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.
In the universe of campaigning… what the fck made this candidate think this was OK? We have real life people facing real life evictions… https://t.co/NmeZvrsFsQ
— Catalina Cruz, Esq. (@CatalinaCruzNY) May 27, 2021
“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.