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I found this buried in an email Rock Hackshaw sent around. This score card is from the Human Rights Project. The score card (in PDF form) can be found here.

The scorecard is VERY detailed and I can't do it justice in a short post. They cover homeless issues, race issues, gender issues including LGBT issues, poverty, etc.

Among the WORST rated council members is Chirstine Quinn. She gets a miserable 12% rating. Keep in mind this is the person who wants to be, I mean MAYOR of NYC. She gets zero ratings for workers' rights, criminal/juvenile justice, disabled rights and voting rights and a very low score for housing rights. Is THIS what we want for mayor? Someone who is bad for workers, justice, disabled people, housing and voting rights?

In fairness, I want to look into the past records of former city council members who are competing with Quinn for mayor. Both Bill de Blasio and John Liu moved on from the City Council in 2009, both having refused to participate in Bloomberg's Third Term Power Grab the way Lap Dog Quinn did. So de Blasio and Liu BOTH are already better than Quinn on that issue alone to me. But let's compare Quinn, de Blasio and Liu in the 2008 and 2009 score card: (ranking system presented a bit differently each year it seems)

Christine Quinn: a mediocre 45% average score in 2008 and got a "C" for 2009.

Bill de Blasio: a mediocre 58% average score in 2008 (ranked 11th highest scoring council member) and a 2009 rating of "B" (8th highest scoring council member so made the top 10 list that year).

John Liu: an 61% score in 2008 (8th highest scoring council member so on the top ten list) and a 2009 rating of "A" (4th highest scoring council member, so also on the top ten list).

So Quinn is clearly the WRONG candidate for Human Rights. John Liu does BEST with Bill de Blasio coming in second. Note that Borough Presidents would not be rated on these score cards so I can't compare them.

The top scoring City Council members in 2011 are:

            Melissa Mark-Viverito.  Manhattan Council District # 8 – Democrat (Score: 90%)

   Helen D. Foster.  Bronx Council District # 16 – Democrat (Score: 88%)

   Letitia James.  Brooklyn Council District # 35 – Democrat (Score: 88%)

   Jumaane D. Williams.  Brooklyn Council District # 45 – Democrat (Score: 86%)

   Charles Barron. Brooklyn Council District # 42 – Democrat (Score: 80%)

   Brad Lander.  Brooklyn Council District # 39 – Democrat (Score: 74%)

   Gale Brewer.  Manhattan Council District # 6 – Democrat (Score: 73%)

   G. Oliver Koppell.  Manhattan Council District #11- Democrat (Score 65%)

   Jimmy Van Bramer. Queens Council District #26- Democrat (Score 65%)

I want to note that included on this list are council members I have agreed with and ones that I have disagreed with in the past. I will say that I am happy that Tish James is among the top, and congrats to Brad Lander, who I have had many a run in with, for making the top.

Let me emphasize a few things. First, one of the best parts of the score card is its analysis of the City Council process itself. It shows that basically a bill has little shot of even having a hearing let alone being voted on if it doesn't have either the support of the mayor or the speaker. This emphasizes something I have said MANY times: NYC has one of the weakest City Councils I have seen, almost 100% dominated by the mayor and his lap dog speaker, Quinn (hat tip to the attendees of my Eating Liberally group last night who used "Bloomberg's lap dog" to discuss Quinn). NYC is possibly the least democratic of cities. Now I have only seen it under Republicans like Giuliani and Bloomberg, so a don't know if it was different under a Democratic administration, but I somehow doubt it. Certainly it is clear Quinn, a Democrat, would be just as dictatorial as Tsar Bloomberg.

Second I want to emphasize that this scorecard doesn't cover ALL important issues, so I would not use this as my only way to judge a council member, but it does cover some extremely important issues, particularly ones taken up by Occupy Wall Street, so politicians who got a low score should look to their record a bit.

In particular I found myself checking up on politicians I endorsed or who are running for other offices soon. I also checked some of the folks I generally have not liked to see how my choices fare.

Margaret Chin, who I endorsed, got a 54% rating...not as high as I would have liked to see! Daniel Dromm is another one I endorsed (and recently saw at a fundraiser for John Liu) and he also got a not bad but not great 56%. I also endorsed Diana Reyna, and she gets a mediocre 30%. Debra Rose, who I endorsed but admit I came late to that race and was only weakly involved in her race, gets a 53%. Jimmy van Bramer I believe I at least initially endorsed gets a good 65% rating. Al Vann who I have criticized gets 59%.

