Members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, long relegated to the sidelines of local politics, are increasingly filling the void left by the declining influence of political party apparatchiks.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brooklyn, home to Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio and his GOP rival Joe Lhota, as well as public advocate runoff contenders Letitia James and Daniel Squadron. The latest trend from the borough of hipsters, Hasidim and Caribbean homelands is the toppling of incumbents with the help of U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nydia Velázquez.
Standing under a canopy of umbrellas as rain crashed down around them, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries formally endorsed Bill Thompson this afternoon–further helping to solidify institutional black support behind Mr. Thompson’s quest to become the city’s next mayor.
The Fort Greene press conference was billed as an opportunity for Mr. Jeffires to endorse the former city comptroller’s educational agenda, but instead focused on the issue of the day: stop-and-frisk.
Mr. Thompson opposes two high-profile police reform bills that are being pushed through today by the City Council. While Mr. Jeffries said he supports the bills, he argued Mr. Thompson had taken the right stance, given his role.
All the local scrutiny of the city’s Housing Authoirty this summer has caught Washington’s attention, as well, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is reviewing the public housing agency’s books to make sure everything is in order, according to a spokesman.
The review began earlier this month, HUD public affairs officer Jerrod Brown said, and was prompted by reports in the Daily News of mismanaged funds. Mr. Brown stressed that the review was still in its earlier stages and was not a condemnation or confirmation any wrongdoing of NYCHA. Instead, the review is a matter of practice.
If you were wandering down Fulton Street between Washington Avenue and St. James Place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill starving and with $3.50 to spend, you might stroll into trendy taqueria Cochinita and exchange it for a pork shoulder taco heaping with pickled onions. A couple of doors down, for the same price, Brooklyn Victory Garden would sell you a bagel slathered with “faux gras” (or, walnut lentil pâté—not that you didn’t know). Where you could not spend that small wad of dollars is the vacant storefront of Joloff, a shuttered Senegalese restaurant that, after 17 years in this location, has recently been nudged out and relocated deep in Bed Stuy.
Also nestled in this block of Fulton is the small campaign headquarters for Democratic congressional hopeful Hakeem Jeffries. On a visit last Sunday, The Observer found an array of frantic, fresh-faced college and high school students, typing away on brought-from-home MacBooks, noshing on tacos from the aforementioned Cochinita, and phone banking furiously. It is an odd (or perhaps perfectly fitting) place for an ideological battle to land: in a neighborhood newly defined by hastening gentrification, the race that has emerged is between an old-guard, ultra-left black Brooklyn politician and a young moderate, modern coalition-builder who has fairly painlessly raised $700,000.
The sun is shining, the garbage is blossoming and the rats and the blue-shirted Greenpeace lobbyists–both of which seem to gravitate toward the Chipotle on the corner of 44th and Ninth, near The Observer building–are becoming more visible and robust. It must be spring, which seems to have finally arrived in New York only Read More
Brooklyn's Back Bench
The emcee invoked Matthew 16:24. “Jesus said to his followers if anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to the things he wants. He must be willing to even die on the cross and he must follow me.”
Hundreds of parishioners had gathered in the basement of the 96-year-old Brown Memorial Church in Read More
A coalition of lawmakers and child advocates will announce tomorrow that they will appeal a lower court’s decision to decline to deny schools chancellor Cathie Black a waiver that she needed to assume control of the city’s schools.
Since Black was nominated for the position of chancellor by Mayor Michael Bloomberg three months ago, she Read More
State assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries joined 12 other public school parents in filing a lawsuit against the city’s new schools chancellor, Cathie Black.
The suit focuses on the fact that the appointment of a deputy to qualify for some of the waiver requirements is simply a way that education commissioner David Steiner was able to get Read More
When Michael Bloomberg pushed to extend term limits, he got a lot of resistance. Among the those critical of the move were some state lawmakers.
But now, the governor is calling for term limits to be enacted in Albany. Will those state lawmakers who tried to protect term limits in the city Read More
ALBANY—David Paterson is effectively daring the State Senate not to convene next week for a special session to address a mid-year budget deficit.
“The state senate had better show up to the special session, and I haven’t any indication that they’ve said they’re not coming,” Paterson told Brian Lehrer on WNYC. “I Read More