ICYMI, Election Day is tomorrow

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 7. On the ballot: justices for the Supreme Court (there are three on the ballot for three spots); judge of the Civil Court for New York County (there are two on the ballot for two spots); judge of the Civil Court for District 1 Municipal Court (one on the ballot for one spot); and our City Council seat. There are two ballot proposals: the first would expand the debt limit for school districts in cities with less than 125,000 people; the second would allow municipalities to exceed their debt limit for sewer repairs. See more from City&State on those here.

Incumbent Chris Marte has a challenger in Helen Qiu, who is running both on the Republican/Common Sense ticket and the Conservative/Arts and Culture ticket. She ran unopposed in the Republican primary in June.

Qiu and I had a brief email exchange, where she said she founded Mamre Christian Church, an online congregation. However she was not able to send me the link (when I asked, she sent me the link to a different Helen Qiu’s LinkedIn page.) According to her bio she is 53, has a 12-year-old son, and came to New York in 2008 to attend Columbia University, where she earned a master’s in Chinese religion and philosophy. She also said she holds a bachelor’s degree from Zhongshan University and a graduate degree from the Reformed Seminary, graduated in 2007. Her website and LinkedIn page also say she master’s of arts from Harvard in Chinese religion and philosophy, but she did not mention that in her bio. She has taught at Manhattan College as an adjunct professor in the history department.

“Prior to coming to New York I had a successful career as an engineer and later engineering executive managing multimillion dollar projects in high-tech semiconductor companies in Silicon Valley,” Qiu said.

Qiu served on a Community Education Council from 2021 to 2023 (though I am not sure which one). She also ran for the State Assembly and the 10th Congressional District seat in 2022.

The policies she lists on her website include repealing congestion pricing, registering e-bikes, ending the Sanctuary City law, and fighting the Chinatown jail.

“I’m a very practical person. I just have solutions. I’m very good at it — that’s why I made six digits,” Qiu said in an interview with Gotham Gazette in June, referring to her salary as an engineer. Qiu also called for armed guards in schools as a response to school shootings. “I’m not a radical, but I think I just want to have technical solutions,” Qiu told Gotham Gazette. “You need to protect it, and we need armed guards. We have [school] safety agents right now, and they don’t work because they aren’t armed…We need someone that can protect in the moment. They pull out a gun? They will be shot down.”

Qiu is against eliminating or reducing entrance testing requirements in public schools. “I want a merit-based solution. I want a high education standard,” Qiu said. “I don’t like the lottery standard that the Democrats are proposing. I think it’s hurting the people, even the people that get the lottery. It gives them the false idea that life is a lottery. You don’t need to work hard, just luck.”

She added in her email that she used to participate in women’s soccer, women’s fencing, swimming, marathon running and “competitive 1500 meters race,” and her hobbies are collecting stamps, playing piano, singing in a choir, playing badminton and playing ping pong.

“Campaigning is a big sacrifice for us because we are not able to travel and not able to spend much time for hobbies,” Qiu said. “We are campaigning 24/7. But we tried to observe a day of rest.”


1 Comment

  1. The problem I have with this election (as is often the case) is that I agree with one candidate on half the issues, and the other candidate on the other half of the issues!