Five try to unseat incumbent for District 24 Council seat 1

Demorats Moumita Ahmed, right, incumbent James Gennaro, Saifur Khan and Mohammad Uddin, Republican Angelo King and Conservative Mujib Rahman are running to be Distrct 24’s City Councilmember.

The City Council District 24 race is one of the least crowded in Queens. Six candidates hope to fill the seat held by James Gennaro, who won the Feb. 2 special election after Rory Lancman stepped down in November.

Two of the candidates had faced Gennaro in the special election and are looking to come out on top this time around.

Here are the four Democrats, who will face off in a June 22 primary, one Republican and one Conservative hoping to represent District 24:

Moumita Ahmed (D)

Moumita Ahmed finished in second place in the February special election. If elected, she would be the first woman and the first South Asian candidate to ever represent her district. Ahmed is running to represent diverse working families, and her policy stances on issues like housing justice, universal healthcare, immigration rights, labor rights and climate justice will make her one of the most progressive members of City Hall. During the pandemic, she started the Queens Mutual Aid Network which provides food and medicine to Queens residents.

“I’m running to give decision-making power back to our communities. I support policies like participatory budgeting and an elected civilian complaint review board which allow our diverse community members from Jamaica, Briarwood, Electchester Pomonok and Kew Gardens Hills to come together and decide how they want their money spent, and how they want their communities supported. I am also not taking money from real estate developers, the fossil fuel industry, or any corporations. The community can trust that I will work for them.”

James Gennaro (D)

Incumbent Gennaro served as the area City Council member from 2002 to 2013. Gennaro has lived in Jamaica Estates for the last 29 years, but has lived in the district since 1983. The candidate identifies as a moderate overall, but says he is progressive when it comes to protecting the environment, supporting education and on issues relating to food insecurity, the LGBTQ+ community, affordable housing and policies affecting individuals with disabilities. However, he takes a conservative stance on public safety, which is his No. 1 priority, followed by sanitation, quality of life and taxes.

“No one in NYC has my depth of experience and legislative achievement with the Council, and no candidate in this race has my record of service to the residents and my knowledge of every constituency in the 24th District. My proven record of accomplishment and my experience are the difference.”

Saifur Khan (D)

According to his website, Saifur Khan is dedicated to protecting renters, defending homeowners and building more affordable housing. Landlord abuse and discrimination are two things he plans to tackle through stricter laws; he believes skyrocketing rents are a result of legislative loopholes. Affordable housing, he said, is no longer affordable, and the system to measure area median income is broken. He’ll also fight for small landords and homeowners by ceasing property tax increases in owners of one- to three-family homes. Additionally, Khan also plans to ensure that commercial corridors and streets are being properly serviced by the Department of Sanitation, that trains and buses run on time and that police are equipped with sufficient resources.

Mohammed Uddin (D)

Mohammed Uddin is a career union organizer, serving for many years as such for UniteHere! Local 100. A Jamaican immigrant, he is the executive director of the Queens Chapter of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor and is on the board of directors at the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group. He is a moderate and, if elected, would work to pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would allow mom-and-pops to negotiate for a fair lease. He also wants to end all licensing, which he believes hurts middle-class workers and businesses. Lastly, Uddin rejects the narrative that a candidate must choose between standing for criminal justice or supporting the police force. Instead, he stands with the NYPD, though he recognizes the need for better community and police relations, and is a supporter of ending qualified immunity.

“My top priority is working with business and community leaders to re-establish NYC as the premier place to live, work and raise a family. Our failed political class has caused countless businesses and residents to leave our city and as a result, we face a very serious revenue crisis. If we are to re-emerge as the world’s capital, we must work with all sectors of our society and end the divisive rhetoric coming from our candidates and City Hall.”

Angelo King (R)

Electrician and Fresh Meadows resident Angelo King leans toward the conservative side of the Republican Party, and believes in the “rights and liberty of the people protected by the Constitution.” King’s main priority is to help create jobs and attract entrepreneurs to open private businesses in the city by providing businesses tax incentives to hire more workers and produce projects that improves our city’s infrastructure. He doesn’t support defunding the police or the policy of no cash bail, which he believes produces a trail of repeated criminal violence. King does support the modernization of education to teach students applicable skills to prepare them for the changing job market, and he looks forward to balancing the city budget to eliminate waste.

“Last year was a dark time for NYC and I look forward to work together with others on the Council to rebuild the city’s economy and devastation brought by Covid-19 and rioters. This can only happen if we put our biases aside and stop being divisive. We must stand together in unity.”

Mujib Rahman (C)

Mujib Rahman, The Bangladesh Society of North America president, ran in the February special election, where he finished in seventh place of eight candidates. He is running as an “Independent Democrat/Conservative.” He told the Chronicle last year that he is most concerned with public safety, which he plans to tackle through strong education, a positive environment and attentive guardians. He disagrees with defunding the police. Rahman is a huge supporter of private development and believes the government should not be involved in housing construction, though there should be certain degrees of restrictions on private developers to ensure that their housing projects provide public benefit. For example, he said that projects located near bodies of water should include publicly accessible waterfront spaces. Affordable housing, he said, should be limited to those who need it the most and not funded by the government.

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