It seems only Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio out of all the mayoral candidates of both parties care about public safety. At least that was the message sent to an audience of a few hundred people in Morningside Heights' Riverside Church. This event was sponsored by Communities United for Police Reform and the Amsterdam News and drew bus loads of people from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx as well as locals. So it seems a particularly bad forum to blow off. And yet only John Liu and Bill de Blasio showed up. This almost certainly got both their campaigns something of a boost with the audience since you can't really convince people to vote for you at a forum if you don't show up.
Public safety is a big issue for all voters and there are widely differing views on the topic, particularly issues like stop-and-frisk. Riverside Church is a hugely symbolic and influential venue which has hosted speakers including Martin Luther King, jr., President Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan. And Amsterdam News is one of the oldest newspapers targeted to the black community in America and remains influential. It seems to be a particularly bad forum to blow off.
John Liu and Bill de Blasio were able to discuss public safety with each other and the audience for 45+ minutes. The Republican candidates basically admitted it wasn't their audience and they preferred focusing on Republican opponents and communities for the primaries (honest and reasonable, though re-enforces the Republican/black community divide). Sal Albanese blamed traffic (I like Sal, but a mayor has to be able to deal with NYC problems like traffic and still get the job done). Adolfo Carrion and Bill Thompson said they were too busy elsewhere to attend. And Christine Quinn, Erick Salgado and Joseph Lhota didn't even bother yet to give an excuse.
Meanwhile, also this week a Democratic club covering Morningside Heights, the Broadway Democrats, endorsed John Liu for mayor and Tish James for Public Advocate. The mayoral endorsement was particularly contentious with John Liu and Christine Quinn being the top two candidates. I wonder if more would have voted for Liu had this forum right in their neighborhood occurred before the vote.
John Liu's campaign Tweets that he has gotten the endorsement of the Village Independent Democrats tonight. That is the second progressive club in Manhattan that has endorsed John Liu this week (the first being Three Parks Independent Democrats.
Other endorsements so far from Village Independent Democrats:
City Council 1st District- Jenifer Rajkumar
City Council 2nd District- Rosie Mendez
City Council 3rd District- Corey Johnson
Manhattan District Attorney- Cyrus Vance, Jr.
New York City Comptroller- Scott Stringer
Village Independent Democrats describes themselves:
V.I.D. was founded in 1957 and is one of the oldest Reform Democratic Clubs in the City and the first one in the Village. It plays a significant role in shaping a progressive agenda for the Village, the City and the State
through helping to elect public and party officials who are committed to change, and by public testimony, lobbying, political action, and working with community groups and Community Boards...
Village Independent Democrats general membership meetings occur at 7:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Check our calendar and postings for location and agenda.
Three Parks Independent Democrats on the Upper West Side has started their endorsements. There are at least two candidates we agree on.
Mayor: John Liu
Public Advocate: Letitia James
Comptroller: Scott Stringer
Manhattan BP: Gale Brewer
Manhattan DA: Cyrus Vance
District Leaders: Bob Botfeld and Cynthia Doty
The Three Parks Independent Democrats describe themselves:
Three Parks Independent Democrats has been an active participant in Upper West Side politics for more than 35 years. The Club works to elect Democratic candidates who demonstrate ability, integrity, and progressive convictions and to maintain and improve the quality of life in our neighborhood and beyond.
Our major issues currently include fighting to ban fracking in New York State, close the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, and preserve and strengthen Social Security.
In addition, Three Parks supports a moratorium on charter school expansion in New York City and opposes the co-location of any charter schools within District 3. We also participate in the Sweatshop Free Campaign on behalf of low-wage workers in restaurants and other businesses.
Three Parks meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. at the Youth Hostel, 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue. If you are a registered Democrat and live or work on the Upper West Side, then you should join Three Parks Independent Democrats. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.
