On Thursday April 11th, an enthusiastic standing room only crowd met in St. John’s Church on Christopher Street for the first endorsement meeting of the Village Independent Democrats (VID). Two of the results were considered by many to be upsets related to community based issues.
The first endorsement was for City Council District 1 and pitted incumbent Margaret Chin against Democratic District leader Jenifer Rajkumar. Councilmember Chin defended her record indicating that her vote for the NYU expansion plan was a compromise solution and the best that could be obtained under the circumstances. She also listed other work she had done to acquire affordable housing in the district, including a significant amount in the new Seward Park development, which has sat vacant for over 40 years. Ms. Rajkumar outlined her adamant opposition to the NYU plan and her activism relating to other large development projects, including new proposals for the South Street Seaport. Ms. Rajkumar received the endorsement of the club.
For City Council District 3, which includes the West Village, a three way race included Yetta Kurland, Corey Johnson, and Alexander Meadow. Ms. Kurland stressed her well known work on pushing for a hospital to replace the closed St. Vincent’s, along with other progressive political organizing. Mr. Johnson stressed his leadership of Community Board 4, which extends from 14th Street northward and his positions on various community issues. Mr. Meadow, the corresponding secretary and executive board member of the VID, discussed his experience in the private sector, including healthcare, and how it would help him address community issues, including a replacement hospital. When no one candidate received the required amount of votes, a run off was held between Ms. Kurland and Mr. Johnson, which he won to become the endorsed candidate of the club.
In other races, incumbent Rosie Mendez was endorsed in her run for City Council District 2, which is mostly on the East side of Manhattan, over community organizer Richard Del Rio. Cyrus Vance Jr. and Scott Stringer were both endorsed for their unopposed (so far) runs for Manhattan District Attorney and Comptroller, respectively. Upcoming forums and meetings for further endorsements are listed on the VID website: Villagedemocrats.org.
Alec is a VID member and on the Executive Committee.