Before moving on, Garodnick reflects on 12 years fighting for tenants’ rights

For Council Member Dan Garodnick, defending tenants from harassment has been a signature issue. (Photo by William Alatriste)

By Sabina Mollot

It was in 2005 when Dan Garodnick, an attorney who worked for the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison before running for office, was elected to the City Council, replacing Eva Moskowitz.

Garodnick won with 63 percent of the vote and since then, has held onto the position easily while making tenant rights a signature issue.

At the start of the New Year, however, Garodnick will be the one term-limited out of his Council seat, to be succeeded by a neighbor he endorsed, Keith Powers.

Recently, over a cappuccino at the Starbucks in Peter Cooper Village, Garodnick, now 45, reflected on his 12 years in office, all the while giving little away about what he’ll be doing next.

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Another argument against term limits

Re: “A Case Against Term Limits,” Politics & Tidbits column, T&V, Feb. 9

To the Editor,

Steve Sanders’ commendation of Hon. Dan Garodnick is well deserved. It would be better if Garodnick could serve without limits. But he chose the Council four years ago, not running for borough president, something he’d never do against Jessica Lappin. (They even held holiday parties together.)

Then Garodnick was bossed out of his bid for comptroller and then, as well, the speaker’s race.

I’m on his side despite his not running for State Senate, which would have given him an opportunity to snipe at any municipal office when time presented itself. But he wanted to be in NYC, not Albany, with his lovely wife and adorable boys.

Were Democrats in Manhattan organized, however, he would have been talked out of it (although it is agreed within Democratic circles that State Senator, Hon. Brad Hoylman, is doing a fine job). So now Garodnick is off cycle, like being a designated hitter in the National League. And he shouldn’t be on the bench.

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Opinion: A case against term limits

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

It has been said that the profession of politics is the second oldest one and regarded on about par with the oldest. Politicians are often times reviled beyond any logical reason. If you are unhappy in life, blame a politician. If you feel overburdened, blame a politician.

But too frequently some public officials give good reason for this antipathy by doing corrupt things. While all professions have their bad players, when a politician is caught with his/her hand in the cookie jar, the rest are tarnished and brought down in the eyes of the public.

It is little wonder that the proposition to impose strict term limits is so popular. Of course, it is also entirely undemocratic and occasionally destructive. Dan Garodnick is a case in point.

Dan has been our City Councilman for 11 years. He has effectively represented our community with intelligence, passion and unquestioned integrity. We sorely need those traits in our government leaders today. But he is in his last year as our local representative. You will not be able to vote for him again and our community will be deprived of an exemplary public official and advocate, because of arbitrary term limits.

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ESU detective aims to educate New York on what state Constitution actually means

Detective James Coll of Emergency Service Unit #1 and ChangeNYS (Photo by Marc DeGeorge)

Detective James Coll of Emergency Service Unit #1 and ChangeNYS (Photo by Marc DeGeorge)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

All members of the NYPD are required to swear an oath to the New York State Constitution when they begin their service, but Detective James Coll said that it wasn’t until after he swore his oath that he actually took the time to read it. Since he felt like he wasn’t the only one who was unfamiliar with the document, he started a non-partisan and non-profit organization called ChangeNYS that aims to educate New Yorkers about the contents of the state’s constitution.

Coll, who is one of the detectives that was honored with the Cop of the Year award in 2009 for rescuing passengers from the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River, has been a member of the NYPD since 1997 and since 2002 has been a member of the Emergency Squad Unit 1, which is directly adjacent to the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street.

Coll has been an adjunct professor of American history at Nassau Community College since 2001 but he said that he started thinking about the state’s constitution when he decided to go to graduate school shortly after joining the NYPD. He started ChangeNYS about two years ago as an educational program and to offer a forum for discussion to anyone who wanted to learn about the government.

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