Constantinides was hospitalized during budget vote
The New York City Council passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget on Tuesday night, which included less than $1 billion in reallocations from the NYPD budget.
The final tally was 37 members for and 12 members against the budget. However, the City Council has 51 members. What happened to the other two?
District 37, which includes Bushwick, Cypress Hills and East New York, was previously represented by Rafael Espinal, who resigned earlier this year for a job leading the Freelancers Union. The seat has remained vacant.
The other “missing” vote was from District 22, represented by Councilman Costa Constantinides. On Wednesday morning, Constantinides put out a statement explaining his absence.
“Last night I was once again forced to go to the hospital with complications from COVID-19,” he said. “This hasn’t been the first time since I contracted the virus in late March.
“You don’t know how frustrating this has been, as I want to fully focus on my job,” he added. “But breathing is at times difficult, especially as the weather gets hotter.”
Constantinides previously explained his fight against COVID-19 on a call with friends and supporters in May. The virus struck not just him, but his wife Lori as well.
The Astoria councilman struggled with COVID-19 while in a competitive race for Queens borough president as well. As of primary night last week, Constantinides placed third with roughly 15 percent of the vote, though absentee ballots still have to be counted.
Constantinides said this was the first time he ever missed a budget vote.
“While I was not able to make a stand last night, I am committed to using whatever time I have left in the Council to fight for a scaled-down police department,” he said.
We wish Councilman Constantinides well in his recovery from COVID-19.