VOTE AS IF YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT! If you are a registered Democrat in New York it is important to vote in the Democratic primary on September 13, 2018. I also know that most people in the City ignore the primaries. I know from personal experience. When I replaced Arthur Schwartz who was running against Assembly person Deborah Glick, who had been in office for 25 years, I saw that of the 45,000 registered Democrats, only 4,500 actually voted. I received over 1,000 votes after only four weeks of campaigning. My opponent heckled me that she had whipped my butt. But did she? The reality was that Glick, the chief enforcer of convicted Speaker Sheldon Silver’s rule, and her lack luster record of achievement, had only been able to get a little over 3,000 votes. Yes, she was an outspoken women’s health issues legislative advocate years ago. Her record shows her to be a single issue candidate. When hospitals were being closed and a dangerous frack gas pipeline was entering Greenwich Village just below 14th Street, she did nothing. The media wondered how she avoided prison for the role she played in the corruption-ridden Albany. She refused to debate and defend her record. This is machine politics at its worst. I learned an important lesson.
Both the Governor’s and the Attorney General’s race are good examples of where an informed public can make real change if they vote.
Don’t be fooled by Cuomo campaign spin and his so called “progressive” politics. He is a political bully who strong arms others into silence out of fear of speaking up and challenging him. Cuomo is old school and will punish anyone who dares to pull the covers back and expose the real Cuomo. Andy wraps a mirrored suit around himself so no one can see inside.
Yes, he supported same sex civil marriage. But all he had to do was put his finger up to feel which way the wind was blowing on that issue. Yes, he moved towards medical marijuana, again following other states, not leading.
Healthcare: Cuomo has done nothing to challenge hospitals like Mt. Sinai or NYU Langone, who refuse, as policy, to take Medicaid upfront. Oh, they dance around the issue and say it is up to the doctors, but no, it is both. The hospital’s actual policy is to not bill Medicaid directly except at their overcrowded clinics housed on Union Square. They do not in their swank new buildings housing doctor’s practices. What these private hospitals, who receive large support from both State and Federal funding are doing, in fact, is creating two standards of healthcare—one for the expensively insuranced and one for the poor. What has Andy done about this terrible situation? Nothing! He has been too busy patting himself on the back for his healthcare plan. His oversight on the closing hospitals over the last 10 years and their replacement with pseudo-emergency storefronts and healthplexes show his true concern.
Climate Control and environment: Yes, he finally, after upstate and downstate climate change activists united on a call against frack gas drilling in New York, gave in and supported it. But what most people do not know is tricky—Andy wants it both ways. Bet you didn’t know that frack gas can be transported across the state when it’s drilled outside the state. It is transported by pipelines overland like the pipeline that enters Greenwich Village. You can also see the Brooklyn shoreline, the ships and barges docking in the ocean and transferring fracked gas to be exported to foreign countries.
Corruption: he actually has done NOTHING to clean up the corruption in the State Legislature and in his own Administration. In fact, he actually opposed bills to clean up the sludge. He used the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) to make himself look good knowing the liberal rhetoric he likes to spout downstate would never get the bills passed in a Republican controlled Senate. He supported the IDC, those fake Democrats who voted with Republicans.
I am glad he supports a woman’s right to choose. But he refused to invite Senate Minority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a black woman who had earned the support of her fellow Democratic Senators. Instead Cuomo invited Jeff Klein, IDC chair to the the table to discuss the state budget.
There are many other issues where Cuomo rhetoric does not match his actions. For example, his refusal to support access to solar power for renters in the state means that more than 50% of the residents of New York are not entitled to cleaner and cheaper electricity.
I am going to vote for Cynthia Nixon. Do I think she has the experience to sweep clean Albany and stand up to Schumer’s pals on Wall Street? I did not when DeBlasio pushed the award winning actress forward. I actually thought he had made a secret deal with Cuomo to get some movement on issues affecting the City by passing over more qualified candidates, both men and women, who were looking for his support. But I have been impressed by Nixon’s passion and ability to speak to the issues that matter to me and many New Yorkers. So I am casting my vote in opposition to Cuomo with the hope Nixon can pull the rabbit out of the hat. Who knows what will actually happen when voters mark their ballots in private?
The Attorney General race is the most interesting race in the state. When his alleged sexual abuse of women forced Eric Schneiderman to resign, he was investigating Trump for his business practices and taxes. Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood picked up and continues to investigate, but she is not running for election. So whoever is elected will take on not only State issues of corruption but also national ones—Michael Cohen is an example.
1: Leecia Eve was a Vice President and lobbied for Verizon (ugh!) and fought against Net Neutrality, served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (ugh, an agency seeming above the law). She worked for Cuomo and both Clinton and Biden when they were U.S. Senators. Sorry, but I am not voting for a Verizon lobbyist. Quite frankly her resumé, as good as it is, tells me she cannot be my choice. We need fresh blood and independence in the role of Attorney General.
2: Letitia James is a second term New York City Public Advocate. She has made herself visible to the public and has not been afraid to attend public demonstrations against police brutality, stood with the #metoo movement and supports the end to gun violence. But she too carries the albatross of the Democratic Machine endorsement of her. It is my opinion that the Democratic Machine in New York City and State is part of the problem of corruption in Albany and it needs to be replaced by authentic progressives with fresh faces and ideas. Cuomo supports James—I hope she learns that next time her independence is what will make people vote for her. I don’t count her out but I think she is not the right candidate for this job. This was a tough one for me at first until I saw who else was in the race!
3: Sean Patrick Maloney was elected to Congress from a district that traditionally was Republican. He is almost a poster child for the Human Rights Campaign with his public embrace of his husband and their two children. But his voting record in Congress does deserve some explanation. Maloney belongs in Congress at this critical time in American politics. Maybe he wants to be closer to his family as they grow up… but that quite frankly does not sway my choice.
4: Zephyr Teachout is a law professor at Fordham. Her priorities are opposing the Trump administration, confronting corruption in state government, investigating financial fraud by corporations, and advocating against increased levels of incarceration. Teachout worked with Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington to file lawsuits against the Trump administration related to alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. After the 2008 financial crisis, she formed the group A New Way Forward to advocate for increased financial regulations.
What we need right now is an independent voice in this critical time, not encumbered by associations with power machines or corporations. Teachout practices what she says. She is the only candidate who has not accepted campaign contributions from corporations or the real estate industry. Trump hates her. She has been subjected to his tweet attacks. Zephyr Teachout has my vote. Not convinced? Read her book, which is a history of anti-corruption laws in the United States: Corruption In America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United.
UPDATE ON GREEN HAVEN SENIOR HOUSING AND PUBLIC GARDEN
While the Rich Moms of Soho are conspiring to stop the Green Haven Senior Housing and Public Garden and protect their “mini-Versailles ” garden squatting month-to-month on PUBLIC land, Habitat for Humanity is moving forward and has invited the community to participate in two public participatory meetings to have input in what they would like to have in the public garden at Green Haven on Elizabeth St.
This public meeting is Sept. 5 and 15th at 273 Bowery from 6-8 pm. All are welcome.
The focus will be on the future of 8,600 square feet of publicly accessible open space on this site, creating a design rooted in community input. The meeting will feature design exercises that are easy and fun, and your input will directly influence the future of the site. Please come share your thoughts, ideas and perspective and help shape your neighborhood!
In addition to the public design meetings, Habitat hopes that community members will take their online design survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HavenGreenSurvey. This anonymous survey asks for your feedback on a wide range of questions, from when the space will be open, how the space will feel, and the kinds of activities the open space should support.
227 Waverly Place 6c, NY NY 10014