Sunny Hahn didn’t have to wait for Tuesday’s primary to be over to know who her opponent would be for the District 20 City Council seat.
There was no primary in the Flushing district because incumbent Councilman Peter Koo didn’t have any Democratic opponents. Hahn, a Republican, hoped to have run against him in November on the GOP ticket, but was thrown off because of insufficient petition signatures.
But she didn’t let that stop her. In a petition blitz, Hahn gathered 924 signatures in 10 days and was able to qualify for the Reform Party line.
She labels herself as “a reformer and fighter” and blames the GOP petition fiasco on the Queens Republican Party, who she said mismanaged her petition signatures.
Republican Party officials, however, said it was up to the candidate to check on the legality of signatures. Many were from outside the 20th District.
Hahn, who ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the 40th District Assembly seat last year, says she is “cautiously optimistic” about the City Council race. “I’m a far better candidate than Koo,” she said. “He doesn’t have ideas about Flushing, just money.”
Koo is running on a platform to better public safety and transportation, protect seniors and small businesses and improve education.
If elected, she wants to add an open space in the downtown area “where people can celebrate together.” She envisions a public square made by closing 137th Street, between 37th and 39th avenues, near the municipal parking lot that is set to become a mixed-use development with limited open space.
“It’s definitely doable,” Hahn said. “There could be concerts there on weekends and tai chi for seniors in the mornings. It will transform the lives of people in Flushing.”
She also wants to help small businesses by consolidating and clarifying city regulations, and would promote the use of English signage on businesses.
An activist in Flushing’s Korean community, Hahn was born in South Korea and moved to the United Sates at the age of 27, living in Boston, Washington, DC and Hawaii before coming to New York City in 1986.
She worked for the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Commission on Human Rights in New York. Hahn is also associated with the Korean American Association of Queens.
For more information on her platform, go to sunnyhahn2013.com.