Deriding vaccine mandates and questioning the safety of 5G wireless and the true origins of inflation in America, Republican Elizabeth Golluscio, who espouses multiple conspiracy theories, is jumping into local politics in a bid to represent the Upper East Side in City Council and seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Julie Menin.
“I am an independent thinker,” Golluscio, 50, told Upper East Site in a recent interview at a neighborhood cafe. “Nobody owns me,” explained the former tech executive, who believes her skills in leadership and budgeting will make her an asset in improving the neighborhood’s quality of life.
“I’m shocked to see how many people I see sleeping on the streets in our neighborhood,” she said, calling homelessness and crime the biggest issues on the Upper East Side. “We’re very blessed, we live in probably one of the richest zip codes in the country, yet there’s a guy in a tent now in front of the empty restaurant at the corner of Third [Avenue] and 90th [Street].”
She also decried “open air drug use” — which she says includes both marijuana and possibly heroin — public masturbation and shoplifting as crimes often committed by the homeless. Alluding to the state’s controversial bail reforms, she said, “it’s a vicious cycle, criminals see that they can get away with things and then there’s more crime.”
“In some ways, I just feel like it’s like an open crime scene in New York City right now,” the candidate explained, contradicting NYPD data which shows crime on the Upper East Side is down just under 4%.
Smoke shops selling cannabis without a license, approximately 1,500 of which have popped up across the city, present another problem for Golluscio. While she wants them gone — and is surprised that state legislators didn’t predict the influx of unlicensed shops — she doesn’t have a solution.
“I don’t know what we can do at a local level,” Golluscio said, adding, “I just don’t know [if it’s] feasible to make a local law to ensure that the illegal shops have a license.”
A new bill being introduced Thursday by UES District 4 Council Member Keith Powers would do just that, under NYC’s long-standing nuisance abatement laws.
Golluscio is also committed to regulating e-bikes and mopeds that, as Upper East Site has previously reported, often flout traffic law and injure pedestrians with little accountability. She supports a bill, currently in committee, that would require all motorized vehicles to be registered with a license plate.
Concerned about the migrant crisis currently gripping the city, the District 5 hopeful supports Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to scrap the city’s Right to Shelter policy.
She is especially troubled by the fact that many of the migrants — numbering over 116,000 since last spring, according to the mayor’s office — are not immediately authorized to work in the U.S.
“It’s like if somebody would come into your house uninvited, and then not only not take off their shoes, if that’s your [house rule], but also start rummaging through your refrigerator.”
After referring to the migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers, as unwanted guests, she continued, “I don’t think it’s honorable for people to come here and expect us to clothe and house and feed them.”
Another issue she’s worried about is the implementation of 5G towers, one of which now sits on East 90th Street, as Upper East Site reported last year.
“I think very very few people understand that 5G, you know, five-millimeter frequency has an effect on human DNA,” Golluscio said, without providing specific evidence to support her claim. “I think these huge towers that are going in could have potential side effects for people living close to them,” she said.
“I myself do feel the effects if I sit next to a router,” the candidate told Upper East Site. “Me personally, I would get, like, swelling in my ankles.”
If elected, Golluscio would propose halting the installation of 5G towers until a comprehensive analysis of their safety could be conducted. As of now, the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates communication technology, deems 5G towers safe.
Moving to the topic of Covid-19 and the prior the vaccine mandate in New York City, she asked, “Who is [Mayor] Eric Adams to tell me what medicine to take?” Golluscio would not confirm to Upper East Site whether she had received the Covid-19 vaccine, calling it a “weird” question.
“It’s shocking for me to think about what happened in New York City, for people not to be let into a restaurant because they didn’t want to be a Pfizer client, or a Moderna client,” she fumed, calling vaccine cards a “dystopia,” and mask mandates for schoolchildren “a fear tactic.”
She also questioned the money made by pharmaceutical companies during the pandemic, identifying them as part of a broad conspiracy leading to the rampant inflation in America that followed.
“We’ve just lived through the largest transfer of wealth in the history of humans on Earth,” she said, pushing back on the notion that Americans received Covid-19 vaccines for free.
“When you say it’s free, Nora, it means basically the government printed trillions of dollars, which is why we have the inflation rate that we have now.”
Most economists believe that federal spending during the pandemic led in part to the inflation that followed, which has declined significantly in the last year and a half.
“I think we could use more people in City Council who are asking hard questions,” Golluscio said of her candidacy. “I’ve certainly been asking a lot of inconvenient questions over the last couple of years on a lot of things.”
The City Council election will take place this November 7th, with early voting from October 28th to November 5th. To find your polling place, visit New York City’s Board of Elections website.