You are reading

On Day One of Petitioning Political Candidates Brave the Cold to Gather Signatures

A voter signs his name (L) and Brent O’Leary, candidate for the 26th Council District (Photo: Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

March 2, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Political candidates in Queens were out gathering signatures Tuesday–the first day candidates were permitted to solicit signatures in order to get on the ballot.

The candidates were calling on registered voters to sign their petition in their quest to generate the required number of signatures in order to get on the ballot. Many braved the cold and were canvassing across the borough.

Several city council candidates, who need 270 valid signatures in order to get on the ballot, could be found at subway stations seeking signatures from commuters. They need signatures from registered voters– Democrats if they plan to run in that primary– who live in their council district.

Candidates Brent O’Leary and Heajin ‘Hailie’ Kim, both running as Democrats to represent the 26th Council District, were seen in Sunnyside at the 46th Street Bliss station with clipboards in hand seeking the all-important signatures.

O’Leary, who set up a table by the entrance to the station, said that he had volunteers collecting signatures in various locations across the 26th Council District.

He said that getting 270 signatures is not as easy as it sounds and noted that he had volunteers in Woodside, Queensbridge and Hunters Point out gathering signatures. Candidates have until March 25 to submit them to the Board of Elections.

“We’re all across the district and we want to make sure that everybody knows that we are here,” O‘Leary said.

O’Leary, a Long Island City resident, said that his team is gathering signatures at outdoor venues due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. He said they are not doing conventional door-to-door canvassing.

However, volunteers and friends of the campaign are gathering signatures from people living inside their respective apartment buildings, he said.

Meanwhile, Kim’s team was gathering signatures from voters who were standing on the subway platform as residents were awaiting the train. She said that riders had time to sign before their train pulled into the station.

Kim, accompanied by two volunteers, was working the subway platform at 46th Street. She said that her team was also riding the 7 train and stopping at various stations along the route to petition voters.

She said that she aims to gather 1,000 signatures and is confident of making that target.

“We’re not going to stop until we get them,” said Kim, a Sunnyside resident.

Kim said that her team is also not going door-to-door due to safety concerns. She said they are focusing on meeting people outdoors.

“The strategy is always to go where there’s going to be a lot of people from the district,” Kim said.

“We’re going to canvass hardest in my hometown [Sunnyside],” she said. “Around Sunnyside people are very politically engaged.”

Kim said that she is also using the time gathering signatures to ask voters about their concerns and how she could improve the district if elected.

“It sounds really cliché but I think we need to raise New Yorkers’ expectations for what their government can do for them,” Kim said.

Heajin ‘Hailie’ Kim (L), a campaign volunteer (C) and a voter providing a signature (R) (Photo: Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens man faces life in prison for murder of his accomplice during Ozone Park shootout: DA

A Springfield Gardens man was indicted by a Queens grand jury for murder and other crimes for allegedly gunning down his own accomplice instead of his intended target during an Ozone Park shootout in June, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Richard Dixon, 32, of 141st Avenue, was arraigned Jan. 27 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an eight-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.