Democrats vying for Kavanagh’s Assembly seat

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Harvey Epstein (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Following Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh’s easy victory at the polls last week for the downtown Senate seat he wanted, two Democrat candidates have expressed interest in filling the now vacant 74th District Assembly seat.

One of them is Harvey Epstein, a tenant representative on the Rent Guidelines Board and the project director of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center. The other is Mike Corbett, an aide to Queens-based City Council Member Costa Constantinides and a former teamster. Marie Ternes, a communications consultant who previously worked for then-Congress Member Anthony Weiner, said she is considering running.

Recently, outgoing City Council Member Rosie Mendez told Town & Village she was mulling a run for Assembly, but then later told the local blog Lo Down that she’d decided against it. Council Member Dan Garodnick has also previously said he has no plan to run.

Corbett, Epstein and Ternes spoke with a Town & Village reporter this week, although Ternes declined to be interviewed at this time since she hasn’t yet made a decision on running.

It’s expected that there will be a County Committee vote held by each party to determine who will get onto the ballot for a special election. However, it’s still unclear when the vote will be or when the election will be, since a special election must be called by the governor. Another possible, though unlikely, scenario is that there will be a primary in June when there’s a Congressional primary, or even later.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Thank you, William McClellan

Re: “Stuy Town gets new public safety chief,” T&V. Sept. 21

To whom it may concern:

Having recently received notification of the change in leadership of the head of Public Safety in our community, I should like to take this opportunity to thank William F. McClellan for keeping me safe for the many years that he has been head of Public Safety.

Though I have been here going on 47 years, fortunately I have had few incidents when I needed Public Safety. In each case, under Mr. McClellan’s leadership I have been safely protected. Once when I was coming out the back door or my garage on Avenue C, a giant man lunged at me as I was starting out. I quickly slammed the door and called Public Safety. Someone immediately came, almost within seconds, to protect me. On another occasion, some inspector came to my door uninvited by me and unannounced. He wanted to come into my apartment. He showed me a badge but it could have been fake so I refused and told him to stay put and I would call Public Safety to come and escort him inside. Very quickly, a Public Safety Officer was sent and the inspector was for real but he stopped in my dining area as he saw that nothing illegal was going on in my apartment. I for sure felt safer letting someone in my apartment with a Public Safety officer at my side.

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Editorial: Re-elect Maloney, Kavanagh

June30 Maloney Hoylman

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and State Senator Brad Hoylman talk to voters outside Stuyvesant Town during the June congressional primary. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

While it’s understandable that the minds of voters this coming Election Day are on the race for president, there are also a couple of local races to think about, in the case of the Stuyvesant Town/Gramercy/Kips Bay area, for Congress and for New York State Assembly.

Following publishing interviews with the opponents of two longterm incumbents, the editorial staff of Town & Village has come to the following decisions for endorsements:

Maloney’s opponent, Robert Ardini, has argued that our nation’s founding fathers never intended for elected officials to remain in one office for as long as the incumbent has, which is 23 years. While he makes a legitimate argument about how tough it is for someone to break in to the world of politics against someone who’s so well-known, we do not believe this is the only reason Maloney has consistently clobbered her opponents over the years.

It’s true, of course, that in the heavily Democratic borough of Manhattan, a Democrat is always going to have the advantage, as is the individual with more name recognition. However, an official’s experience is not something that goes unnoticed by voters and it shouldn’t be dismissed as a bad thing. Despite hitting brick walls in Washington thanks to partisan gridlock, Maloney has continued to remain responsive to the concerns of voters, both large and small. She has remained true to her platform of championing women’s rights from equal pay at work to the never-ending battle of protecting a woman’s right to choose. In her district, she pushes funding for mass transit infrastructural projects (good for commuters and good for job creation) and has remained on top of the looming L-pocalypse, a major concern of constituents. Additionally, the congresswoman, an Upper East Sider, has remained a dependable advocate for tenants.

