Eric Ulrich
Member of the New York City Council
from the 32nd district
Assumed office
February 24, 2009
Preceded byJoseph Addabbo, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1985-02-13) February 13, 1985 (age 36)
Ozone Park, New York
Political partyRepublican
Alma materSt. Francis College (BA)
Baruch College (MPA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Eric Ulrich (born February 13, 1985) is a member of the New York City Council representing the 32nd district. His constituency includes the neighborhoods of Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven in Queens. He is a Republican.

Ulrich is a moderate Republican,[1] breaking from conservatives on minimum wage legislation, his vocal opposition to President Donald Trump, and his support for rent stabilization. As City Councilman, he led oversight committees on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and publicly expressed disapproval with their speed and efficiency. Ulrich's constituents reside in parts of the Rockaway Peninsula and Howard Beach which were disproportionately affected by the storm. In public statements Ulrich called the relief efforts a "bureaucratic nightmare", said the city's chosen contractors were incapable of handling the residents' needs, and recommended the head of the city's Build-it-Back program be fired by the Mayor.[2]

Life and career

Eric Ulrich was born at Jamaica Hospital on February 13, 1985. He grew up in Ozone Park in Queens, where he attended P.S. 63Q (Old South), a public elementary school, and later, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Catholic elementary school. Raised by his mother with the help of his maternal grandparents, Ulrich contemplated a vocation to the priesthood. After graduating from Cathedral Prep. Seminary High School in 2003, he became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He holds a BA from St. Francis College and received his MPA in 2016 from Baruch College, City University of New York. Ulrich is divorced and has one daughter, Lily.

While in college, Ulrich worked for the Transportation Security Administration at JFK Airport. He taught religion at Xaverian High School (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn). He previously served as the President of the Our Neighbors Civic Association of Ozone Park. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach, Jamaica Rotary Club, the National Political Science Honor Society-Pi Sigma Alpha, and was also elected to New York Republican State Committee (2007-2013).

On February 24, 2009, at age 24 Ulrich won the non-partisan special election for New York City Council to replace Joseph Addabbo Jr. who was elected to New York State Senate in 2008. Ulrich was re-elected in 2009, 2013 and again in 2017. He is currently term-limited in 2021 and cannot seek re-election.

New York City Council

In February 2009, during a special election, Ulrich was elected to a seat on the New York City Council, defeating three more senior candidates in the 32nd district in southwest Queens.[3][4] Ulrich was re-elected in November 2009,[5][6] in 2013,[7] and in 2017.[8] He is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2021.

Ulrich broke with the New York State Republican Party platform on several issues, and says he is proud of his independence from party positions. He voted in favor of a minimum wage raise and voted twice to boost rent stabilization, making him the only Republican to do so.[9][10]

Ulrich is one of only three Republicans in the New York City Council, and is the only one of the three not from Staten Island. He supported Melissa Mark-Viverito during her run for Council Speaker in 2013, an unpopular position for Republicans. Queens Republican Chair Bob Turner said that supporting Viverito "wouldn't help" Ulrich's standing in Republican circles.[11] Ulrich had chided Mark-Viverito for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with other Council-members during government functions, a position she changed in 2013 prior to her run for Speaker.[12][13]

For fiscal year 2015, Ulrich secured a $400,000 allocation to support local veterans' direct services. Five organizations were nominated to help veterans and their families with employment, mental health, and legal issues. Funding also supports programming for women veterans and newly returned service members.[14] He supports the consolidation of the city's three library systems.[15]

Hurricane Sandy recovery

Ulrich started a Committee with Mark Treyger to monitor the recovery effort following Hurricane Sandy.[16] Ulrich sharply criticized the pace of the recovery effort during oversight meetings in 2015 and 2016. He pointed to Build-it-Back as ineffective, pointing to cases where homeowners had been relocated for construction, only to learn that months had gone by with no development.

