How many black elected officials from Brooklyn were at the rally for Barack Obama on the City Hall steps this afternoon?
Enough that State Senator Bill Perkins of Harlem muttered to himself at the podium, “Oh man, we’re going to have to mix this up a bit.” He then introduced state Senator Eric Adams–who’s from Brooklyn.
The issue of diversity was on the minds of some rally organizers, like the president of the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association Norman Seabrook. He pointed to two white women at the rally and told another organizer, “I want these two women right behind the podium.” They later got bumped aside for those who were speaking.
Elected officials who spoke included City Councilman Al Vann, Assembly Members Karim Camara and Hakeem Jeffries, State Senator John Sampson and former Congressman Major Owens. All from Brooklyn.
Former Manhattan City Councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge also spoke. Referring to the Democratic primary field she said, “mostly the candidates are all the same. And experience doesn’t count that much because after all, we had Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and they had killed, they had 78,000 young men killed in Vietnam. What does count is the spirit and ability to inspire people.”
Organizers also brough Ashley Craig to the podium. The 42-year-old stay-at-home mother of three from Westchester left the Republican Party to support Obama.
She told me after the rally, “He [Obama] works very nicely for them [Republicans].” She went on to say, “Republicans may not agree with him as much as they don’t want to lose to Hillary Clinton, but at the same time, they realize they need to readjust their message.”
During my chat with Craig, Seabrook grabbed her to make sure she was interviewed by NY1.