Kirsten John Foy, the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, has left that post in what several sources said was in anticipation for an upcoming campaign for term-limited Councilman Al Vann’s seat in 2013.
Mr. Foy rose to political prominence after his seemingly unwarranted arrest — along with Councilman Jumaane Williams — during the West Indian Day parade last year. Using that experience as an amplifier, he’s become a voice for reforming NYPD policies, especially stop-and-frisk, giving televised interviews and attending rallies on the topic, which the former aide to Rev. Al Sharpton has been active in for more than a decade.
He has been openly speculating about running for Mr. Vann’s seat for some time, but has declined to give definite answers as to his intentions, making this is the clearest sign yet of his political ambitions, as Mr. de Blasio doesn’t let his aides openly campaign for office. Mark Murphy and Reshma Saujani, campaigning for Congress and public advocate respectively, both left Mr. de Blasio’s office earlier this year for that very reason.
But in an interview last night, Mr. Foy told The Politicker he’s completely focused on his new job: advising the Amalgamated Transit Union in their bus driver contract negotiations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.
“I’m excited,” he said. “Once again, we see another example where working families are under attack. Now we have another potential obstruction of an entire profession with the new contract coming out of the mayor’s office.”
“My head right now is purely focused on protecting this industry and making sure these professional jobs are not destroyed by this random and arbitrary contract proposal,” he said when we asked for an update on the status of his potential 2013 campaign. “I really care about these workers, who have dedicated their lives to our children, our safety and giving reliable rides to school.”
The field for Mr. Vann’s district is far from settled, but District Leader Robert Cornegy Jr., who ran for the Bed-Stuy-based district in 2009, is thought to be interested. Pastor Robert Waterman also has a 2013 account registered for a run and has been raising money, but has been relatively quiet on the publicity front. Mark Winson Griffith, who ran a strong campaign for the seat himself in 2009, withdrew his candidacy a couple months ago.
Regardless, with Mr. Vann’s storied legacy in Bed-Stuy politics, his replacement will have big shoes to fill.