Mathieu Eugene, who was a mediocre, hand picked successor to Yvette Clarke best known for finding it very difficult to prove his claims to having an MD degree, gets a low 24%. Sadly, Lew Fidler, who I have gotten to know and like, got a low 26%, mainly doing poorly on Voting Rights and Workers' Rights. My own city council member Steve Levin got a mediocre 28%. Again Voting Rights was one of his weakest points but so was criminal/juvenile justice. Peter Vallone, jr. gets a miserable 12%, competing with Quinn for worst city council members on human rights.

The horribly corrupt and nasty Dominic Recchia gets a mediocre 25% rating. Particularly bad on criminal/juvenile justice, voting rights and disabled rights.

Peter Koo, a Republican who took over a previously Democratic seat in Queens, got a miserable 16% rating. He was particularly bad on disabled rights, voting rights, workers' rights and criminal/juvenile justice. In general the handful of Republicans on the City Council scored very poorly. The highest was only 22% (Halloran) and most were in the 10-15% range. To be fair, though there are no highly rated Republicans on the council, there are plenty of Democrats who score as poorly, Quinn herself being a prime example.

These ratings aren't the only way we should judge candidates, but when someone gets consistently bad ratings (like Quinn, Recchia, etc) there is no way they deserve our support. Consistently good ratings (like John Liu and Tish James) should be taken into account when choosing candidates to support.


The Human Rights Project's mission is:

The Human Rights Project (HRP) works to improve the lives of New Yorkers living in poverty with a particular focus on women and people of color. We do this by monitoring and advocating for government compliance with universal human rights standards, especially the human rights to employment, housing, health, food, education and other economic and social rights.

HRP has been at the forefront of the U.S. human rights “movement” for the past several years, demonstrating new models of applying human rights in the U.S., and in particular in New York City, to effectively advocate for the City’s most vulnerable across a range of issues. The U.S. constitution falls short in guaranteeing the right to health, housing, education, standard of living and other rights necessary to live in dignity. In combination with a legacy of structural discrimination, particularly through race and gender, and limits on rights that are protected, those most vulnerable in society have little recourse. The human rights framework and tools bring new possibilities in the face of limited remedies, and hope where there is despair.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luthien Tinuviel

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

    by mole333 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 11:30:25 AM PST

  •  your councilperson is Levin? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm still a little bitter, as one time I called his office and he answered himself, promised to look into something and call me back, and never did. I hadn't expected to speak with him in the first place, but once he said he'd get back to me and didn't I was disappointed.

    Also, some community members I know might call Levin Vito Lopez's lapdog - how would you characterize the accuracy of that statement?

    I entirely concur that Quinn is not a promising Mayoral candidate.

    w/r/t John Liu, I can't really get behind him because he's blatantly using a technical position (comptroller) as a stepping stone for political ambition. That annoys me. People should only run for Comptroller or DA or Sheriff if they actually want to occupy that position. If their real goal is to become a legislator, they should leave the skill positions alone.

    "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

    by joey c on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 12:25:14 PM PST

    •  Levin (0+ / 0-)

      Levin was on Lopez's staff during a lot of the corrupt stuff that is being investigated. I know Levin by now and he's smart. He either was involved or knew, in my opinion, what went on in the machine. I am highly suspicious of him and his past with Vito. He certainly HAS been Vito's lap dog (I may even have used or started that phrase for him). He has not yet broken free but he COULD.

      That said, Levin is himself smart and I think genuinely trying to do good things. If you contact me through my email (in my profile) I might be able to hook you up with him more directly. To give him credit he knows me as one of his main critics but he still is very responsive to me and friendly. I have to admit I have grown to like him even though I don't necessarily trust him. I once hypothesized that he is the one most likely to turn state's evidence on Vito, and someone else in the machine I know and talk to thought it a very interesting observation, though not necessarily likely. I bet if Vito goes down Levin will quickly jump ship and turn reformer. He has established some ties of at least friendship with reformers (hence, I assume, his efforts to respond to me despite my opposition).