Chair of New York Council Veterans Committee

Ulrich serves as Chair of the New York City Council's Veterans Committee.[17] Following her election to Council Speaker (in which she had received support from Ulrich), Melissa Mark-Viverito appointed Ulrich to his Veterans Affairs post.[18] Ulrich refuted speculation that his support for Viverito was a quid pro quo for obtaining his Committee Chairmanship, and instead said that supporting her was his best option for bringing her attention to the needs of his constituents.[11][19] Since assuming the committee chairship in early 2014, Ulrich has held hearings on a range of topics examining local veterans' issues and how New York City government can combat these challenges.

Following remarks by presidential candidate Donald Trump that John McCain was not a war hero, Ulrich rejected his comments, calling them "a slap in the face to New York City’s veterans and their families, especially those who had been 'captured' as former POWs." Ulrich wrote a letter July 20, 2015 to Jamaica Hospital, urging the Board of Directors to remove Trump's name from the nursing home. The Trump Pavilion for Nursing and Rehabilitation was named after Mary Trump, and was built in 1975 with donations from Donald Trump's parents. The Trump name remains on the Pavilion.[20]

Coronavirus; Oxiris Barbot

In early April 2020, he and Democratic New York City Councilman Robert Holden wrote to Mayor de Blasio asking him to relieve Commissioner of Health of the City of New York Oxiris Barbot of her position "before it’s too late," saying her guidance on coronavirus had been disastrous.[21]

Other campaigns

2012 State Senate bid

In 2012, Ulrich ran for New York State Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo in Senate District 15. While the Queens Republican Party endorsed Juan D. Reyes who ran against him in the primary, Ulrich prevailed nonetheless.[22][23] During the campaign, Ulrich criticized Sen. Addabbo, who publicly said there was "an understanding" that Resorts World Casino in Queens would hire 70-80% locally from Queens. The Daily News found that 61% of the "top tier" positions were held by employees residing in Queens County.[24] On Election Day, Ulrich was defeated by Addabbo.[25]

Potential run for Mayor of New York City

Media speculated that Ulrich was a potential challenger to Bill De Blasio in the 2017 mayoral race, after his 2013 press conference on an unplowed street in Queens, criticizing the newly elected mayor for his handling of the heavy snowfall. Ulrich launched an exploratory committee on May 12, 2016, but did not ultimately run.[26][27][28]

Comments on 2016 presidential campaign

Ulrich endorsed John Kasich over Trump during his presidential run in 2016. When Trump became the presumptive nominee, Ulrich said he disliked Trump's offensive comments and speeches, but said he may vote for him should he "come around by [Election Day]".[29]

2019 New York City Public Advocate special election

Ulrich ran in the 2019 New York City Public Advocate special election. As the election was nonpartisan, Ulrich ran on the line titled Common Sense. Some of his endorsements included the Bronx GOP, Brooklyn GOP, Manhattan GOP, Queens GOP, and Staten Island GOP, as well as the New York Daily News, which, on February 20, 2019, wrote "Ulrich stands apart on a key issue of the day: He welcomed Amazon coming to Long Island City as the rest of the field was tripping over itself to denounce the deal."[30] In addition to supporting Amazon coming to New York City, Ulrich is the only candidate to have opposed Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to close Riker's Island and build community jails. In a debate that aired on NY1 in early February, Ulrich vowed to be Mayor de Blasio's "worst nightmare" if elected as Public Advocate.

