Felicia Singh visited Liberty Plaza in Ozone Park to observe Eid al-Adha with local residents and celebrate her recent victory in the Democratic Primary for City Council. She handed out sweets and masks to passersby, helping others check their voter registration status at times.
In November, Singh will run against GOP candidate Joann Ariola. Unlike many areas in New York City, District 32 has a significant Republican base, ensuring that the general election will be competitive. It is also the last Republican-held City Council seat in Queens.
If Singh wins in November, she will be the first woman, as well as first Indo-Caribbean and first South Asian person, to represent District 32 in the City Council.
“The Rockaways are great and so important, but we don’t talk enough about Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill,” said Singh, referencing the neighborhoods that make up District 32. “My first tour here was purposeful because we wanted to celebrate Eid with the community.”
Eid al-Adha commemorates the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience of a command from God. Before Abraham could carry out the deed, however, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Singh won the race to represent her district in June, earning a total of 4,684 votes – 52.5 percent – over lawyer Mike Scala’s 47.5 percent. She is the first woman of color to run for the seat on the Democratic line.
“We’ve been struggling for far too long and haven’t had someone who understands the issues our community is facing,” said Mahtad Phen, a volunteer from Singh’s campaign who first became involved in politics in 2018 when they volunteered for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
Since then, he’s been helping similar progressive candidates running to bring representation to their communities.
Singh believes her ability to build coalitions across the five boroughs makes her a strong candidate. She is endorsed by numerous organizations and elected officials, including State Senator Jessica Ramos and Rockaway Women for Progress.
In their endorsement, the group said Singh has the “intellect, resolve, integrity, and energy to represent the Rockaways.”
A central part of her political agenda is in addressing climate change and creating environmental sustainability. Her district is especially vulnerable to coastal flooding, and not just in the Rockaways where Queens meets the Atlantic Ocean.
“The more we wait to take on the climate crisis and reduce our carbon emissions, the more will be impacted in the north of this district,” Singh said. “We have to understand that high tides by 2030 are going to reach Ozone Park and start to impact everyday life.”
Her resilience plan includes a K-12 curriculum that is rooted in environmental science and funds to help families and individuals file claims for flooding caused by sewer backups.
She encouraged people to learn about their elected officials, talk to them and register to vote.
“Everything you have and everything you don’t have is a political decision made by somebody else,” said Singh, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement. “Even if you’re just talking to one person about getting involved and changing something in your community, that’s owning political power.”