Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Meet Mark Foley, Republican Party Nominee To Represent Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side And East Harlem In NYC Council District 5 - Foley Discusses Roosevelt Island Constituent Services, Crime, Covid 19 Vaccine Mandates & More

Mark Foley is the Republican Party nominee to represent Roosevelt Island, the Upper East Side and East Harlem in NYC Council District 5, seeking to succeed current City Council Member Ben Kallos who is term limited from running again. 

According to the Mark Foley for City Council website:

Mark Foley is a problem-solver and a forward-thinking New Yorker. Not a career politician, Mark's neighborhood roots, vast and diverse business experience, administrative ability, management skills and financial and economic know-how are what set him apart from all of his potential opponents in every way that matters. Mark has long-standing and significant relationships in the community, he is running a grassroots campaign appealing to all District residents, and he has the support to challenge his tired and out-of-touch establishment opponent....

I spoke with Mr Foley last Saturday during the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival outside of the Nisi restaurant.

Here's what he had to say. (Sorry about the background noise from people coming out of Good Shepherd at time of interview).

Mr Foley discussed a variety of local issues during this interview with Christopher Wright including crime, bail reform, re-funding the police, helping small businesses and Covid 19 vaccination mandates. I asked Mr Foley:

... My understanding from the interview is that you are against mandatory vaccinations, including for Police Officers, Health workers, Teachers and other city employees.

Also you appear to oppose Mayor deBlasio's policy of requiring proof of vaccination status for entry into NYC indoor restaurants, health clubs, and entertainment venues.

Is that an accurate representation of your position?
Also, is your opposition limited to government ordered mandatory vaccination or does it also include opposition to private employers mandating employees being vaccinated....

Mr Foley replied:

While I’m in favor of the vaccine (and proud passport holder), I do not believe in de facto forced vaccination for all. I personally know some people who have strong religious and medical issues that preclude them from getting vaccinated. Some people have already had Covid and have a stronger acquired immunity than one would receive from the vaccine. Others (young, healthy, pregnant, etc.) have their own personal reasons. I believe that it should be a personal choice between an individual and their health care provider, based on their personal condition(s). 

I also oppose mayor de Blasio’s passport mandate, required now for gyms, restaurants, theatres, movie houses, concerts, sporting events, etc. This was not based on medical indications or advice, but was his personal decision, and indeed puts us as one of only two cities in the country to do so (San Francisco the other). He stated publicly something to the effect that it was “time to remove the carrot and start using the stick,” which sounds deliberately punitive. I have also spoken to business and restaurant owners, many who feel terrible to be put in the position that they may have to turn away the very people who supported them at the height of the pandemic. As is, I understand the city is at roughly 80% who have had at least one jab and/or have acquired immunity via previous Covid infection. This puts us safely above the 75% herd-immunity figure that was originally proposed as a “return to normalcy” number. Medically, there is statistically near-zero risk to those who have been vaccinated, and even during Covid only 1.4% of infections were attributed to restaurants. 

Finally, despite the 80% figure for overall NYC, the minority population is only at roughly 30%. It will have an unusually lopsided impact on these communities and a punitive effect on their ability to participate in society.

Here's the full interview.

More info available at Mr Foley's website. 

Mr Foley's general election opponent to represent Roosevelt Island, the UES and East Harlem in NYC Council Distrct 5 is the Democratic Party nominee Julie Menin.

The General Election is Tuesday, November 2.