New York, NY – On Wednesday, August 23rd, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) and the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) endorsed political newcomer Kamillah Hanks, who is running against current Council Member Debi Rose, for Staten Island’s 49th district in the City Council,. The endorsement was announced at FDNY Engine 158 in Mariners Harbor, Staten Island. On hand was UFA President Gerard Fitzgerald, UFOA President Jake LaMonda, FDNY UFOA Captain George Farinacci, other officials from the organizations, and Ms. Hanks. The 49th district covers the neighborhoods of Arlington, Clifton, Clove Lakes, Concord, Elm Park, Graniteville, Livingston, Mariners Harbor, New Brighton, Port Richmond, Randall Manor, Rosebank, St. George, Snug Harbor, Silver Lake, Stapleton, Sunnyside, West Brighton and Tompkinsville.
Hanks, who is the president and founder of the Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership, and a native of the North Shore in Staten Island, is a self-described “community advocate and activist” who says that she believes the next four years will determine the next forty years, and that her background in neighborhood and economic development and working “on the ground” with small businesses and residents gives her “a unique skill set” to advance residents’ concerns. Specific to the FDNY’s needs, she says, “When it comes to standing up for the men and women who give their lives to protecting New Yorkers, UFA can count on me. It is an honor to be receiving their endorsement, and I thank all UFA members who are putting their trust in me to defend their benefits, fight for good pay, and provide the necessary equipment so they can effectively do their jobs. I pledge to be a fervent advocate for increasing FDNY funding and opposing any firehouse closures. I’m excited to get to work on their behalf!”
“When it comes to protecting the health, safety, and rights of firefighters in Staten Island and throughout the city, we are confident Kamillah will have our backs in City Hall so that we can continue protecting New Yorkers,” said UFA President Gerard Fitzgerald. “She has pledged to work on behalf of our members when it comes to protecting firehouses, advocating to maintain full funding for the FDNY, and ensuring that firefighters have the best equipment to better protect our citizens. We look forward to seeing the tangible results she brings to her district and the city as a whole.”
UFOA President Jake LaMonda said, “The UFOA is proud to endorse Kamillah Hanks for Staten Island’s 49th district in the City Council. Kamillah has been committed to issues that impact her community and understands the fire service is among those core services that the community depends on, when it comes to the welfare of her constituents. We are confident that Kamillah understands the importance of the fire service and will make it a top priority.”
FDNY UFOA Captain George Farinacci said, “She’s been committed to all the issues in the community, and understands and appreciates the fire service. We believe she is the right person for the job.” Asked what he hoped for from Hanks, he said, “We hope she gives a little more attention to fire protection in her area and Staten Island as a whole. Staten Island is not equipped like the rest of the city is. We could use more FDNY units to cover the growing population.”