      As for John Liu, I actually know him pretty well. He certainly is ambitious, and he certainly is looking towards mayor. But he also has taken the Comptroller position far more seriously than most have and genuinely wants to do a good job. Problem with your view is it doesn't work. The person who most wanted to be Public Advocate, with no further ambition, and would have been best at it was Norm Siegel. Well, he lost 3 times. I think if you don't have higher ambitions people don't bother with you. I should note that Bill de Blasio is in the same position as John Liu regarding ambition. Both went for an intermediate position as a stepping stone for mayor. To me (and there is history behind this so take with grain of salt) de Blasio doesn't take the intermediate position (Public Advocate) seriously, seeing it ONLY as a stepping stone, while John Liu has taken the Comptroller position seriously even though it is a stepping stone.

      I can talk on Scott Stringer and Marty Markowitz as well if you like.

      For me the problem with NYC mayor is that it has become a position that it is hard for anyone but the most beholden (to developers, hedge funds, bankers), ambitious and corrupt can aspire to. In that context so far Liu seems the best choice. I may put Stringer second, though not positive about that.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

      by mole333 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 01:02:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  one would have thought that Bloomie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        with his independent billions, would be less beholden to that crowd, but I suppose he thinks like them anyway so he doesn't have to be beholden to bankers and developers to proceed as they would prefer.

        I voted for Siegel, and was baffled at how anyone could have voted fro the other candidates. That he didn't win makes me suspect that even my fellow NYers, liberal as they have a rep for being, are still assholes.

         Not a huge de Blasio fan, though I don't actively dislike him either.

        Are you someone a community journalist would know IRL?

        "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

        by joey c on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 02:30:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am somewhat known (0+ / 0-)

          The screen name mole333 is pretty well known in Brooklyn at least (a judge saw me once and said, "Hey, you're that blogger guy") and many know my real persona, since I have never hidden it. I also am somewhat well known by some Staten Island and Bronx folks. I even once had someone meet with me and some of my friends before deciding whether or not to run for mayor (great story there, but not mine to tell). I think I am never a decisive factor in local politics, but I am occasionally one of several important factors that may decide an election or someone's decision to run for an office.

          I have to say I am somewhat surprised how many people read what I write, mostly on Daily Gotham. And I know in at least two elections the NY Times was taking note of my opinions, for what it was worth. Actually in one case it was worth something.

          Siegel's losses are partly his own doing...and I knew him well in those days. But it also is a sign of how NYC politics works: developers are key in many races. Someone told me they overheard Bill de Blasio, who isn't even the worst developer shill, saying to someone, "If you want to make it in New York politics you do what the developers tell you to do." I suspect it's a true story. And de Blasio wouldn't be alone in thinking it. The power of the hedge fund managers can be seen in the charter schools. Few people realize that the primary moving force in the charter school movement are the hedge funds. Why? They sank money into the idea and it is a big investment on their part...and many hedge fund managers wind up on the board of charter schools.

          NYC is a nasty web of corruption and money. Doesn't mean there aren't good folk. And it doesn't mean that there aren't good folk who wind up, out of necessity, involved with some of the worse folk. But I have to realize Norm Siegel is fairly unique in his integrity and have to judge other candidates on a lesser (but maybe more realistic) scale.

          Curious who you would support for mayor. I know and like Liu, so definitely lean his way. My 7 year old son and he really like each other, and I find my son's instinctive take on candidates worth noting (he cried inconsolably at two Gifford Miller speeches and yelled out "Cat Nuts" at Mark Green once (long story!!)). But I have not 100% committed. But I don't see anyone even close to as good as Liu for mayor so far. So between my son's liking for him, his overall good stand on issues, and no one else being better, he is my default.

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

          by mole333 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 02:51:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will have to make more of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a point to check out your work.

            Not sure about Mayoral race (I mean, the field isn't even formed, right?) - I had liked Weiner's positions on everything except the Middle East, but that's no longer relevant.

            So I'll watch the debates and keep an open mind. What made me skeptical of Liu is that at some point he was asked about comptroller's reports and admitted that he had never read one in full. That should disqualify someone from running for comptroller, I would think.

            I'm inclined, in the primaries of a city this liberal, to vote for someone who actually shares my opinions - last election I went for Avella (and Siegel, and Weprin). If you can't go for the quixotic candidate in this 'burg, where can you?

