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Originally Published: February 13, 2009

Historic Good-Government Organization supports Francisco Moya in Queens Council District 21, Geraldine Chapey in Queens Council District 32 and Deborah Rose in Staten Island Council District 49

Competitive contests exist in February 24th Special Election

Citizens Union today announces its support for the election of three New York City Council candidates after evaluating ten highly qualified candidates running in the February 24th special election. Citizens Union made very difficult choices to narrow the strong field of candidates to the three individuals it endorsed today – in Council District 21, Citizens Union supports Francisco Moya; in Council District 32, the organization endorses Geraldine Chapey; and in Council District 49, the organization supports Deborah (Debi) Rose.

“New York City is very fortunate to have such a large number of experienced candidates with strong ties to their respective communities. It is refreshing to witness so many appealing candidates in three competitive contests. This is how most elections should be, but often aren’t,” said Dick Dadey, Citizens Union’s Executive Director.

Citizens Union chose to endorse Francisco Moya in Council District 21 because of his admirable history of community involvement in the district and his diverse experience at the local, state and federal level. Moya, deeply engaged in his community, founded the Corona Gardens Neighborhood Association as a teenager. He later went to work for Congressmember Nydia Velazquez and Congressmember Brad Sherman of California. In addition, he served as the Secretary to the Senate under then Senate Democratic Leader David Paterson. Moya is a strong supporter of many of Citizens Union’s positions, including consolidating the current City Council committee structure and reducing the overall number of committees. Though Julissa Ferreras is a qualified candidate who would make a strong representative for her district if elected, given her years of experience at the Council and involvement in the community, CU felt Moya was the better choice. Another candidate in the race is Jose Eduardo Giraldo, whose keen business perspective would also be valuable to creating new jobs and economic growth for the district. George Dixon, also seeking election in this district, was not evaluated by Citizens Union.

The organization endorses Geraldine Chapey in the 32nd Council district because of her extensive experience on state and local issues. Eric Ulrich’s driven-nature, fresh perspective and energetic presence would also make him an effective representative for the district. Seeking election in this district are also Mike Ricatto and Lew Simon, two candidates who Citizens Union did not evaluate.

After evaluating five viable and appealing candidates in the 49th Council District – Citizens Union endorses Debi Rose because of her strong support for the organization’s reform agenda, her knowledge about the needs of the district and her ability to serve as an inspiring advocate to advance health care and other improvements for her community. She also has a vibrant presence that would make her a strong voice in the Council. As a member of her Community Board for thirty years, Citizens Union supported Rose in her race to represent the 49th Council District in 2001, when she narrowly lost her party primary. Reverend Tony Baker, former McMahon Chief of Staff – Kenneth Mitchell, Paul Saryian and John Tabacco also demonstrated a thorough understanding of the needs of the district and if elected the district would be well-served by any one of them.

For more than a century, Citizens Union has served as a watchdog for the public interest and an advocate for the common good. Citizens Union was founded to address the corruption of Tammany Hall in the affairs of City of New York. Over the years, it has successfully advanced a broad platform of reform to open up government, ensure government accountability, encourage citizen involvement, and provide for clean and honest elections. As part of its nonpartisan work, it takes seriously its responsibility to inform and serve the citizens of New York City which is why Citizens Union has evaluated and preferred candidates for elected office since 1910.

In order to allow citizens to familiarize themselves with the candidates’ positions, their responses to Citizens Union’s candidate questionnaire have been posted on the Citizens Union website here.

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