By Kristy Ye-Ling
On Saturday afternoon, crowds came out for a meet and greet in Stuyvesant Oval with nine City Council candidates hoping to replace Dan Garodnick next year.
The representatives at the event, which was organized by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, were Rachel Honig (D), Jeffrey Mailman (D), Keith Powers (D), Bessie R. Schachter (D), Marti Speranza (D), Maria Castro (D), Barry Shapiro (D) and Vanessa Aronson. Republican Rebecca Harary, who’s an Orthodox Jew, couldn’t travel on the Sabbath but had a representative there.
Speranza told voters she is committed to fighting against Donald Trump’s extremism and plans to reduce noise pollution, improve mass transit, and stand up for seniors.
Honig stated that she believes in stronger enforcements of streets regarding bicycles, pedestrians, and cars. She also discussed recycling, increased recreational opportunity and storm protection.
Mailman, accompanied by his brother, said improving air quality should be a priority in the Council. Being an attorney through his work for City Council Member Liz Crowley, he noted how he’s already drafted dozens of laws. He said he’d focus on affordable housing issues, as well as pedestrian safety by working with the police to enforce new rules.
Schachter discussed retail blight with voters. “I’m not just talking abstractly about ideas I support and don’t… I’m talking about keeping a neighborhood that makes sense while I look at stores across the street from me that are closed with manifestos in the window explaining how businesses are a dying thing.”
Powers, who was born and raised in the neighborhood and is a member of Tenants Association as well as a district leader, said he believes he has the “deepest understanding of the issues that affect the residents here.”
Harary’s campaign manager was present to speak for Harary, stating that, “She’s actually done things. When one of her children was diagnosed with autism and she found out the city didn’t really have programs, she started a school for autism and then she started another school for kids with learning disabilities.”
Not long ago, she ran a nonprofit to get women to get back into the workforce and resolve problems on her own.
Reid, husband of Democrat candidate Vanessa Aronson, was at the event to represent her until she could arrive later during the event. “Her whole life up to now has been about public service,” Reid said.
The Democratic primary is on Tuesday, September 12. There is no Republican primary for this race.