By Evan Triantafilidis
Ethan Felder, a labor lawyer from Forest Hills, has announced his campaign for the State’s 28th Assembly District.
The seat currently held by 17-year incumbent Andrew Hevesi represents Glendale, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Ridgewood, Rego Park, Maspeth, Middle Village, Elmhurst and Forest Hills.
Over 50 people gathered at Macdonald Park in Forest Hills on March 6, for Felder’s campaign kickoff event, where he claimed that the district is in a “moment of unease.”
“Hate and violence against people and their communities have left many feeling unsafe, unheard and unwanted,” Felder said. “The answer is not detachment, condescension and empty political posturing. Complacency in these times just won’t do. It’s time to turn the page. It’s a moment where true solidarity must be twinned with sensibility, not ideological dogma. We can have public safety and stand for dignity for all people.”
Felder’s platform includes public safety, quality education and economic dignity.
He has been outspoken against the current plan for a jail being placed in Kew Gardens, as well as being in favor of raising the minimum wage to $18 per hour.
The lifelong Queens resident also promotes building trust with local police precincts, amid trends of hate crimes on the streets and in subway stations.
“Many in the community are concerned about rising crime and hate,” Felder said. “I am too. Elected officials in Albany have lost their way. People are tired of talk. It’s time for action and fresh energy.”
Showing support at the campaign launch were Monica Cruz, a spokesperson for the Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sylvia Martina, a Lefrak City tenant and Fahad Solaiman from the Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association.
Felder, a union labor lawyer at 32BJ SEIU, has served on his local Community Board 6 for six years. In 2018, he represented the tenants of LeFrak City in the fight for voting rights.
“It’s always been about service,” Felder said. “It’s what led me to represent the voters of Lefrak City pro bono when the voting rights of 6,000 people were suppressed by the Board of Elections. It’s why I rallied the community against antisemitism, anti-Asian hate and for Black Lives.”
Solaiman added, “I know him as a man who always thinks about everyone. We need people like him to talk for us, to talk for the community.”
Felder attended Cornell University for his bachelor’s degree in government and later attended Washington University in St. Louis for his MBA and doctorate in law. He is a graduate of Townsend Harris High School.