The 'Grassroots' Campaign of Inez Barron

Inez Barron, wife of outspoken City Councilman Charles Barron, just kicked off her campaign for State Assembly, and, while vowing to be an independent voice for change, hasn’t ruled out seeking the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“No I have not been in touch with Shelly Silver — our campaign is a grassroots campaign,” she said.

When asked if that meant not seeking Silver’s support, Inez replied, “I didn’t say that.” So, would she? “I might.”

I asked Barron about her thoughts on how Silver and the Assembly Democrats dealt with congestion pricing, she said, “My understanding is that their priority was the budget,” and “everything else was taking second place to that. And that is why they did not consent.”

When asked about whether she would follow her husband and seek to honor controversial civil rights activist Sonny Carson, a move that led to a loud, racially tinged fight in the Council last year, she said, “We are self-determining people and we will decide who our heroes are,” she said, “and we will not be limited by external forces.”

Also attending the rally, along with was State Senator Bill Perkins, and Charles Barron’s former chief of staff Viola Plummer (who was fired by the Council after her remarks about the Carson street renaming). Plummer called Inez Barron “one of the strongest, most dedicated black women in this city.”

Also spotted at the event: MTV star turned hip-hop writer turned congressional candidate Kevin Powell.

UPDATE: Silver’s campaign spokesman referred my inquiries to Silver’s legislative spokesman, Dan Weiller, who declined to comment.

The 'Grassroots' Campaign of Inez Barron