- Cartoon by Jim Meadows
More info needed from candidate
To the Editor:
T&V published a column by Keith Powers, a City Council candidate (“A New Year’s resolution to build the full Second Avenue Subway,” T&V, Jan. 5). He advocates the full build of the Second Avenue Subway and was identified as a PCV resident, a member of our Community Board and a member of PCV/ST Tenants Association. But he’s a Democratic District Leader and I’m curious, given his candidacy, why that wasn’t included. I’ve been told he has important support despite his bio making no mention of any gainful employment.
A Google search reveals that he’s a consultant with an influential firm. Their website lists the transportation industry as a client category. Shouldn’t he, before getting too heavily invested in a campaign, explain any potential conflict of interests given having endorsed a full build? After all, full build will stall, surely somewhere between 34th and Houston Streets. This means scaffolding and plates would line 2nd Avenue past most any of our life expectancies.
Another City Council candidate “reached out” to me. It made me realize that City Council term limits have turned our municipal legislature into a free for all: eight years on the Council and then a run for county or citywide office. Vacated Council seats, half of them every four years, then get filled, ideally, by Assembly members that have “seen their opportunities [in Albany] and took ‘em.”
Instead of our Democratic candidates being mostly lawyers from local law schools who grew up through the ranks in local clubs, we now regularly get lobbyists thereby perpetuating the transformation of NY’s Democratic Party from “real live Democrats” to Republican lite. Steve Sanders was our longtime Assembly member before turning lobbyist. Powers is doing it the other way.
Hopefully, he realizes that Michael Bloomberg’s consultant ran for a West Side State Senate seat last year. And, despite Hizzoner’s and the New York Times’ backing, he lost.
The writer’s grandfather managed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1928 campaign for Governor.
Bill Sternberg, ST
Editor’s note: Adding a bio to Keith Powers’ op-ed was a last minute editorial decision, as was the decision to keep said description brief. Though the fact that Powers is the vice president at lobbying firm Constantinople & Vallone wasn’t mentioned in the bio, it has been included in a prior article in this newspaper about his candidacy for the City Council.