Most people are focused on the 2010 elections. But here in NYC we have a big election year with races for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough Presidents, and City Council. I have made some endorsements, some tentative some solid, along the way. But now I want to share my more or less finalized list. In many races there are other candidates running who I also like, but I am focusing on the best candidate in each race that I think has a chance. In some cases there is only one good candidate, so win or lose, I support that candidate.
Of course I look forward to any comments on any of the candidates. So join me over the break to discuss NYC politics.
Mayor: Bill Thompson. I have met Bill Thompson at a local Democratic Club and liked him very much. The main complaint I have heard people make about him is he is "too much of a gentleman" for politics. Well, that works for me. I am sick of our dictatorial mayor who claims only he can save us from economic ruin even though he presided over the city during the economic collapse and never saw it coming, never did anything to prevent it or mitigate it. We need change in NYC and Bloomberg is not it.
Public Advocate: Norman Siegel wholeheartedly. Norman Siegel has also been endorsed by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Democracy for NYC, Park River Independent Democrats (Upper West Side), the Village Reform Democratic Club, the Grand Council of Guardians (an organization of African-American law enforcement officials), Room 8 blogger and Brooklyn City Council candidate Rock Hackshaw, the New York Metro Area Postal Union (APWU, AFL-CIO), Audubon Reform Democratic Club (Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights), and Brooklyn Democrats for Change (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Bath Beach and Gravesend). Video of an interview with Norman Siegel:
Comptroller: In this race there are two complete hacks with no finanacial experience whatsoever (Katz and Yassky) and two candidates who have solid financial experience (Weprin and Liu). Which means it comes down to only two viable candidates: David Weprin and John Liu since in an economic crisis we do NOT want inexperienced hacks running the city's money. Of the two, I prefer John Liu partly because his background was as a mathematical physicist, and I love it when science nerds enter politics, but also because Liu is more progressive than Weprin. I believe either would make a good Comptroller but I have been supporting John Liu. And for the record, currently John Liu is my 4 year old son's favorite politician, and I have found Jacob has a good sense of whose good and who isn't.
CITY COUNCIL RACES:
33rd City Council District: Jo Anne Simon. This is a chance to stop a power play by corrupt Brooklyn Party boss Vito Lopez whose aide is running against Jo Anne. Jo Anne is our current district leader and has a national reputation as an advocate for disabled rights who has argued and won some major cases (including before Judge Sotomayor). Jo Anne Simon has also been endorsed by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, ChangeNYC, 504 Democrats, and Lambda Independent Democrats, among others.
34th City Council District: Diana Reyna. The first woman of Dominican-American descent to be elected to NYC public office. Reyna is being heavily targeted by Brooklyn Boss Vito Lopez because she hasn't gone along with his corruption. In essence, she is being punished for her independence, and I personally want to see more independence from the Brooklyn machine. This is another race where we can stop a power play by a corrupt party boss. Diana Reyna has been endorsed by Councilwoman Tish James and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez (both of whom I greatly respect), Lambda Independend Democrats, DC 9 Painters Union, IUPAT, American Federation of Musicians, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and Teamsters, Local 237.
35th City Council District: Letitia James wholeheartedly. An amazing woman!
36th City Council District: I told one candidate I wasn't endorsing in this race. But there are two candidates I consider worth bringing to people's attention: Saquan Jones and Mark Winston Griffith. I have friends I respect supporting each of them.
39th City Council District: Josh Skaller. My favorite candidate this year. I know Josh well. Very smart, very honest, very progressive and reform minded. And he has been running one of the best grassroots campaigns I have seen. He is ahead in fundraising while refusing to take any corporate or developer money. THAT is an amazing accomplishment already. Josh has been endorsed by Howard Dean, Assemblyman Jom Brennan, State Senator Eric Adams, New York Metro Area Postal Union (APWU, AFL-CIO), International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 237, 111 and 854, Service Employees International Union (Special Officers and Guards, Local 177), Democracy for America, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Democracy for NYC, and Public Advocate candidate Norman Siegel. Here is video of Howard Dean endorsing Josh:
40th City Council District: Rock Hackshaw. Rock is a fellow blogger and his knowledge of Brooklyn politics is amazing. I differ with him on some issues, but I know him and his honesty and integrity are unquestioned. And honesty and integrity are something we desperately need in Brooklyn, partucularly when they are paired up with intelligence and an encyclopedic knowledge. Since Rock is running against a guy who actually lies about being a doctor and is as strange and squirrely as you can get, Rock would be a very welcome change.
45th City Council District: Two candidates I like. First Terry Hinds. I have three people giving very good recommendations for this guy. But I also think Rod Daley is good and represents a chance to get another educator on the city council.
19th City Council District: Steve Behar. I have met Steve at several Democracy for NYC events. Great guy who has worked tirelessly for progressives in NYC and throughout the state. He has been endorsed by Councilman Tony Avella (whose seat he is running for), Queens County Progressive Democratic Club, Democrats for New Politics, Democracy for New York City, Democracy for America, and Public Advocate candidate Norman Siegel.
24th City Council District: Jim Gennaro. Excellent environmental advocate pushing for more biodiesel in NYC to reduce pollution, and a strong advocate for preserving the safety of our drinking water.
25th City Council District: Daniel Dromm. One of my favorite candidates this year. A teacher and gay rights advocate with excellent credentials. Daniel Dromm has been endorsed by Stonewall Democrats, the United Federation of Teachers, 504 Democrats, and ChangeNYC, among others.
26th City Council District: I like Brent O'Leary. An active Dean Democrat! While spending time in Japan he helped organize Democrats Abroad Japan and in 2004 was elected to the Democratic National Committee. Strong advocate of Dean's 50 state strategy. This is the kind of guy I want to see more of in politics! Brent O'Leary has also been endorsed by Change NYC.
29th City Council District: I like Mel Gagarin. I like his experience with the National Foundation for Women Legislators and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Seems like a very interesting candidate worth supporting. Mel Gagarin has also been endorsd by Change NYC.
31st City Council District: Marquez Claxton. Another one of my favorites. Very much in the Eric Adams mold, he combines police force experience with as strong civil rights focus. I have been following his run and like much of what he says. He has been endorsed by State Senator Eric Adams and Change NYC.
12th City Council District: Jerome Rice. Former National Guardsman and corrections officer who is also a strong voice for Civil Rights. I like these people who bridge law enforcement and civil rights. It is a refreshing trend! Jerome has also been endorsed by State Senator Eric Adams and Change NYC.
1st City Council District: Margaret Chin is my choice for this seat.
3rd City Council District: I am supporting civil rights activist Yetta Kurland. Yetta has been endorsed by Downtown Independent Democrats, ChangeNYC, 504 Democrats, and the New York Blade, among others.