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Crowley Faces Harsh Criticism For Campaign Mailer That Reads ‘Eviction Notice’

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May 27, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A campaign mailer sent out by Elizabeth Crowley that reads “eviction notice” in large font has sparked outrage among her critics.

The mailer, released by her campaign last week, was intended to attack Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for accepting real estate money—but was viewed by many as being in poor taste.

The “eviction notice” was accompanied by a message accusing Richards of taking campaign money from developers and landlords—many of whom Crowley says are trying to kick struggling tenants out.

“Queens is ready for its comeback, but first we have to end our housing crisis and make sure our neighbors can stay in their homes,” the mailer also reads.

Some felt the mailer was insensitive, since many people are struggling to pay the rent.

“What the fck made this candidate think this was OK? We have real life people facing real life evictions,” wrote Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, who has endorsed Richards.

Cruz added that Crowley “could have delivered the same message without preying on people’s real fear. But all for the mighty vote I guess.”

The mailer began circulating on Twitter after Dawn Siff, a Jackson Heights resident, called it “the most insensitive, tasteless campaign mailer ever dropped on my doorstep.” Others have chimed in as well.

Graham Nolen, campaign manager for Crowley, said that the mailer aimed to point out that Richards accepts campaign contributions from developers. He didn’t, however, address the claims that the mailer was insensitive—instead focusing on Richards’ campaign taking real estate money.

Crowley says she does not accept campaign contributions from developers.

“If supporters of Donovan Richards are upset that Elizabeth is pointing out the fact that he takes contributions from developers, they should ask him to refuse all these contributions so they know unequivocally whose interests he is looking after as borough president,” Nolen said.

The issue is important, Richards’ critics say, since the borough president provides an advisory role on rezoning applications.

Thomas Musich, a spokesperson for Richards’ campaign, criticized Crowley for the mailer.

“Preying on the fears of those who have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic is a new low. We have all had too rough a year to be campaigning on the politics of fear,” he said.

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14 Comments

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Godbygod

Wow. What is Elizabeth supposed to do. If she struggles with that how abt things needed in house hold an ext

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Priscilla

I think a candidate sending literature explaining their views about defund the police, climate change, more affordable housing, free healthcare and helping immigrants and the undocumented would have a more positive impact when it comes to choosing a candidate in our district. Being pro palestine and fighting for oppressed minority groups also would help. Best of luck crowley trying to get out of this scandal.

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Stop the nonsense

If I had gotten one of these, I probably would have nearly gotten a heart attack too. This is NOT COOL or appropriate in any way, especially for meaningless campaigning.

I pay my rent on time, and generally feel that I am an ok neighbor. The last thing I want to see after finishing a hard day’s work is something like that.

I probably would have ripped it in half and posted it on social media, which would have probably resulted in tribunal by social cancelling.

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Patricia Dorfman

The flyer is fair description of what is happening already.

DONOVAN

Donovan Richards is a likable fellow. But he is open about accepting real estate donations. https://bit.ly/3fJStCc

He jokingly offered at a public debate in Sunnyside in January of 2020 to take donations others do not want.

He is proud of his record of the private takeover of Ocean Bay public housing in his former Council district, and he recommends it for all of NYCHA. But results are not all rosy:

“[At] Ocean Bay Apartments, the evictions rose…. Over the course of 26 months from 2017 to 2019, 80 households were evicted, more than double those of any other public-housing developments.” https://bit.ly/3hYArPr

PRIVATE DEVELOPERS WANT LAND & SKY

We hope he and his opponents will firmly oppose “Blueprint,” which is what privatization is called now by the NYCHA takeover tycoon, Greg Russ, who is paid over $400K by us to move all of NYCHA property to private developers as he did in Minneapolis.

As a steering committee member of Justice for All Coalition (JFAC) although not speaking for them here, I attest that most NYCHA residents have not been furnished a clear view of their Blueprint risk of moving from Section 9 to Section 8. City Council seems in a rush to pass it in June. The JFAC May 4 “Truth Commission” public housing residents from all over the country spoke out against privatization, evictions, continued mold, vermin, lack of repair. Despite invitations, no media or mayoral candidates attended.

Because NYCHA has not called a meeting, Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing in the US, does not even have a tenant president to let them know what is afoot. Other Tenant Presidents, such as Claudia Coger of Astoria Houses, have actually asked JFAC to “stop” informing residents. She favors the Blueprint. https://bit.ly/3uuzOzC

We, the public, committed land to help people. Now that it is worth billions, our government is working quietly to get it into private hands, turning working affordable housing into market rate, which is what happens after eviction. There was supposed to be “no money” for repairs. But suddenly, there are billions for private developers in the difference between market rate and current rents. Were repairs were not done on purpose to create a need for “rescue?”

BUILDING GIANT DECK

Big real estate wants passage of the latest Sunnyside Yards Master Plan. If our next Mayor and Borough President push for it, it is likely it will occur. Front runner Kathryn Garcia has already point blank agreed to the current Yards plan and Blueprint, according to the City blog. https://www.thecity.nyc/22330081/meet-your-mayor-nyc

No local small businesses survived past mega projects such as Hudson Yards, which, according to Business Insider, was, at $25 billion, the largest US real estate development in history. Hudson Yards is 28 acres, Sunnyside Yards is 200 acres.

Yes, there are desirable aspects covering the Yard with a giant deck, but it entails more luxury high rises to pay for them. It would bring decades of massive disruption to bring in 200,000+ more people in a borough needing infrastructure, and LIC already in full “over-development apocalypse,” as Chip Moeser calls it.

We need to hear from all candidates. I already donated to Liz Crowley, due to her courage on 50-25 Barnett, but have not endorsed anyone. Will candidates point blank commit to oppose Blueprint and Sunnyside Yards until the people of Queens come up with a plan, not big real estate? If big real estate/finance pressure keeps candidates from strongly speaking for us, why are we having elections? We truly only have power now, before we vote.

Queens is being sold. We constituents need less arguing about promotional flyers and more solid commitments.

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Margarita

It scared my family and children. We thought it was real eviction notice and would have to go to a shelter. Its so hard with not enough money to pay rent bills and buy food. Many people cant find work.

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Julie

The majority of people facing eviction in nyc happen to be poor and minority. How can she think that this is appropriate. Another example of people exhibiting their privilege.

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Joe

Of course the majority of people facing eviction are poor. That’s why they’re facing eviction! Duh.

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What the f-!?

How could anyone think this is ok, especially in a district where so many people speak english only as a second language!? Seriously f-ed up…

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ABoondy

its not ok. federal criminal charges should be filed against this politician. maybe they might learn their lesson to respect people by serving a lengthy time in prison.

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Mac

You’re being ridiculous. Nothing to see here. Those cardboard mailings didn’t fool anybody. I saw them all in the trash down by the building mailboxes. Even the people who didn’t speak English tossed them.

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Michelle

When people like a candidate they often display their brochures and posters for others to see and vote for. I know AOC posters are still up in her district and beyond lol.

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Whose brilliant idea was that?

I’m surprised nobody had a heart attack after getting one of these.

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Jim

Stop making a big deal over nothing. Crowley is the best candidate. Her enemies are just looking to bring her down.

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