Before the primary, Town & Village endorsed Carlina Rivera for City Council, District 2, and Keith Powers for District 4 (along with a co-endorsement for fellow Democrat Marti Speranza, who is no longer in the race), because we felt they would be the most effective fighters for their respective clusters of Manhattan and the city. Two months later, we have not changed our positions and hope that voters will give their support to Powers and Rivera.
In Powers’ case, we like his background of community activism and local politics. Long before becoming a lobbyist — which opponents have delighted in attacking him for — he was working for State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, with duties including helping tenants fight off unfair challenges to their residency. He also was involved with the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, again championing renters’ rights, and Community Board 6, where he has been involved in helping maintain a balance of supporting local nightlife while also protecting neighbors’ rights to quiet enjoyment of their apartments. It’s an advisory role, but the State Liquor Authority does pay attention to it. Because Powers has been involved in civic groups for years, even his challengers couldn’t accuse him of merely doing these things to score points with voters.
Manny Cavaco, Green Party candidate (Photos courtesy of candidates)
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.
Rachel Honig, who placed third in last week’s primary, is still on the ballot as a Liberal Party candidate. (Photo by Kristy Ye-Ling)
By Sabina Mollot
While Peter Cooper Village resident Keith Powers handily won the City Council Democratic Primary race for District 4, voters have not seen the last of one of his eight Democrat opponents.
Rachel Honig, who placed third in the race, after Marti Speranza, is actually still in the running, because she ran on the Liberal Party line as well as on the Democratic line.
Honig, who got 8.59 percent of the vote (Powers got 41.24 percent and Speranza 22.78) reminded her followers of this fact via an email blast last week that also asked for continued financial contributions to her campaign.
She also told supporters she considered her third place showing a victory since she’d entered the race later than other candidates, in April, while Powers and Speranza had been running for over a year.
Reached on the phone, Honig said she wasn’t the only candidate who’d run on more than one party line. Republican Rebecca Harary, who Powers and Honig will face in the November general election, also ran on the Stop De Blasio line, despite a ballot challenge.
East Village resident and City Council candidate Erin Hussein ended her campaign to replace Councilmember Rosie Mendez in District 2 on Thursday. Hussein announced that she would be supporting Lower East Side resident Jorge Vasquez in the election.
She said that one of her primary reasons for withdrawing from the race and putting her support behind Vasquez is his background.
“I’ve lived here for a long time and got to know it even better during my campaign, but at the end of the day it makes the most sense to have the district represented by someone who is Latino, because he can speak to the unique issues from that part of the district,” she said. “The demographics are changing but that’s still true for the most part.”
Hussein added that she also felt Vasquez would fight for the issues important to the district, such as pushing for a public hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and advocating for rezoning around the proposed tech hub on East 14th Street to prevent out-of-context high-rises from popping up in the neighborhood, and was encouraged that Vasquez has not received donations from real estate developers.
“He gave me his word of honor that he would fight for a full hearing for the SBJSA and wasn’t going to vote in favor of the tech hub unless contextual rezoning was part of that, and his fundraising record doesn’t give me any reason not to believe him,” she said. “That made me feel very comfortable that I could take myself out of the equation and still win, in a way.”
Vasquez said that he was happy to receive Hussein’s endorsement.
“She has run a positive campaign about important issues in our neighborhoods, and I look forward to working with her moving forward,” Vasquez said. “I’ve been passionate about our community for my entire life, and I will use my energy, commitment, and experience to bring about real change.”
Last month, our City Council approved a package of tenant-protection bills that will provide legal counsel to low-income tenants facing eviction, and curb tenant harassment. This is a huge victory for tenants, but there’s still much more we must do – especially in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, where rent-stabilized tenants know first-hand the struggles of rising rents. This fall, we must elect a Council Member who will adopt bold, innovative solutions to solve the affordability crisis. That’s why I’ve endorsed Democrat Marti Speranza.
While every candidate talks about affordable housing, Marti has a workable 19 point plan that will protect residents of ST/PCV while preserving and creating more permanently affordable housing throughout the district. A cornerstone of her Plan for A Livable City is creating a citywide Community Land Trust (CLT), a proven method of transforming underutilized land into permanently affordable housing.
Bessie Schachter, pictured at last month’s debate next to fellow candidate Jeff Mailman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
UPDATE July 27 at 2:15 p.m.: Schachter contacted Town & Village on Thursday afternoon to say she was reinstated by court order.
By Sabina Mollot
On July 13, all candidates running for City Council races were required to submit petitions with a minimum of 450 signatures — or more if they expected to ward off challenges.
But one candidate, who said she actually got over 5,000 signatures, was knocked off the ballot for filing her paperwork a day late, and is now attempting to fight her way back on. That candidate, Bessie Schachter, told Town & Village she does expect to be on the ballot in the September 12 primary, though, calling the problem a “minor, technical” one.
According to an employee at the New York City Board of Elections, Schachter was removed on July 20 for responding a day late to a noncompliance notice. The notice had indicated a problem with her petition’s cover sheet, since cover sheets must mention how many volumes are included, and each volume must have its own identification number. Schachter had to have filed it within a three-day notice period that ended on July 19, but she filed the next evening, he said.
Lifelong Lower East Side resident Jasmin Sanchez had already been working in public service for most of her career when she decided to try to transfer those skills to the City Council.
Sanchez, who still lives in Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side where she grew up, has experience in the nonprofit sector, working with community leaders at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and in State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, which is where she said she learned how to be a community advocate. She is running for the Council seat in District 2, with City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez being term-limited out next year.
A major focus of Sanchez’s campaign is mental health services, primarily because it’s an issue that ties into not only healthcare, but can affect housing and education as well, and has an impact on homelessness. She added that she feels having affordable housing can sometimes be the lynchpin for communities and families, and that it can be especially detrimental for students if they have a tenuous living situation.
“If you don’t have housing, you don’t focus as much on everything else and your performance suffers,” she said.
“It’s not a stable life for kids from shelters. It can be very stressful for them not to have a stable place to live. Schools have mental health services but they have to be holistic and make sure that families are receiving those services as well.”
I read your editorial of Thursday, June 15, 2017. Given its headline, “Outdated rule makes running for office even more difficult,” I thought I’d be reading about the State Supreme Court Nominating Convention, which one former district leader described as byzantine.
Instead, I read about a so-called “archaic” rule that candidates “are at risk of being booted off the ballot” for duplicate signatures. Well, after slipping through a gauntlet of Vanessa T. Aronson’s petitioners to enter the Stuyvesant Town gates at 18th Street and First Avenue, I ran into my upstairs neighbor who offered me a big handshake. We started talking and soon he was yelling at the petitioners.
I said, “Dude, what’s up? They’re entitled to try to get signatures.”
He wanted no part of it and I had to hold him back from going after the two of them.
I said, “What did they say? Did they demean you, or your family?”
I would have gone over to the petitioners and tried to mop it up had he given me some grist. Instead, he then turned on me while the petitioners yelled, “Go Democrats!”