Monday, June 22, 2009

Reid Pillifant's Steve Levin profile

The New York Observer (and WG News and Arts') Reid Pillifant, winner of the 2009 North Brooklyn Male Reporter Beauty Pageant followed around Council candidate Steve Levin for nearly a month to try to get inside his head. Here's what he came up with.

This Is Vito's Guy?By Reid Pillifant

Stephen Levin knows that to his opponents in the 33rd City Council District, he is “Vito’s Guy,” the machine candidate who has worked since 2006 as chief of staff to Assemblyman and Brooklyn Democratic Party chair Vito Lopez.
“I think that’s fine,” Levin said with a shrug. “I can’t control everybody’s perception of it. I would just say that when folks meet me one-on-one, they see that I’m an independent guy and I have my own opinions about things.”
Only a small part of Lopez’s Assembly district actually overlaps with the 33rd Council District—which stretches along the East River waterfront from Greenpoint to Dumbo—but Lopez looms large over Levin’s race, casting an even longer shadow than the incumbent, David Yassky. The powerful borough boss has been frequently, and ominously, invoked at the candidate forums—with the implicit suggestion that Levin would be Vito’s man at City Hall.
On Butler Street in Boerum Hill, where Levin recently spent a balmy night canvassing, there seemed to be no Lopez stigma, no “Vito Power” jokes, no talk of investigations. To the residents who answered their door, and those who Levin accosted on the sidewalks, he was endearing, young, hopeful.
“City Council? You look awfully young to be on the City Council,” said one basement dweller as he looked up at Levin.
Rail-thin and fresh-faced, Levin, 28, bounded up and down the brownstone stoops with the predictable enthusiasm of a first-time candidate. In baggy gray slacks, a dark tie and rolled-up white sleeves, he proudly introduced himself as the chief of staff to “Vito Lopez, Assembly housing chair,” and as the candidate recently endorsed by the Working Families Party.
“I’ve knocked on probably 2,500 doors and I’ve gotten probably 1,100 names, and I don’t recall a single one having a negative reaction to [Lopez], and a lot of them have a positive reaction,” Levin said.


Anonymous said...

2,500 doors and only 1,100 signatures, what kind of math is that?

Veto Vito in 2010 said...

No negatve comments about Vito "Pedophile Protector" Lopez? Perhaps the people he's visiting don't read the papers.

Anonymous said...

Steve Levin has every right to be proud of working for someone who has dedicated his life to creating thousands of units of affordable housing in New York State. Obviously the people he has talked to DO read the papers and understand the great things the Assemblyman has accomplished.

Unknown said...

Anon at 1:14, too funny. It's math where the formula involves the unstated fact that alot of people aren't home. You ever been canvassing? Alot of people are out when you want them to be home.

Veto Vito, alot of people disagree with the Markey legislation. In fact, most major good government groups having to do with criminal justice issues such as the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society, among others, favor the Lopez Bill.

Unknown said...

Btw, I'm not that Stephen...

Anonymous said...

From Anon 1!14 to Stephen (unfortunate name for these posts).-- I would think it was midnight and most people would be home. Isn't that most vampires petition?