HDC's Best of 2008: Candidates for Political Office Make Preservation a Top Campaign Issue!

This spring HDC launched the League of Preservation Voters during a special election for Council District 30 in central Queens. The initiative, which aims to better educate local elected officials about the importance of historic preservation and development issues throughout the city, also helps communities and elected officials partner together to better preserve the historic resources that make each neighborhood unique.

Four candidates ran for the open seat (Anthony Como, Elizabeth Crowley, Charles Ober and Tom Ognibene), and each responded to a District-specific voter guide developed by a coalition of local neighborhood and civic associations. Click here to read their responses. HDC also hosted a candidate forum, moderated by HDC’s executive director Simeon Bankoff, which addressed questions relating to preservation and development issues in the district. Click here, here and here to read news reports about the forum and the candidates’ various responses.

The League’s effort proved to be an immediate success. The election’s winner, Anthony Como, identified preservation as one of his first main concerns and met with LPC Chairman Robert Tierney shortly after taking office.

Then, due to a technicality in the City Charter, another election was held for the seat this past November (to get the District back on the standard election schedule). This time only Mr. Como and Ms. Crowley entered the race, with Ms. Crowley being victorious this time around. Though she hasn’t yet officially taken office, Councilmember-elect Crowley already appeared before the Landmarks Preservation Commission just this week to demonstrate her strong support for the proposed Ridgewood Historic District.

HDC will be expanding its League of Preservation Voters efforts to all districts in the city, but we won’t be able to do it without ample community support. To organize a Preservation Voters coalition in your district in 2009, please contact the Historic Districts Council at 212-614-9107 or email [email protected]. Please note that the League of Preservation Voters is nonpartisan and does not endorse any candidate for political office.

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