Comedian Seth Meyers with Senator Al Franken at an event hosted by The Strand bookstore at Cooper Union. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Minnesota Senator Al Franken spoke with comedian Seth Meyers about the inner-workings of Washington and using humor with his Senate colleagues in an event hosted by The Strand in Cooper Union’s Great Hall at the beginning of this month. The Strand usually hosts book signing events in their store on Broadway near East 12th Street but has recently been hosting bigger events with high-profile authors in the hall, such as an event with Bernie Sanders last December.
Franken, who was a comedian and at one time a writer and performer for “Saturday Night Live,” before becoming a senator, talked with Meyers about the balancing act of whether or not he could use humor in his position in the government.
When Maria Castro, a political consultant who’d also served as a delegate for Bernie Sanders during the Democratic National Convention, decided to join the City Council race for District 4, it was shortly after ending up in the hospital.
Castro, a midtown resident on the west side of the district, said she was “holed up” following a fall down a malfunctioning escalator at the subway station near City Hall on January 4. During this time, with little else to do, she found herself watching the news surrounding President Donald Trump’s inauguration — and getting very upset.
“I was watching the rhetoric of the Trump administration, how he was affecting women, minorities, the working class,” said Castro.
She had a couple of friends over at the time, one of whom mentioned the seat for her City Council district was open. Castro didn’t need to think twice about what she would do about this, and got on the ballot on January 26.