Thursday, August 26, 2010

Newcomer Reshma Saujani Challenges Incumbent Carolyn Maloney For Roosevelt Island Congressional Seat - Meet Ms Saujani At Town Hall Sunday August 29

Image of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (right) and Challenger Reshma Saujani (left) From NY Daily News

Roosevelt Island's longtime representative in Congress, Carolyn Maloney of the 14th Congressional District, is facing a strong challenge from relative newcomer Reshma Saujami, a lawyer. According to an article in the August 24 New York Daily News:

There’s nothing smooth about the infighting for the Congressional seat from the so-called “Silk Stocking District” on the Upper East side, where 18-year Democratic incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney, 64, is facing a primary election challenge from upstart Reshma Saujani, 34, an eight-year resident of the city who is making her first bid for elected office....
What's the difference between the two candidates? Again, from the NY Daily News:
... Maloney cited her years of fighting for issues such as credit-card reform, the health care bill for 9/11 reformers and bringing home $4 billion in funding for the Second Ave. subway and related construction projects.

To which Saujani said, “I think that Maloney ranks at the bottom of our New York delegation, and I’m saying that on the record. And I think Carolyn Maloney represents the problem. We have in Congress, I think, a lot of mediocre representatives.”...
Ms. Saujani will be visiting Roosevelt Island this Sunday. Her office passed along the following invitation to all Roosevelt Island residents to come meet her and ask questions at the Trellis during:
... Reshma's Community Conversation Tour event at Trellis on Sunday, August 29th at 5pm. It will be a Town Hall style event for residents to hear Reshma speak about the race and to also give everyone attending the chance to ask Reshma questions about our campaign....
Below is the invitational flyer for Ms. Saujani conversation with the Roosevelt Island Community.
I asked Ms. Saujani's campaign staff:
If Ms. Saujani has any thoughts or comments on specific Roosevelt island issues, would be happy to post them as well.
and received this response specifically concerning Roosevelt Island issues:
  • Reshma is very concerned about the recent goings on at Coler-Goldwater Hospital, with the moving of 200 beds from the now-shuttered North General Hospital in Harlem. It particularly concerns her that none of the many full-time residents of Goldwater Hospital were consulted about this move. While she is optimistic about the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s plans to build a new state of the art nursing facility on the site, Reshma believes that greater oversight is necessary to ensure that those served by the Coler-Goldwater Hospital have the best possible care and facilities available.
  • As a Congresswoman from New York, Reshma Saujani would push to increase federal funding for public transportation. The tram is already way behind schedule, and the repeated delays on the F train make the current situation much worse. Commuters living on Roosevelt Island need more options, and I strongly support exploring every possible avenue, such as adding ferry service.
  • There are over 500 Muslim families living on Roosevelt Island, and Reshma Saujani believes they deserve to have their own place of worship. The fact that the Muslim community has asked for help at numerous RIOC and RIRA board meetings and been largely ignored is unacceptable.
I then asked incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office:
If Congresswoman Maloney wishes to prepare a similar statement for the Roosevelt Island community, I would be happy to post it on the Roosevelt Islander blog.
Received the following statement from Ms. Maloney's campaign:
A Fighter for Roosevelt Island

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been a vigorous and effective representative for Roosevelt Island since her election to Congress.
  • She has been a forceful advocate for a greater degree of self-governance on the Island, successfully urging the Governor to appoint the winners of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association-organized election to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board of Directors.
  • Representative Maloney worked with RIOC to help secure a $250,000 matching grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation to repair and restore one of the Island’s notable landmarks, Blackwell House.
  • She secured $700,000 in federal highway funds to install surveillance cameras in Roosevelt Island’s subway station to provide better security.
  • In the current Congress, she’s secured a major federal appropriation for parks on Roosevelt Island (that will be officially announced in the coming weeks).
  • Congresswoman Maloney successfully urged the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake the $500,000 study documenting failings in the Island’s Seawall, and is continuing to push hard for federal funding to repair the Seawall.
  • She helped secure federal funding for water taxis in New York, for which Roosevelt Island would be an eligible site, and helped secure U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval for a water taxi dock permit on Roosevelt Island.
  • Joining with Island leaders and fellow elected officials, Representative Maloney successfully fought for the reopening of the Tramway following suggestions from some after the April 2006 breakdown that it be mothballed in perpetuity.
  • She’s been an advocate for better policing and security on Roosevelt Island and has convened meetings to enable residents to voice their concerns to the relevant government agencies.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney looks forward to continuing to work closely with her fellow elected officials and Island residents to present a forceful and united voice for all Roosevelt Islanders.
Ms. Saujani was recently interviewed by Fox News NY.

and Ms. Maloney discusses jobs and tax cuts on CNBC.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The New York Times also examined Ms. Suajani's stylish, though comfortable, Kate Spade wedges foot wear.

According to NBC New York, Congresswoman Maloney:
... gave in to pressure today and agreed to debate her Democratic primary opponent Reshma Saujani.

The decision comes one day after NBCNewYork aired video of Maloney refusing to commit.

A spokesman for the congresswoman said the radio debate, scheduled to air on WWRL radio on September 7th at 11 a.m., "is a good format."...

Debating is good.

UPDATE 8/27 - A reader sends in this link to separate interviews with Ms. Maloney and Ms. Saujani on Brian Lehrer's WNYC radio program.


Paramendra Kumar Bhagat said...

The weirdest part for me is as to why these two are not having weekly TV debates.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, Reshma Saujani- insulting your opponent is not a good campaign platform. In times such as these I will take experience over expressions of dislike. If you wish to be effective start with city council, don't upset a senior member's seat, you are sure to lose to a seasoned Republican. Your cockiness comes off as arrogance, and it is not a substitute for strength.

Anonymous said...

I think this will be a rendition of the kennedy / nixon debates, to which kennedy won due to his good looks.

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