8/28/14

Adams Allocates $6.92 Million in Capital Funds for Libraries and Cultural Affairs

Adams, Local Electeds, Linda Johnson
Today at the the Bay Ridge Library, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced the allocation of $6.92 million in FY 2015 capital funding for libraries and cultural affairs to 11 organizations, including the Bay Ridge Library.

The total value of the FY 15 investment represented a proportional increase of nearly 7% over FY 1014, Adams said.

The allocation will be spread across a variety of capital projects and neighborhoods, including $2 million in repairs and renovations at the Bay Ridge, Bedford and Windsor Terrace libraries; cultural projects including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's South Garden Project; and organizations including the Prospect Park Alliance, the Gallim Dance Company, the Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, the Brooklyn Museum, the Wildlife Conseration Society's New York Aquarium, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and St. Ann's Warehouse.

Marty Golden's Annual 9/11 Memorial at 69th Street Pier

At 7:30 PM on September 11, State Senator Marty Golden will host his annual memorial honoring the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, at the 69th Street Pier, at 69th Street and Shore Road in Bay Ridge.

Bring your own seating -- a chair or blanket.

For more information, call 718-238-6044 or email golden@nysenate.gov.

New York Times Endorses Tim Wu for Lt. Governor

The New York Times Editorial Board, acknowledging that the New York lieutenant governor's office  is a "feeble" one, has endorsed Tim Wu, Zephyr Teachout's running mate, against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's lt. governor pick Kathy Hochul in the September 9 Democratic Primary.

Comparing Columbia Law professor Wu to former congressional representative Hochul, the Times saw newcomer Wu bringing a fresh voice and perspective to old boy-dominated Albany that Hochul, with her "deeply troubling record on health reform, gun control and environmental deregulation", could not.

Earlier this week, the Times passed on endorsing Wu's running mate, Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, for governor, citing her lack of political experience.  The Times saw Wu's political inexperience as less disabling because he is running for a less responsible job.  

Recognizing this, the Times said, Wu is seeking the job as a pulpit -- to act as a de facto public advocate focusing on consumer issues, Internet access and enterprise zones.

Cuomo chose conservative upstater Hochul as a running mate to balance his ticket. Although Hochul now says she supports gun control, the National Rifle Association endorsed her in her unsuccessful 2012 congressional re-election bid.

Hochul is on record, as a re-election campaigner in a Republican district, boasting about repeatedly voting against “Obamacare"; opposing drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants; openly embracing the repeal of emission standards for cement manufacturers; and de-controlling open-pit mining and other dirty industries.

The Times saw Hochul's willingness to shift her politics to fit the ticket as indicating a lack of independent judgement.

What Lu lacks in political experience, the Times said, is balanced by his "impressive record" as a legal scholar, particularly in Internet law and policy. He coined the term “net neutrality", and has advised the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of consumers fighting to prevent the corporatization of the Internet.

As lieutenant governor, Wu promises to speak out on issues like immigrant rights and the scarcity of broadband access in New York City, which Albany typically ignores -- if he can learn to navigate Albany's daunting political environment.

Hochul, a former Buffalo banker and county clerk before her election to Congress, has a background in economic and job development in western New York.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor will run on the governor’s Democratic ticket in November against the Republican slate.

Teachout-Wu Barnstorming the State

The Teachout-Wu campaign, endorsed this week by the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women and The Nation magazine, is on a 3-day cross-state "Whistleblower Tour", with stops in 18 cities, towns and villages.

On Day One, the campaign visited a luxury Manhattan highrise owned by Extell, a target of the Moreland Commission subpoena. Teachout-Wu have also met with staff and residents at Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation, a state-run facility threatened by privatization; toured Montrose, PA, to view the devastating effects of fracking; met with "fracktivists" in Binghamton trying to keep fracking out of New York State; and listened to Buffalo whistleblowers tell the sordid tale of Pigeongate, which figures in the Moreland Commission report.

Teachout has called for an end to corrupt politics in New York State. Her campaign tour, highlighting tales of public corruption, has stops in Rochester, Watkins Glen, Syracuse, Albany, East Greenbush, Ghent, Woodstock, Kingston, New Paltz, White Plains, Queens and Uniondale. (View the complete agenda here.)

You can volunteer for the Teachout-Wu campaign here.

The campaign is also on Facebook and Twitter.

No Love for Cuomo in Prospect Heights

At a candidate debate last night in Prospect Heights, two of three candidates running for retiring Brooklyn Assembly Member Joan Millman's seat told the Observer that they're voting for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's long-shot primary challenger Zephyr Teachout in the September 9 Democratic Primary. The third was undecided.