            "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

            by joey c on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:19:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh... (0+ / 0-)

              The mayoral field was in many ways formed more than a year NYC a LOT goes on behind the scenes. More or less, the field is: Christine Quinn (the presumed frontrunner and Bloomberg's anointed successor), Bill de Blasio (the developer candidate), John Liu (probably the most progressive, but not sure, and my current choice) and Scott Stringer (also developer linked but probably more independent than de Blasio and, from my brief contact with him, not a bad candidate). Possibly also Marty Markowitz (NOT a good choice!!!) and maybe Bill Thompson. Avella might run but, I am sorry to say, he has even less of a chance than he had last time around. I had some issues with Avella on specific stands, though to be fair Norm Siegel agreed with me on one of those but disagreed on the other. So I may well have been partly wrong on my differences with Avella.

              I kind of LIKED Weprin, but when Liu entered the race I preferred him to Weprin. And Weprin had no shot because his personality was so boring. Sadly that matters. When I first met him I knew he'd lose and that was before Liu had entered the race so Weprin was the only person I could support. But I also knew he couldn't win. Don't know about the reports you refer to, but Liu has the background for Comptroller. He did very similar work as an appointee under Cuomo (the father) way back when.

              Siegel would be the perfect Public Advocate and I have supported him each time he ran. Sadly, he can't run a campaign. Last time he ran early on he met with me and some friends and said he had learned his lesson and knew what he had to do. Well, in the end he made all the same mistakes. He is one of those people who would be PERFECT for the job but is a lousy candidate because he can't run a campaign. And he can't afford to hire someone who can run a campaign. If he ran again I'd be the first to endorse him, but I'd also know he'd lose. If only I was dictator of the world, I'd make Siegel Public Advocate for the world! And probably Liu for Universal Comptroller. He's damned good at it.

              FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

              by mole333 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 03:33:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  and my spouse wonders why I don't (0+ / 0-)

                follow NYC news with as much alacrity as international news; it's because even when conversing with nice people, the subject is depressing.

                I'm aware of all the Mayoral candidate you mention though I never thought Marty was at all serious - he's funny but I wouldn't even vote for him for BP. I like Scott Stringer solely on the basis of the reports put out by his office, which tend to be topically important and made for useful citations when I was a graduate student. Chris Quinn strikes me as having superficial similarities to the younger Cuomo - they'll be solid on social issues (esp. LBGT-related) and corporatists in general.

                so what we've established is that

                1. the competent candidate for a technical position can't win because he's too boring, so everyone backed someone who'd use the position for a stepping stone (Weprin vs. Liu).

                2. people who agree with my positions are too far outside the mainstream to be elected (Avella, Siegel).


                "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

                by joey c on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 08:39:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sort of! (0+ / 0-)

                  The one place I'd disagree is I'd say Weprin and Liu were both competent for the job. In fact even as I endorsed Liu I emphasized that both were well qualified for Comptroller and my main reason at the time was that Liu was more likely to beat a Republican candidate.

                  Later I realized Liu was actually listening to those of us on the progressive end and actually LIKED being challenged with questions (at least on policy) and was willing to learn where he didn't see a complete picture. Weprin wasn't nearly as good at listening and absorbing info, not, I think, out of a lack of intelligence, but out of a lack of interest in progressives.

                  Best qualified are seldom the best candidates. At ANY level. I consider Liu an exception, but that remains to be definitively proven. But that maxim actually gets me MORE involved locally because it is in the VERY local races (like judicial) that I can make the most difference even for a candidate who lacks charisma. Nationally there is nothing much I can do.

                  FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

                  by mole333 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 09:15:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and by the way... (0+ / 0-)

          Since I have started realizing this mix up happens a lot, I am NOT the same blogger as Gatemouth. I know him well, but we are very different people. Just ask Rock Hackshaw!

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

          by mole333 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 02:54:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Liu? (0+ / 0-)

    He's a bean counter.  If he has enough of a record on human rights, he's not doing his job. His job is exclusively to manage gvt pensions to minimize the future tax burden of the taxpayers.  

    •  You are misunderstanding (0+ / 0-)

      The Human Rights ratings are from when he was on city council, not for his current job as Comptroller. For Comptroller he has indeed been a counter. That is why I had to go back to 2008 and 2009 for his Human Rights ratings because that was when he was still on city council.

      I have seen much good auditing coming out of Liu's office as Comptroller, though it is boring enough and I am not expert enough so I have never really found inspiration to write about it. But his background is mathematical physics followed by working in the family banking business and then taking a job regulating banks under Cuomo, which I hear he did well in, though that is before my time in New York politics. Then he entered City Council, which is where the ratings I post come into play.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

      by mole333 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 01:05:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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