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Queens Chronicle

Joan Flowers to seek Dem nod in 27th CD

Education tops priority list

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:46 am, Thu Mar 7, 2013.

Longtime Democratic stalwart Joan Flowers has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 27th City Council District.

“I believe the district needs qualified representatives,” Flowers said. “I have the necessary set of skills required to serve the district.”

The seat’s new boundaries, drawn as a result of the 2010 U.S. Census, includes much of the district now served by Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans). Comrie is ineligible to defend his seat because of term limits. He is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for borough president.

Flowers, a lawyer, said the district has its own particular concerns, such as flooding (“every time it rains, in some areas,” she said), and the noise from and possible future expansion of Kennedy Airport.

But she said one citywide problem — education — also is the most important in the district.

Flowers, 65, is a vocal critic of mayoral control of the schools as it has been practiced by Mayor Bloomberg.

“There needs to be more public input in public education,” she said, critical of how she feels Bloomberg and his Department of Education have forced their own agenda, such as closing schools without public input.

She did concede that the old Board of Education, where no one person could be held accountable for systemic failures, also is not an option.

“There has to be a middle ground we can reach,” she said.

Flowers also dismissed recent published reports such as one in the New York Post tying her to political scandals that have involved such people as Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), former Congressman Floyd Flake, state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and disgraced former Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr.

“I can bring proper representation and some people want to keep me out,” she said. “They will use innuendo and in some cases outright lies. But the lies are not going to work.”

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