to work with targeted communities in order to reverse this trend. It is critical that communities trust the city to appropriately respond to reports of hate crimes, because if we don’t have accurate data then we cannot deploy a proportional response. I will prioritize simplifying the reporting process for these crimes. We must employ a number of methods to address hate crimes, starting with streamlining the work that exists across numerous agencies and offices that deal with hate crimes so that they can work more effectively and strategically. Under the current administration, combating hate crimes fall under several groups: the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force, the City Commission on Human Rights, the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (under the Mayor's Office for Criminal Justice), as well as various education programs within the DOE. We can do a better job of coordinating these responses. If the repeated instances of discriminatory vandalism in a certain area calls for camera monitoring, I am open to exploring that option as well. Finally, I condemn all religious and ethnic discrimination—this includes anti-Polish sentiment. I will speak out against hate crimes and hateful language, and I will hire leaders that are both representative of the communities and serve and share my unwavering commitment to being an inclusive and equitable city for all New Yorkers. In my administration, there will be a strict and zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes. Curtis Sliwa (Candidate for Mayor) There is a rule imposed by Mayor DeBlasio and the Parks Dept not to allow cameras in the parks; this is crazy. Recently the Vietnam War Memorial was vandalized in Elmhurst Park. Again, no cameras permitted. That will change on Day 1 when I am Mayor. The Polonaise catering hall which is landmarked but closed has been graffitied from top to bottom. I was sashed as Grand Marshal of the Pulaski Parade there. The city has done nothing to remove the graffiti. I will tell the community that they in partnership with the city will have to patrol the monuments, monitor the camera feed and clean up the streets and paint over the graffiti. Andrew Yang (Candidate for Mayor) As Mayor, preventing and condemning hate crimes will be one of my first and highest priorities. These crimes, whether they be vandalism, harassment, or assault, are particularly insidious as they target entire communities. It is essential that the next Mayor speaks out forcefully against them, I absolutely condemn anti-Polonism and will work to ensure that individuals and communities are protected from these attacks, such as the attack against the monument of Father Popieluszko





NYC BOROUGH PRESIDENT CANDIDATES

Would you help to initiate and support the creation of an official "Little Poland" tourist trail in Greenpoint with proper street signage in designated areas and other ethnic elements additions that would serve as an attraction for tourists?


Greenpoint has traditionally been home to the largest Polish-American community in New York City and for a number of decades it has been referred to as "Little Poland" . A great number of restaurants, gift shops, delicatessens, concert venues and other businesses are still a magnet for tourists and outsiders to visit and shop for all things "Polish" in Greenpoint. This ethnic uniqueness is a great asset to the neighborhood and it provides an exceptional cultural value to North Brooklyn that is not found in other NYC boroughs. Polish parts of Greenpoint are a wonderful addition to the diversity and ethnic vibrancy that our great New York City is so proud of. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) Yes! What an outstanding idea. It preserves the Polish culture, one that helped build Brooklyn into what it is today, while attracting tourist dollars to support local businesses.




Would you politically and financially support bringing about the Greenpoint's own Polish-American Heritage Festival?


Polish people have been part of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for over a century now. Greenpoint is considered home to some of the most important Polish- American Institutions in America like The Polish and Slavic Credit Union, Pilsudski Institute, Polish and Slavic Center and the Polish National Home to name a few. It is also home to a significant number of Polish owned businesses, schools, churches, associations and sports clubs and of course the Polish-American population. Yet, this vibrant community does not have a local event that would celebrate the Polish Heritage and allow others to indulge and explore the richness of Polish culture, cuisine, arts and entertainment in a grand way and also provide a platform for local businesses to showcase themselves. Polish Heritage Festivals are a very popular tourist attraction in other parts of the United States. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) YES. I pledge financial support, including assistance with attracting private sponsorship dollars and featuring the event on all my social media and more.




How would you support the city’s small business community and in particular ethnic entrepreneurs for whom a language barrier is often another obstacle to following the complex set of rules and regulations for doing business in the city?


