By Sabina Mollot
On Election Day, residents of District 2: the East Village, the Lower East Side, Gramercy and Kips Bay, will have five City Council candidates to choose from. They are Democratic nominee Carlina Rivera, Liberal Party candidate Jasmin Sanchez, who ran as a Democrat in the primary, and Republican Jimmy “The Rent is Too Damn High” McMillan as well as two additional candidates running almost entirely inactive campaigns.
They are Libertarian Donald Garrity of Kips Bay and Green Party candidate Manny Cavaco of the Lower East Side.
Cavaco, who spoke with Town & Village this week, is a veteran candidate, having run for City Council the first time in 1991. However, the now 62-year-old truck driver and teamster with Local 917 admitted he doesn’t play to win.
“Green Party candidates don’t win,” he said. However, like many longshot candidates, he’s running based on his passion for a particular issue. In his case, it’s a desire to see a public bank developed in New York, similar to one that’s been proposed for Santa Fe.
“I’m running for office to utilize the press — and Green Party gets very little press by the way — to generate awareness and support for the charter of the municipal public bank of New York,” he said.
What a public bank would do, he explained, is generate profits that go not to executives and shareholders but taxpayers. “And we could use the money for silly things like building bridges and fixing things.”
Cavaco is also affiliated with Occupy Wall Street’s attempt to overhaul the banking system.
The candidate said his inspiration to have gone green was a former Richmond, California mayor, Gayle McLaughlin, who used eminent domain to save homeowners with underwater mortgages. He already has plans to run for the state legislature next year and has lived on the Lower East Side for 31 years.
A Town & Village reporter played phone tag but was ultimately unsuccessful at interviewing Garrity, who said in a voicemail he started a new job this week.
The Libertarian candidate, who’s worked as a dietician for cancer patients in hospitals as well as in private practices for over 20 years, said in a video on YouTube that he hopes to bring a “fresh perspective” to local issues if elected.
This, he explained, means “less government in every aspect of our lives and more freedom for individuals to pursue employment opportunities.” He spoke of easing regulations, fees and fines faced by small businesses and fixing a “warped tax code system” that allows landlords to double or triple commercial tenants’ rents only to warehouse spaces. He then blasted the City Council’s nearly entirely Democrat population (48 out of 51) for over-taxing and regulating New Yorkers.
“I will inject a new vision with a less is more approach to government,” he said.
Garrity and his wife have lived in the district for 25 years.