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Lancman calls for end to overconstruction

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman rallied against overdevelopment with civic groups in Bowne Park. Photo courtesy Rory Lancman
TimesLedger Newspapers

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) is ratcheting up his campaign in the prelude to the June primary.

The candidate for the 6th Congressional District held a rally with former Mayor Ed Koch in front of JP Morgan Chase headquarters in Manhattan May 16, blasting the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission and Congress for “failing to reform Wall Street.”

“The 2008 financial meltdown that shook the global economy and threw millions of Americans out of work wasn’t an accident,” Lancman said last week. “It was the natural and predictable consequence of deliberately lax regulation and oversight and a casino culture that championed speculation for speculation’s sake, secure in the knowledge that defrauded investors had almost no meaningful legal recourse to recover their losses — and very little has changed.”

Koch, who endorsed Lancman, said JP Morgan Chase’s recent loss of more than $2 billion should compel members of Congress to expedite regulations that would protect the public.

Lancman then stood with civic leaders in Bowne Park Friday to discuss the proposed Homes and Essential Landmarks Preservation Act aimed at combatting overdevelopment at the federal level, which Lancman would look to enact if he wins the Congressional election.

The HELP Act would limit tax deductions for property owners not in compliance with zoning laws, promote tax credits for properties listed in the National Historic Register, fund the city and state’s zoning enforcement, and clarify the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to ensure religious institutions do not ignore zoning regulations.

“Overdevelopment destroys the character of our communities,” Lancman said. “The HELP Act is a federal solution to the proliferation of McMansions, improperly zoned offices, inappropriate commercial development and overly large community facilities where single-family homes and small businesses once stood, and the desecration of historic sites and neighborhoods by developers who put profits ahead of the interest of residents.”

Finally, Lancman rallied with Jewish community leaders in Freedom Square in Kew Gardens Sunday to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem Day.

Lancman called for the United States to adjust its policy and officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Our government’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel is a major obstacle to peace,” he said. “The sooner America helps the Palestinians accept this reality by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the quicker peace will come.”

As for endorsements, Lancman got the nod from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees of New York last week.

The union, representing more than 420,000 public service employees across the state, said Lancman will “stand up against efforts to privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and continue his fight against privitization of vital city safety net services.”

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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