In February 2019, New York Post contributor John Podhoretz wrote a column entitled "A Republican with a real chance to win an NYC-wide office," [31] which was featured in the New York Post. Podhoretz's column cites private polling - not commissioned by Ulrich or any of the campaigns - “that suggests Ulrich has a real shot at winning” the special election, leading with 22 percent.[32]

Election history

Election history
Location Year Election Results
NYC Council
District 32
2009 Special √ Eric Ulrich (R) 44.72%
Lew Simon (D) 32.20%
Geraldine Chapey (D) 11.59%
Mike Ricatto (R) 9.19%
NYC Council
District 32
2009 General √ Eric Ulrich (R) 58.74%
Frank Gulluscio (D) 41.26%
NY Senate
District 15
2012 General Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D) 57.57%
Eric Ulrich (R) 42.36%
NYC Council
District 32
2013 General √ Eric Ulrich (R) 53.56%
Lew Simon (D) 46.37%
NYC Council
District 32
2017 General √ Eric Ulrich (R) 65.8%
Mike Scala 34.2% (D)
NYC Public Advocate 2019 Special Jumaane Williams (D) 33.2%

Eric Ulrich (R) 19.1%

Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) 11.0%

References

  1. ^ "Republican Eric Ulrich mulls 2017 mayoral run against de Blasio". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Queens pol blasts de Blasio over 'broken' Build It Back program". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Lauinger, John (February 26, 2009). "New blood in 32nd District: 24-year-old GOP upstart grabs special election seat". New York Daily News.
  4. ^ Jonathan P. Hicks (October 13, 1997). "Queens Council Incumbent, Once Critic, Is Now Criticized". New York Times.
  5. ^ NY1 News (November 4, 2009). "NY1 Election results". NY1. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Campanile, Carl (November 6, 2013). "Councilman weathers Catsimatidis attacks to win re-election". New York Post. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Martinez, Gina (November 9, 2017). "Ulrich re-elected to third term with convincing win over Scala". Times Ledger. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "Rival Candidates in State Senate Race Say They Won't Toe Party Lines". Gothamgazette.com:8080. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  10. ^ "Breaking Ranks, Eric Ulrich Endorses Minimum Wage Hike". May 22, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Mayor Eric Ulrich? He might go for it". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  12. ^ "NYC Council speaker-wannabe suddenly embraces Pledge". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  13. ^ "Before her speaker run, a councilwoman starts saying the pledge". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  14. ^ Kristen Meriwether. "City Council Expands Funding Of Veterans Services". Gotham Gazette: The Place for New York Policy and Politics. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Different Boroughs, Different Library Systems". New York Times. December 17, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  16. ^ "Council Members Pushing for Department of Investigation to Monitor Sandy Recovery". June 30, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  17. ^ "District 32 - Council Member - Republican". nyc.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "New Speaker Gives Her Allies Plum Posts". The New York Times. January 23, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  19. ^ "Ulrich wants Trump's name off Pavilion". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  20. ^ "Remove Donald Trump's name from Jamaica Hospital Pavilion: Ulrich". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  21. ^ Edelman, Susan (April 4, 2020). "NYC pols urge de Blasio to oust health commissioner over coronavirus response". New York Post. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "Ulrich proud to buck party - Queens Campaigner". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  23. ^ Frantz, Karen (September 14, 2012). "Ulrich defeats Reyes in GOP primary after campaign turns negative". Times Ledger. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  24. ^ "Aqueduct racino's hiring practices for management". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  25. ^ Frantz, Karen (November 7, 2012). "Addabbo defeats Ulrich in key state Senate race". Times Ledger. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Sen.: My focus is re-election". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  27. ^ "First steps toward a possible mayoral run". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  28. ^ Campanile, Carl (February 2, 2016). "GOPers think this 30-year-old councilman can unseat de Blasio". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  29. ^ "Donald Trump - New York True". Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  30. ^ Daily News Editorial Board. "For a real election: To set the stage for a legitimate contest to be the next public advocate, voters should choose Eric Ulrich". nydailynews.com. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  31. ^ Podhoretz, John (February 14, 2019). "A Republican with a real chance to win an NYC-wide office". Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  32. ^ "Can a Republican Win a Citywide Race in N.Y.? Maybe, With Amazon's Help". New York Times. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Addabbo, Jr.
Member of the New York City Council
from the 32nd district

2009–present
Incumbent