Upcoming event at the NYU School of Medicine:
Thursday, May 9, 2013
NYU Cancer Institute: Exposed: The Impact of Toxics on Our Health --- "In addition to exposure to toxic compounds in the environment, we're often unknowingly exposed to toxics that we consume. This program will explore exposure to toxics, how they impact our risk of cancer, and the research that our Institute has under way to address them." Dan Fagin Associate Professor NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Director, Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program Author, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation , Leonardo Trasande, MD Associate Professor Department of Population Health, Environmental Medicine and Pediatrics , George D. Thurston, ScD Professor Department of Environmental Medicine, 6:00 PM, NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life (238 Thompson Street at Washington Square South) Room 573 - Contact Rachael Rennich at 212-263-2266 or at NYUCIcommunityprograms@nyumc.org
Increasing evidence shows that our corporate dominated society exposes us to toxins on a daily basis. Fracking releases massive amounts of toxic chemicals that industry wants to keep secret despite the warnings of doctors and scientists. Recent studies show that all rice and rice products tested contain unexpectedly high levels of arsenic, almost certainly due to industrial pollution in soil and groundwater. Burning of coal (whether you call it "clean" or not) releases massive amounts of dangerous heavy metals (including arsenic!) which spreads into aquifers and agricultural land...as well as within our poorer neighborhoods where coal burning plants are often located.
Quite simply, corporations around the world are poisoning us. And Republican policies (often only weakly resisted by Democrats) ENCOURAGES such poisoning. The above event is not a political event but a biomedical discussion of the problem. Information is a key resource for anyone concerned about this issue and I recommend attending events like this not necessarily as a forum to express opinion so much as a source of information and a place to ask questions..
Biking infrastructure (one of the GOOD things Bloomberg has done), saving libraries (a hallmark of civilization for millennia that Republicans tend to hate) and a mayoral forum in Brooklyn from Park Slope Neighbors:
1) "Jane's Ride" – Bike to the Future: Brooklyn's Burgeoning Bicycle Infrastructure, Saturday, May 4th, 12 Noon
This Saturday, May 4th, at 12:00 noon, Park Slope Neighbors' Eric McClure and BrooklynSpoke's Doug Gordon will be leading a "Jane's Ride" of some of the new and planned bicycling infrastructure in and around Park Slope.
The ride is part of the Jane's Walk NYC program organized by the Municipal Art Society, an annual series of 100+ FREE guided walks (and rides) throughout New York City. The events take place around the anniversary of Jane Jacobs's birthday in early May.
Here's the description of Saturday's ride:
Cycling in New York City has grown by leaps and bounds during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 12 years in office. With his tenure coming to an end on December 31st, the city's transportation department is busy putting the finishing touches on the Mayor's bike-friendly legacy. This "Jane's Ride" tour through historic Park Slope will highlight coming additions to the neighborhood's biking infrastructure, including newly planned bike lanes, bike corrals and the first local station of the soon-to-launch CitiBike bike-share program. This leisurely paced ride is appropriate for cyclists 12 years old and up; please note that we will be taking to some streets that don't currently feature bike lanes. A bike is required, but will not be provided, so please bring your own. Rental bikes are available at numerous nearby cycling shops, including Ride Brooklyn, located just two blocks from our end point. Helmets are mandatory in NYC for anyone under 14.
For more info, please visit the event page. We'll be meeting at Prospect Park West and Bartel-Pritchard Square, near the Pavilion Theater. No RSVP required, and the ride is free. Special bonus: the weather forecast looks stellar.
Please join us!
2) Help Save the Pacific Street Library
The Park Slope Civic Council recently passed a unanimous resolution urging the preservation of the endangered Pacific Street Library.
An update on the Civic Council's website states:
Moving forward, members of the Historic District and [Forth on Fourth Avenue] Committees will coordinate with other local organizations and interested people on a campaign to save the Pacific Street Branch; related meetings and activities will be posted on the Civic Council website. To learn more about campaign efforts, e-mail the Civic Council’s Forth on Fourth Avenue Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Historic District Committee at email@example.com.
To add your name to a petition demanding that the Pacific Street branch and other endangered city libraries be saved, please visit www.signon.org/sign/save-new-york-city-libraries. Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers have already signed their names.
3) 2013 Mayoral Candidates Forum, Monday, May 6th, 7 p.m., at Congregation Beth Elohim
This coming Monday, May 6th, at 7:00 p.m., the Park Slope Civic Council and several other Brooklyn civic associations will host a public forum with candidates of all parties running for New York City mayor in this fall's election.
The forum is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. You can submit questions in advance via Google Moderator, and vote on questions of importance to you by May 3rd.
Brooklyn Civics 2013 Mayoral Forum
Monday, May 6th
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Congregation Beth Elohim
274 Garfield Place (at 8th Avenue)
For more information, please visit www.parkslopeciviccouncil.org/mayoral-forum/.