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Kavanagh, Mendez leave First Avenue office building that’s getting cleared out

By Sabina Mollot

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez have both recently left their longtime offices, which were located at a building at the southwest corner of First Avenue and 14th Street. The building has been getting slowly cleared of its commercial tenants, with Mendez leaving a few weeks after Kavanagh. He and Mendez are both temporarily working at their legislative office building at 250 Broadway, near City Hall. Kavanagh said he is still looking for a new permanent space within the district, which runs from Delancey Street to the United Nations building, but plans to stay in the same neighborhood.

News of the exodus was announced by Mendez to constituents via email.

“This suite on the fifth floor has served constituents of Council District 2 for over two decades and the displacement is sad news to Team Rosie,” she said. “As the exhausting search for affordable space within the boundaries of the district continues, we will be sure to keep you updated when we relocate.”

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Dinner with a senator

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Sandersheadshot

Several months ago during one of the late night pauses in the state budget deliberations, I had the occasion to have dinner in Albany with one of the rising stars of the New York State Senate, our own Brad Hoylman.

The meal itself was not all that memorable, although it did consist of my favorite Italian food and it was pretty darn good. But what I remember most about that evening was not the pasta or pastry for dessert but rather the intelligence, humility and the down to earth common sense of the fellow sitting across the table, Senator Brad Hoylman.

Unlike our mayor, Brad arrived pretty close to the scheduled time and without an entourage. But nonetheless he apologized for being just a few minutes late because work in the Senate was running a bit long that evening and he wasn’t exactly sure of the street that our bistro was located on.

I had actually known Brad a little bit prior to his 2012 election to the State Senate. Brad was a vice president of the prestigious New York City Partnership which is a progressive organization of business and civic leaders. I also knew of Brad’s work in local politics from the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

The reviews on Brad had always been good but I never really spent much time with him. We immediately launched into a multi-dimensional conversation involving the need for political reforms, tenant protections, education, health matters and family values. I was so impressed with Brad’s grasp and understanding of a wide range of important topics and his many good ideas about how to make government more accountable to voters and work better.Perhaps because he has only been in the State Senate for three years he has not had time to become jaded. But I suspect that if Brad serves in the Senate for 23 years, he will be the same positive thinking progressive elected official who cares more about good public policy than the personal enrichment either of money or power that some in politics seem to lust after. Brad seems to be cut from a different cloth. A fabric which is made of durable and sterner stuff.

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Community, 13th Precinct celebrate National Night Out Against Crime

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise (more photos inside)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and local law enforcement celebrated National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday evening, marking the 31st year for the annual event. At Simon Baruch Middle School’s playground, police officers from the 13th Precinct on the next block over manned the grill, including the precinct’s former executive officer, Frank Sorensen, who was recently promoted to commanding officer for Specialty Units in Manhattan South.

The event, organized by the 13th Precinct Community Council, is aimed at raising crime awareness and building working relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities. In recent years though, it’s also become just as much about having a block party on a usually sweltering day.

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Letters to the Editor, June 5

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Blame Albany for tenant bills going nowhere

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Albano Republican Club President Frank Scala’s Letter to the Editor (5/22/14) inferring that elected Republican officials haven’t caused the continuing stagnation of pro-tenant legislation in Albany.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village’s state representatives, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, are vigorous proponents of MCI reform, repealing vacancy decontrol, restoring home rule to New York City, comprehensive campaign finance reform and the rest of the Real Rent Reform Campaign agenda.

In fact, on May 13, the Assembly once again passed a series of bills that will strengthen rent regulations and increase New Yorkers’ access to affordable housing. Senator Hoylman and the vast majority of his Democratic colleagues co-sponsor these bills but unless they are allowed to come to the floor for a vote by Republicans in the Senate Majority Coalition, they will again die as one-house bills.

As Senator Hoylman said at the May 10th ST-PCV Tenants Association meeting, for our own future, we need to participate in electing pro-tenant candidates from across New York State. He didn’t specify that those candidates be Democrats, but the parties’ records speak for themselves.

Senator Hoylman and Assemblyman Kavanagh continue to work on behalf of the interests of ST/PCV as well as tenants across New York City and New York State, regardless of their political beliefs or party registration.

Sincerely,

Mark Thompson, ST
President, Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club

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