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Carlo Scissura, NY Building Congress

As the former leader of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Scissura says he can appreciate the critical role a chamber plays in developing the economy, putting residents to work and building a borough’s infrastructure.
Scissura, who now serves as the President and CEO of the New York Building Congress, was the keynote speaker at the Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards on October 27, a 95-year tradition that will honor this year’s best in construction.
“Queens has great waterfront property being developed in Long Island City and the potential for building at Sunnyside Yard are signs of so many things on the right track,” he added. “Queens is the most diverse county in America and ultimately it’s the people who come here to invest and build that drive the growth and change.”
Since 2017, Scissura has been at the helm of the New York Building Congress, a construction advocacy association whose membership has grown to 600, a 50 percent jump since he came on board.
He increased the organization’s budget by more than $1 million and moved its offices to Midtown Manhattan to increase visibility and make room for additional staff.
Prior to serving as president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which became one of New York’s largest economic development organizations under his leadership, Scissura served both as the chief of staff and general counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
During his tenure, he restructured operations at Borough Hall and served as Markowitz’s senior advisor.
Despite the deep cuts in activity in 2020, Scissura said the building industry fared better than others given that essential construction continued.
“We are now the industry that is helping to get people back to work,” Scissura said, “which is so important for the economy in New York.”

Needle panic

Dear Editor,
I’m glad that 23 City Council members sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislative leaders urging revision of bail reform and giving judges discretion to consider a defendant’s criminal history.
But I have little hope for a positive response. Rather than strengthen law
enforcement, Governor Hochul seems to favor lawbreakers.
The latest example is a bill she signed that decriminalizes open drug use and
allows addicts to shoot up in public places without interference by cops.
It bolsters far left lunatics’ goal of “harm reduction,” but will actually heighten drug addiction. It will create a real-life version of the 1971 film “Panic
in Needle Park,” which depicts an upper Manhattan area that was a mecca for junkies.
We will have panic in all city parks that will no longer be safe for law-abiding residents, including families and children.
Hochul panders to “progressives” in order to win the 2022 Democratic primary election. She recently appointed two people to top-level posts in her administration who support bail reform and defunding the police.
She also approved a measure, opposed by the state’s Democratic Party chairman, that provides financial aid to illegal immigrants.
Far-left Democrats who call themselves “progressive” are really regressive. They want to return our city to the bad old days of the 1970s. Don’t let New York City become a paradise for junkies and a living hell for the rest of us.
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Sacrifice time

Dear Editor,
In World War II, a time of national emergency, millions of men were drafted. Most may not have liked it, but many served and many made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow Americans.
Today, many will not sacrifice for their fellow Americans by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in a time of national emergency. Are they Americans or are they from the country of Me?
Richard Nebenzahl

Ceiling talk

Dear Editor,
Dispatcher Larry Penner wrote last week that raising our national debt ceiling by $480 billion is nothing to be proud of. He’s right.
But as usual, he is incorrect in blaming Democrats and President Joe Biden for the costs incurred by the GOP.
How difficult is it to understand that Democrats are forced to pay the bills rung up by Republicans, just like parents paying the credit card bills of their irresponsible children?
Mr. Penner wonders where the money will come from to pay for all the infrastructure needs. Could Donald Trump’s permanent tax cuts for billionaires be to blame?
Robert LaRosa, Sr.

Booster treadmill

Dear Editor,
A perennial six-month COVID vaccine “booster” treadmill is not the solution, but the problem since it perpetuates a vaccinated host population for natural selection of new variants due to immune pressure.
This is the same phenomenon with influenza vaccine.
I see no resolution of this pandemic in sight granted the present vaccine and drug strategies. Until you block oro-nasal transmission, spread shall persist and masking will be required.
Until you block viral-host interaction, infection and intracellular viral reproduction will persist.
Current monovalent vaccines and boosters will perpetuate the natural selection of new SARS variants.
Joseph N. Manago

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