NEW YORK—Council Member Eric Ulrich was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 to represent District 32, which includes Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven. At 28, Ulrich is the youngest serving member of the council and one of the very few representing the Republican delegation.
What was your biggest achievement in 2013?
Some of the legislation that Ulrich feels proud of from 2013 was in regards to Sandy recovery, helping people rebuild homes and communities resiliently. Also he worked on the rezoning of Ozone Park.
What will you be focusing on this year?
This year he will work with the new borough president to improve transportation in the district. The Rockaway Ferry will be a focus, “A lifeline to good paying jobs in Lower Manhattan, and a critical component of the transportation infrastructure,” Ulrich called it. [Update: a week after the interview, the Rockaway Ferry service was extended until May, 2014.]
Ulrich will work on bus rapid transit or select bus service on Woodhaven Boulevard that runs through his district, and is the most congested corridor in all Queens County. He will be pushing for this, and has put aside funds for it, even though it’s a touchy topic. Because of the long commute for the residents who work in Manhattan, Ulrich feels like the connection between the two counties should be more advanced.
“We don’t even have Citi Bike in Queens,” he said adding that there’s not a single select bus route in Queens.
What are some of the issues your constituents are concerned about?
His constituents are concerned about two things most: recovery from Superstorm Sandy and unemployment. Ulrich has a lot of constituents who are still finding it hard to find work after the market crash and can’t make ends meet. He will try to create and promote local jobs and stimulate economic growth in the coming year.
If you had a coat of arms, what would it be, and why?
On his coat of arms he’d like to see two keys. “Keys are a symbol of trust,” he said. Keys give entry into place that’s locked. His constituents have handed him the keys to unlock the door of opportunity for access to things, and they trust him, but the key belongs to the people and he will someday pass on that key to another person. The slogan he would use would be: “Forward Together,” which he used in his campaign. This was because progress and improvement can work only when you move forward all together with colleagues, and constituents.
Epoch Times is interviewing members of the 2014 New York City Council to find out what their biggest achievements were last year and what they hope to accomplish in this one. For a list of all council member articles in this project, click here.