At the event at Duryea Presbyterian Church in Prospect Heights, Democratic district leader Jo Anne Simon, union lobbyist Pete Sikora and civil engineer Doug Biviano joined other locals in slamming Cuomo, who controls the board of the State University of New York, operator of the now-deceased Long Island College Hospital, for its death and dismemberment.

Sikora and Biviano unambivalently support Teachout.  Simon, still weighing a vote for Teachout, characterized Cuomo as "against the community" on LICH. Biviano noted that Cuomo took tens of thousands of dollars from associates of the owners of the Fortis Property Group, winner of the bidding war to buy and re-develop LICH.

While crediting the governor for legalizing same-sex marriage, Biviano cast Cuomo as a failed reformer who budgets like a Republican and whose aides stuck their noses in the business of his "independent" Moreland Commission.

The Will Bredderman article from the Observer.

Fort Hamilton MWR Hosts "Run for the Fallen"

On September 13, USAG Fort Hamilton MWR will host the "Run for the Fallen" 6K race.

You can register via this link.

The race originated on Flag Day, 2008, when a dedicated team of American runners ran cross country from Fort Irwin, CA to Arlington National Cemetery, logging one mile for every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Over a ten-week period, team members marked each mile with an American flag and a placard remembering the life of a fallen service member.

Every year since, runners from around the world have joined Run for the Fallen in the annual remembrance, with more than 50,000 runners logging over 200,000 miles since 2008.

8/27/14

NARAL Pro-Choice New York Endorses Kemmerer

NARAL Pro-Choice New York has announced its endorsement of Democrat James Kemmerer, challenging long-time incumbent Republican/Conservative Marty Golden in State Senate District 22.

In endorsing Kemmerer, NARAL president Andrea Miller cited the outrage of "overwhelmingly" pro-choice New Yorkers at the State Senate's failure to pass the Women's Equality Act last session.

Kemmerer, in stark contrast to Golden, she said, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to women’s rights, including abortion access, while the anti-choice Golden has a record of opposing "commonsense efforts'" to advance women's equality, health and safety.

Miller cited, as an example of Golden's lack of perspective on women's issues, his having unsuccessfully tried, in 2012, to organize a class to teach young female job seekers in his district how to carry themselves like models.

Campaigning door-to-door, Kemmerer said, he repeatedly hears from Golden's female constituents that their senator has no grasp of women's issues.  

Kemmerer promised that, if elected, he would pursue a women's rights agenda, including passage of the Women's Equality Act. 

For more information about Kemmerer, visit the campaign website.

The 22nd Senate District is a gerrymander of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, and Midwood. 

8/26/14

SBA Swats deBlasio with Full-Page New York Times Ad

As reported by News 7, a city police union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, took out a full page ad in Tuesday's New York Times hitting Mayor deBlasio's bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn.

Aimed at deBlasio's public safety policy, the ad ominously declares that the city is headed back to the "bad old days" of out-of-control crime.

The SBA's bold public move appears to have been triggered by deBlasio's response to the Eric Garner homicide case.

State Senator Marty Golden, NYPD retired, has publicly commented that Garner, cast as a criminal, could have avoided being choked by simply "giving up."

De Blasio characterized the union as "fear-mongering" to advance its position in collective bargaining negotiations, calling the ad an "irresponsible act."

Bay Ridge Council Member Vinnie Gentile had this carefully-worded rejoinder:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Sergeants Benevolent Association and their president Ed Mullins, but I disagree with their concerns regarding the 2016 DNC coming here...Today our city is as safe as ever, and the DNC would be a terrific boon for our economy... What we need right now is unity around a common cause – not division of any kind.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, was not so diplomatic [Daily News.]

New York is one of five finalists for the DNC convention. A decision is expected by early next year.

Coverage via AP.

Quinn Fronting Cuomo's Women's Equality Party

According to a Daily News exclusive, former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, is one of the organizers of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Party.

Quinn, re-entering politics after losing last year's Democratic mayoral primary, has played a key behind-the-scenes role in organizing her old ally's new party, making her first pubic appearance at a WEP City Hall rally last week.

Quinn is working with longtime Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and deputy campaign manager Leah Gonzalez to lend feminist cred to Cuomo's political creation.  

Assuming he defeats Zephyr Teachout in the September 9 Democratic Primary, Cuomo, with the addition of the Women's Equality Party, will own four ballot lines in the November General Election, including the Democratic, Working Families Party, and Independence Party.

Quinn vows that the Women's Equality Party is not just a one-off in an election year, but a real party with a progressive, pro-choice agenda. She has been meeting with Cuomo campaign operatives this summer to brainstorm and to organize events supporting Cuomo's Republicanesque running mate Kathy Hochul.

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