Helen Qiu Seeks to Unseat Chris Marte in City Council District 1 Race

Early voting starts Oct. 28. Election Day is Nov. 1. Helen Qiu, a community activist is making her first foray seeking elected office in a race against incumbent Democratic candidate Christopher Marte in Manhattan’s District 1. She says she does not support vaccine mandates and supports religious and medical exemptions.

| 23 Oct 2023 | 01:15

1) Age, how long in the district and which neighborhood and civic/business and or/political background and employment.

My name is Helen Qiu, pronounced “Q”, as “Q” in the James Bond series. I’m 53, a legal immigrant and a naturalized citizen. I came to New York in 2008 as a Masters and later a PhD student at Columbia University. 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.

After graduating from Columbia I established the Mamre Christian Church, an online gathering congregation which helped many community organizations, families and youth during times of family or personal crisis, and in need of guidance.

As Vice President of the Community Education Council (2021-2023), I was effective in curbing and eventually ended the wasteful spending of $200 million in the Department of Education’s now infamous “Mosaic Curriculum Project.” As a community advocate, I successfully reversed a Community Board preliminary decision to convert a NYCHA community garden into a parking lot. As the sole mediator, I settled a five-year lawsuit between two prominent community groups outside of the courtroom.

I became involved politically in my district in January last year when Chinatown was set to build ten homeless shelters within a one mile radius. I teach as an adjunct professor at Manhattan College in the Bronx.

2) Why are you running?

I was moved to run when my district was in crisis with the building of excessive homeless shelters. New York is in a crime crisis, migrant crisis, fiscal crisis and a decline of quality of life. I believe I am uniquely equipped to provide my district and all New York with practical and effective solutions. My opponent is a member of the Progressive Caucus in the same group with AOC, Omar, Tlaib in the Congress and Tiffany Caban in the City Council. We must end Progressive Caucus damage to our city.

3) What do you see as the major issues facing voters in your district and what do you hope to do about it?

Crime is clearly the top issue. Men, women, the elderly and youth don’t feel safe riding the subway. Felony offenses are degraded to misdemeanors, and dangerous criminals are released onto the streets because of cashless bail. I will support law enforcement and when elected will lobby to end cashless bail. I will be tough on crime, especially subway crimes. Quality of life has dropped for our citizens: CVS had to lock up their products; streets smell of marijuana on school corners and playgrounds. I will end Progressive Caucus damage to our city and strengthen Common Sense Caucus solutions.

4) Are you running on any other party line aside from the Republican line?

Yes, I am running on Common Sense Party, Republican Party, Conservative Party and Art and Culture party.

5) What is your view on COVID vaccines? And what about other vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, et al. Do you think vaccines are medically safe? And should they be required for children in NYC Schools?

I do not support COVID vaccine mandates, and I support both medical and religious exemptions. All vaccines should be “recommended only.” Why? Current COVID vaccines are not sufficiently tested compared to MMR and chicken pox. The COVID vaccine’s medical effectiveness is heatedly contested and dangerous side effects have raised significant concerns among doctors. No, COVID vaccines should not be mandated by city government.

When I was VP of Community Education Council, I successfully lobbied the Department of Education and the Mayor’s Office to green-light 250,000 unvaccinated children and youth to attend their end of year graduation celebration in 2022. Schools have a duty to protect children from being discriminated against because of their vaccine decisions, and I am your trusted City Council to always put your children first!

6) Anything else we should know about you?

I have a 12-year-old son, David. We have five parakeets named Avocado, Anzler Monet, Lemon, Blueberry, and Albino. All are welcome to meet me, my son, and our birds on the campaign trial.