Polish people have been part of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for over a century now. Greenpoint is considered home to some of the most important Polish- American Institutions in America like The Polish and Slavic Credit Union, Pilsudski Institute, Polish and Slavic Center and the Polish National Home to name a few. It is also home to a significant number of Polish owned businesses, schools, churches, associations and sports clubs and of course the Polish-American population. Yet, this vibrant community does not have a local event that would celebrate the Polish Heritage and allow others to indulge and explore the richness of Polish culture, cuisine, arts and entertainment in a grand way and also provide a platform for local businesses to showcase themselves. Polish Heritage Festivals are a very popular tourist attraction in other parts of the United States. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) I have a well-established track record of supporting small business owners, especially mom and pop locally owned businesses. These businesses are the foundation of Brooklyn. As a councilman, I spearheaded the creation of the “Chamber on the Go” program, bringing small business resources directly to the neighborhoods of New York City. I will make sure that the Chamber on the Go not only gets to Greenpoint regularly, but that it has staff available that do more than translate materials, and instead can speak Polish and are aware of cultural nuances and specific challenges that these businesses face. This is what my borough presidency is about—inclusiveness.




How are you going to address an increase in crime? What steps are you going to take in order to restore the safety on our streets?


Shootings and violence are on the rise in NYC overall, but neighborhoods like Greenpoint, have also seen an increase in crime. Residents, but also businesses, are concerned about the fact. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) Public safety is a major issue in the city right now. It is why I voted no to defund the police one year ago, and instead voted to allocate mental health resources while preserving the availability of police. Too many lives have been lost. We need our police to be there. Yes there certainly needs to be police reform. But advocates of defunding the police are taking the easy way out. I want to do the hard work of true police reform while ensuring that policing efforts remain at levels needed to immediately address public safety needs now. You can do both. There doesn’t have to be a choice between the two.




Do You support defunding the Police? If so, would you defund the NYPD by 1 billion or 3 billion dollars?


Shootings and violence are on the rise in NYC overall, but neighborhoods like Greenpoint, have also seen an increase in crime. Residents, but also businesses, are concerned about the fact. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) I do not support defunding the police. I support allocating mental health resources to support police, particularly to deescalate situations, and I support better training and stronger policies regarding use of force. I also support declaring violence as a public health issue, so that resources are allocated to study violence as a whole, from a health perspective, and then seek long-term solutions rather than quick fixes.




How do you plan to make the living/making business more affordable?


Even before the pandemic, the city has become less and less affordable, with rent prices going up for residential as well as commercial spaces many people were forced outside of the city. (Especially in neighborhoods like Greenpoint, which has seen the increase in new residential buildings being built, but where “affordable” housing starts at 80k; also, many commercial spaces are left vacant, due to rent increase.) Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) In my first 90 days of office I will host a developers summit. I will lay out clear requirements for getting the support of my office, including neighborhood-based affordability, meaningful community benefits, a place for community voices early in new development planning, stronger local marketing of new affordable units, and technical assistance to community boards by experts in land use and the many ancillary issues that boards need help with on each new development. Regarding commercial space, I plan to make the economic revival of Brooklyn a top priority, and to do that it must include support for local entrepreneurs, existing and aspiring. As a council member, I piloted the city’s first affordable commercial space in my district. Construction is nearly complete, and I hope it will be a model for commercial spaces citywide.




How would you support the Polish community in the city, and in particular how do you plan on cooperating with Polish senior centers, which provide social services for Polish senior citizens? What exactly would your plan be when it comes to helping senior citizens in the city?


Even before the pandemic, the city has become less and less affordable, with rent prices going up for residential as well as commercial spaces many people were forced outside of the city. (Especially in neighborhoods like Greenpoint, which has seen the increase in new residential buildings being built, but where “affordable” housing starts at 80k; also, many commercial spaces are left vacant, due to rent increase.) Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) My overall platform is inclusion, and that includes senior citizen services. I will use my bully pulpit and discretionary funding to support the senior centers of Brooklyn. Currently, there is only one city-funded senior center in Greenpoint and several others in the surrounding neighborhoods. That needs to change. Additional senior services in Greenpoint, with Polish speaking staff, need to happen.




