PCV Council candidate raises $50G

Photo courtesy of Keith Powers

Photo courtesy of Keith Powers

City Council candidate and Peter Cooper Village resident Keith Powers announced on Wednesday that he surpassed the qualifications required for New York City’s campaign finance program, which measures local support for a candidate.

Since announcing his campaign on June 2, Powers has raised $50,077. The contributions came from 258 individuals and far surpasses the in-district contributions required by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. The average in-district contribution is $145.85.

Powers is now eligible to receive $100,100 in campaign funds from the Campaign Finance Board, which will bring his total raised to $150,177.

“My campaign will always be about our local community and I am proud to have the overwhelming support of East Siders,” Powers said. “This is a grassroots effort that is supported by average New Yorkers and small contributions.”

Powers is running to replace Dan Garodnick in the 4th City Council District.

The candidate, 32, is the vice president of lobbying/consulting firm Constantinople & Vallone. He is also a community activist, filling volunteer roles at Community Board Six, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, the Kips Bay Neighborhood Association and the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club.

How a Stuy Town veteran helped get pension buyback law signed

July14 Alperstein

Jerry Alperstein, of the Jewish War Veterans Post 1, had sent out a memo to legislators urging them to expand opportunities for veteran pension buybacks over a decade ago and has since seen a bill signed into law. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

New York’s veterans who will soon be eligible for a new pension buyback, through legislation recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, can thank a Stuyvesant Town veteran for the opportunity.

Jerry Alperstein, a Vietnam War Navy veteran, 72, and original Stuyvesant Town resident, had been pushing the legislation since 2005. This is when he, then serving as the legislative chair of the Jewish War Veterans of New York Post 1, sent a proposal memo to members of the state Assembly. A year later, Assembly Member Amy Paulin, of Scarsdale, signed on as a sponsor of a bill and in 2007, then-State Senator Vincent Leibel became a sponsor in that chamber.

During a recent interview, Alperstein explained that this bill will allow all veterans who served honorably and are employed by the State of New York, its municipalities or its school districts in perpetuity to buy back up to three years of military time toward their pension while still employed.

According to Alperstein, the law brings New York State more in line with most other states in their consideration for veterans who are public employees. Prior to its signing, which happened on May 31, there were other pension buyback opportunities, but they were time-limited to the point that many people they were intended for found themselves unable to collect.

A 1976 law gave the buyback only to World War II veterans; but those who were public employees on 20-year retirement had already retired and were no longer eligible to buy back. A 2000 law only applied to those who served during specified periods of armed conflict.  This meant that virtually all Korean War veterans had already retired as were the Vietnam War veterans on 20-year retirements.

“That’s a reprehensible history of buybacks,” said Alperstein. “They called the Korean War the forgotten war and that’s exactly what it was.”

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