Real Estate and a Queens Primary Race

Former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (left) and Assemblymember Francisco Moya are running for the City Council District 21 seat, along with Cristina Furlong (Photos via Queens Latino)

In a column for Queens Latino, Arturo Ignacio  Sánchez gives his thoughts on how real estate speculation will shape the Democratic primary race in City Council District 21. The seat is currently held by Julissa Ferreras-Copeland who recently announced she will not seek re-election. Sánchez writes that concerns of “cozy cross-fertilization between the speculative real estate coalition and local elected officials” will emerge in a race where issues of gentrification and displacement play a large role.

Three candidates are currently vying to represent the district, which is home to many Latino, Caribbean and Asian immigrants: activist Cristina Furlong, former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate and Assemblymember Francisco Moya. Sánchez focuses on Monserrate and Moya.

Moya, who has the support of the Queens Democratic Party, “will self-laud his profile as an elected official with a history of Latino community-based engagement, economic growth strategies, pro-immigration advocacy…” And “criticize Monserrate’s problematic legal legacy.”

But Monserrate, writes Sánchez, “will design his campaign as an insurgency against entrenched political and economic interests” and tie Moya to issues such as “large-scale real estate capital, gentrification, and the expulsion of economically vulnerable residents and immigrant businesses from the district.”

For the full commentary on how real estate concerns could play out in the Democratic primary race for District 21, go to Queens Latino.

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