More info needed from candidate
To the Editor:
T&V published a column by Keith Powers, a City Council candidate (“A New Year’s resolution to build the full Second Avenue Subway,” T&V, Jan. 5). He advocates the full build of the Second Avenue Subway and was identified as a PCV resident, a member of our Community Board and a member of PCV/ST Tenants Association. But he’s a Democratic District Leader and I’m curious, given his candidacy, why that wasn’t included. I’ve been told he has important support despite his bio making no mention of any gainful employment.
A Google search reveals that he’s a consultant with an influential firm. Their website lists the transportation industry as a client category. Shouldn’t he, before getting too heavily invested in a campaign, explain any potential conflict of interests given having endorsed a full build? After all, full build will stall, surely somewhere between 34th and Houston Streets. This means scaffolding and plates would line 2nd Avenue past most any of our life expectancies.
Another City Council candidate “reached out” to me. It made me realize that City Council term limits have turned our municipal legislature into a free for all: eight years on the Council and then a run for county or citywide office. Vacated Council seats, half of them every four years, then get filled, ideally, by Assembly members that have “seen their opportunities [in Albany] and took ‘em.”
Instead of our Democratic candidates being mostly lawyers from local law schools who grew up through the ranks in local clubs, we now regularly get lobbyists thereby perpetuating the transformation of NY’s Democratic Party from “real live Democrats” to Republican lite. Steve Sanders was our longtime Assembly member before turning lobbyist. Powers is doing it the other way.
Hopefully, he realizes that Michael Bloomberg’s consultant ran for a West Side State Senate seat last year. And, despite Hizzoner’s and the New York Times’ backing, he lost.
The writer’s grandfather managed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1928 campaign for Governor.
Bill Sternberg, ST
Editor’s note: Adding a bio to Keith Powers’ op-ed was a last minute editorial decision, as was the decision to keep said description brief. Though the fact that Powers is the vice president at lobbying firm Constantinople & Vallone wasn’t mentioned in the bio, it has been included in a prior article in this newspaper about his candidacy for the City Council.
Why I’ll be wearing black on January 20
One positive outcome from the presidential election has been the mobilization of people uniting in reaction to the election results.
One movement, #WEARBLACKJAN20, calls for a national day of mourning — a peaceful, visual protest encouraging people to wear black and let the world know that many Americans are outraged by the outcome of the election.
Below is an excerpt from the manifesto, which you may read it in full at wearblackjan20.org.
“Since being elected, Donald Trump has shown in both words and actions that he is not worthy of the honor of holding our nation’s highest office in the land.
“In solidarity, wear black to let the world know how disheartened we are that the Office of the President of the United States is now in the hands of man who believes the job is to govern through a series of tweets. Together we can make an impact by showing our dissent… join us, WearBlackJan20.”
Please help spread the word in our grassroots effort to make a visual impact across the nation. On January 20, post pictures of friends, family and colleagues dressed in black online and to news media organizations to show your outrage and to mourn for what we have lost.
Thank you for providing this forum to share.
Barbara Bienenfeld, ST