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Queens Chronicle

Petition calls for Kim Ohanian’s removal

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:08 pm, Thu Aug 8, 2019.

Many in Queens have voiced outrage over Community Board 7 member Kim Ohanian saying at a May civic meeting that pedestrians crossing the street while talking on their phones “deserve to get run over.”

A video recording of the meeting, published last month, ignited intense criticism. Even Mayor de Blasio condemned her comment.

And the city Department of Environmental Protection — for which Ohanian works — launched an investigation in response to her comment. The agency distanced itself from another comment she made in the video, calling de Blasio’s Vision Zero safety initiative “a joke.”

The Chronicle could not reach Ohanian before deadline.

A Change.org petition calling on Borough President Melinda Katz to remove her from the panel has garnered 85 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon. A group called Take the Streets, whose origins are unclear, started the petition.

The Chronicle could not immediately get a statement from the Borough President’s Office about whether Ohanian will be removed.

However, a Katz spokesperson said last week that the borough president “takes exception to the comment, regardless of the context, and our office has relayed this to Ms. Ohanian.”

CB 7 District Manager Marilyn McAndrews told the Chronicle on Wednesday that Ohanian was not facing removal or pressure from Borough Hall to step down.

Katz’s victory in this year’s Queens district attorney race was certified on Monday. She’ll step down as borough president to become DA.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) is officially running to succeed her, and many other borough politicians — Councilmen Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) as well as former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley — are considered likely to go for it.

All of those names were asked on Twitter by user @VlissingenVan on July 19 about Ohanian. Each — except Vallone, who criticized the remarks days later — said they would remove or decline to reappoint her.

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1 comment:

  • Irish Red posted at 4:23 pm on Thu, Aug 1, 2019.

    Irish Red Posts: 2

    How truly sad that there are folks so intolerant that they believe that one unfortunate comment should wipe out a lifetime of public service and negate all the good that Ohanian has done in her lifetime.



    I sincerely hope that all those who are signing the petition for Ohanian's removal are those who are "without sin" and who have never spoken unwisely.