Would you support programs that promote the entry of Polish companies into the New York City market? Would you support initiatives and programs that would support New York Companies that try to establish their operations in The European Union by working with Poland?


The City of New York and Greenpoint in particular has many Polish Business organizations that take initiative in creating meaningful business relationships with companies and economical government agencies in Poland. For example The Polish Investment and Trade Agency based in New York and initiatives like the 60 Million Congress that took place in New York City helped to create a meeting platform and promote economic cooperation between New York and Poland. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) Yes I would.




Will you support a modification of the Bail Reform law to give judges the discretion to keep arrestees in jail that are violent, repeat offenders, or threats to victims and witnesses?


For the past 16 months, NY State has been conducting a mass release of convicted criminals from prisons and eliminated bail requirements for the arrested, even when they committed violent felonies. Recently NYC government defunded the police, taking away $1 billion from the NYPD budget. All this has caused a horrific increase of violent crimes in New York City and causes mass exodus of residents to outer boroughs and other States. The remaining New Yorkers feel defenseless under the current political climate, and they are scared. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) [No answer...]




Would you support the inclusion of Polish-American history into the educational system in New York City including the first strike in America for voter inclusion; Polish involvement in the freedom of Haiti, Polish-American revolutionary efforts, Polish- American support for abolishing of the slavery and the German perpetrated genocide against Poles?


Polish craftsmen came to America in 1608 and helped to build Jamestown in Virginia. They were denied the right to vote because they were Polish which resulted in the very first North American Civil Rights protest (labor strike) . During the American Revolution Poles fought bravely for the American freedom, General Casimir Pulaski created the American Cavalry and General Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a hero fo the battle of Saratoga and has selected that section of the Hudson River that came to be known as West Point to construct a blockade to prevent British warships from sailing up to Albany; after the Revolutionary War, Kosciuszko convinced the young American government to build a fortress there which grew into the US Military Academy; Kosciuszko actually designed the earliest schematic for that West Point fortress (which includes "Kosciuszko's Garden" to this very day). Kosciuszko was also one of the first and the strongest advocates for the abolishment of slavery and equal rights to African- Americans assigning all his wealth towards freeing and education of slaves. Polish soldiers were the only caucasians that fought on the side of the Black slaves of Haiti against colonial France. The leader of the Haitians, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, referred to the Poles as the Black people of Europe, in recognition of the exploitation and repressions of Poles by the foreign occupiers of Poland at the time. During World War Two Poles were considered subhuman by the German Nazis, and were to be annihilated. Poland suffered six million dead, which includes three million Polish Jews. The country was left in rubbles and enslaved for another half a century to the Soviet communist system. Poles have emigrated to the United States for the last 200 years primarily to escape oppression and discrimination yet they have faced severe discrimination “In the Land of The Free” on economical, political and social level. One of the more visible manifestations of this discrimination are the “Dumb Polak” jokes that are nothing more than micro-aggressions that openly express anti-Polish hostility and bias. Another manifestation is the omission in education of the experiences, contributions and accomplishments of Poles. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) Yes I would.




Will you work with the Polish community to prevent hate crimes against Polish symbols and the Poles in Greenpoint ? Will You use your political influence and take action to finally install the long overdue camera monitoring over Father Popieluszko Square in Greenpoint? Would You publicly condemn anti-Polonism, and if not, do you condemn anti-Polonism?


Hate crimes against the Polish community in New York City tend to happen on a regular basis. The Warsaw Uprising Memorial in Greenpoint was devastated in 2014. The statue of murdered freedom fighter Father Popieluszko in Greenpoint was vandalized again on May 3, 2021. The statue had anti-polish signs painted on it and a trash bag was placed over the head of the priest with garbage strewn all over the statue area. This is not the first time the statue has been vandalized. Shortly after unveiling of the monument pro-communist signs were put on the statue. In later years the statue was defaced with red paint, the information signs were burned and the most tragic incident had the priest's head cut off. Robert Cornegy (Candidate for Brooklyn Borough President) Yes I would, and I would condemn all hate speech, in the strongest ways possible, consistently and regularly.