Polish-American Running for NY State Senate Seat

Slawomir Platta (Photo by Marcin Żurawicz via Nowy Dziennik)

Polish-born New Yorker Slawomir Platta is the first Polish-American lawyer in the history of New York to run for the State Senate. He wants to represent District 15 in Queens, which encompasses such neighborhoods as Ridgewood, Maspeth, Ozone Park, Kew Gardens, Rockaways, Forest Hills and more, and is home to a large number of Polish Americans.

“Polish Americans deserve to have a representative in Albany,” said Platta, who also hopes that the intense campaign gives him exposure among other communities.

In order to secure a spot on the ballot, Platta needed 1,000 voter signatures. He was able to collect almost three times the amount and on July 12 he filed the petitions to be on the primary ballot with the Board of Elections. He is one of two candidates running for the Republican Party nomination, with his opponent being Tom Sullivan, who gathered 2,400 signatures. In the Sept. 13 primaries voters will decide whose name will appear on the ballot in November. [Editor’s note: Platta announced on July 31 on Facebook that the Board of Elections confirmed he will be on the Republican primary ballot.]

Platta decided to run for office to share his experiences as an immigrant New Yorker and lawyer, and in order to help fellow New York residents. “Building my career and law firm, I became familiar with the myriad of counterproductive legal regulations that business owners in New York are burdened with. And as a legal immigrant I well understand that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their American dream,” said Platta, who has lived in the United States for close to 20 years. In his legal profession he has represented veterans, seniors and other minorities, which he says has given him insight into the struggles New Yorkers go through in everyday life.

In his campaign he focuses a lot on the issue of homelessness. “I do not oppose helping the homeless, but I do oppose housing them in old hotels located in the heart of residential neighborhoods like Maspeth, Ozone Park or Ridgewood, with no easy access to medical centers that the homeless, who often suffer from mental problems, need. That’s a recipe for disaster. We know how the mayor’s experiment ended in Maspeth – with a dramatic uptick in crime around the hotel where the homeless were housed,” says the candidate, adding that unlike the mayor, he supports the creation of small homeless shelters, located in carefully chosen locations, and with access to medical assistance.

To better address the issue, Platta is starting a new political party in Queens – the No Homeless Shelter Party. “The party will represent the residents who are not happy with the city’s plan to build homeless shelters in their neighborhoods, in close vicinity to schools,” the candidate says, adding that the residents in his district are worried about their own and their children’s safety.

Platta also opposes closing the Rikers Island jail and the plan to create smaller jails all over the city, including Queens. He proposes improvements to car traffic by relocating bus lanes that make it more difficult for residents to park on Queens streets. “I do not advocate for removing the bus lane entirely, but for moving them to streets where they won’t impact traffic that much,” he says.

The candidate also suggests a reform of the unemployment assistance programs. “The unemployed need help in finding jobs, not only money to survive,” he says. For seniors, he wants better access to health care and social programs, and the reduction of burdening city regulations for small businesses that impede their development. “I want small businesses to be able to grow into medium and then large companies,” the lawyer says.

One Comment

  1. Dear Mr. Platta ,
    It is an excellent idea.
    Bold diamond beautiful.
    Congratulations on your decision.

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