Yetta Kurland Kicks off Campaign With Quirky Press Conference

The scene from today's press conference.

The scene from today’s press conference.

Yetta Kurland, a progressive activist, attorney and radio show host, is giving the City Council another try.

“I live in New York City because I believe it is the greatest city in the world. But over the past twenty years, I’ve watched the city lose too much of its soul,” said Ms. Kurland who last ran for the seat currently occupied by Christine Quinn in 2009. “We’re heading towards becoming a place where only the richest can afford to live and where our public resources are being converted into private profit.”

In her last effort, Ms. Kurland performed decently against Ms. Quinn in spite of the incumbent’s stature as the Council’s speaker. However, with the term-limited Ms. Quinn expected to run for mayor and progressives attacking her for showing insufficient support for legislation like the paid sick days bill, Ms. Kurland avoided criticizing her former rival.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity to look forward,” Ms. Kurland told Politicker when we asked her to assess Ms. Quinn’s performance.

In addition to stressing her liberal credentials, Ms. Kurland also showed this campaign will be a relatively unique one. She gave her address standing sideways, for example. Afterwards, as others took their turns at the podium, she joined her crowd of supporters several rows back.

And, like her main rival for Ms. Quinn’s seat, local community board chair Corey Johnson, Ms. Kurland unveiled a long list of supporters. In addition to her standard endorsements, Ms. Kurland rolled out one that came in the form of a poem from “Pamela L. La Bonne, West Village Resident:”

“Yetta Kurland is:
A very modern woman
Who will fight for us:
We who need health care
in a Trauma One ER,
Help when a storm hits
Civil Rights upheld
When underdogs are threatened.
She will not be bought!
Things will be Betta with Yetta!
She’s a powerful speaker
We need more of her.”

Clearly, the race to replace Ms. Quinn will be anything but ordinary.