Wednesday, September 30, 2009

David Yassky: The Final Frontier (a photo diary)

I always secretly hope that one day, at a campaign after party, there's going to be volumes of champagne bottles that all the staffers spray on the winning candidate. Or at least, have the press liaison and the chief of staff dump a container of Gatorade on the candidate after a victory. That didn't happen at the David Yassky party Tuesday night. There was champagne available at BLVD (199 Bowery Street) in Soho, but it would cost you. I got over there at 9 PM just in time for the first few results to start trickling in and to watch Assemblywoman Joan Millman get deep-cavity searched by BLVD security (kidding, she kept her outside food at home).

I spotted Erik Dilan almost immediately, who is looking at a third term in office as Bushwick and Cypress Hills' Councilmember. Erik wanted me to emphasize that he was drinking ginger ale for the night. With a straw. My colleague Reid Pillifant over at The New York Observer was also sent to write copy for the night. He was holding a Budweiser (corrected! Not Amstel Light) and he did not look happy.
"Do you know how much this beer was? $8," said Reid.

A staffer came by and told us there would be an open bar if David won. Reid frowned. Thirty-three percent of the precints were reporting and David was down 15 points already. At least DJ Brian Switzer is happy.

We're getting our second wave of volunteers, and in walks former council candidate Evan Thies. He came in fourth, losing to Steve Levin (and Jo Anne Simon and Isaac Abraham), but was in good spirits. I asked him what he's been up to the past two weeks.
"I've been on vacation... at David Yassky's campaign office," says Evan.

Evan also went up to New Hampshire for a bit, where his family is from originally, and joked about trying out for the Red Sox. Unfortunately he missed September call-ups and Dustin Pedroia has 2nd Base pretty much locked down. "I don't know, those double play balls could be thrown a little quicker," says Evan.

On the other side of the room, NY1's Grace Rauh corralled Erik for an interview, before beginning her segment, "the mood here is somber..." and I get a text from Churches United for Fair Housing's Rob Solano, writing "Erik Dilan is on NY1 right now!" Dude. I know. I'm standing right next to him. Erik answers a couple of questions and looks at the television again. 76 percent of citywide precincts reporting and John Liu's margin hasn't changed. "De Blasio party," says Erik. He makes his way to the door but sees Evan Thies, for our first Awkward Handshake of the night.

Erik volunteered for Steve Levin's campaign, standing in front of the Gowanus Houses for most of the day. I'm not sure exactly if Erik knows who Evan Thies is. Evan knew who Erik was. I mentioned to Evan that he did not make an endorsement in the 34th District race because of his friendship with Diana Reyna and his reluctance to go against an incumbent Councilmember. "Really... that's interesting," said Evan.
At about 9:45 PM, New York 1 called the Comptroller race for John Liu and the Public Advocate race for David Yassky. The crowd was getting antsy. I notice Yassky spokesdude Danny Kanner rush in from the side and let Grace know that the councilmember called John Liu to concede and was on his way in five to ten minutes. I say hi to Danny for the second Awkward Handshake of the night. Right on time, at 10 PM, David and his family take the stage.

David thanked his supporters, family and hard working staffers while kicking into his concession speech... John Liu earned a well-deserved victory and I’m sure he will be a terrific Comptroller for the city of New York. There is still a vision of government that I believe in deeply, that you all believe in deeply, and truly tens of thousands of New Yorkers share and that vision has animated all of you tonight. David spent just over $4,000,000 on his bid to be City Comptroller, lost by 12 points, and received 7,000 votes less than he received two weeks ago during the Primary.

While there will be another time to talk about his legacy as councilmember for Downtown Brooklyn, Greenpoint and Williamsburg for the past eight years, tonight was not the night. After the speech, David waded into the thinning crowd to thank a large contingent of family and well-wishers who decided to keep drinking, even if the party wasn't open bar. I nudged my way forward for Awkward Handshake #3.
"Thanks for the Four Square," said David.
"Thanks David," I said.
I noticed David's mom Harriet, aka The Momptroller, who campaigned with him throughout the city, particularly with seniors. I don't care if John Liu won, she'll always be The Momptroller in my book. A final goodbye to Assemblymember Jonathan Bing and Councilmember Dan Garodnick (AH #4 and #5) and that would be it for the night.

Did you know that Jon and Dan are members of a barbershop quartet with David and Eric Gioia? Their name? The Four Horsemen of the Baroque-lypse.

Thirsty for champagne, I decided to make a quick stop at the Bill De Blasio after party at Union Bar. It was on my way home. I should have gotten there sooner. I had been getting texts all night that the place was elbow to elbow crowded. Marty Markowitz, Scott Stringer, Brian Kavanaugh, Dan Squadron, Joan Millman, Betsy Gotbaum, Erik Dilan, Bill Thompson, Jumaane Williams, and Gail Brewer all stopped by at one point.

The place was ransacked and empty, except for a few mingling volunteers, the new Public Advocate and his wife, and Rachel Amar, a former De Blasio staffer and North Brooklyn political junkie. A good rule of thumb that I use for determining whether a political event is worth attending is finding out if Rachel is going to show up. The campaign staffers had already left for an after after party on the other side of Union Square. When we caught up with them, every one was out on the street, smoking. Their treasurer was smoking a cigar. It was close to 1 AM and the staffers shuffled inside, while I talked with Assemblymember Brian Kavanaugh and 1199's Leah Gonzalez. Wait a minute... Is that Journey? I think it is! Don't Stop... Be-leeeeeeeeevin...

Don't stop Beeeeeelievin' Bill De Blasio. Congratulations.

Comptroller, Public Advocate links

From around the web and back again:

BoroPolitics has the Advocate race, has the Yassky loss from Yassky Headquarters, while the Brooklyn Paper culls reports, City Room reports from Liu Headquarters, The New York Daily News talks about Yom Kippur sidelining the second place winners, while Adam Lisberg and friends at NYDN's City Hall desk wraps the two races, Kareem Fahim and Julie Bosman do the same at the Times, and Michael Barbaro has voting scenes from The Bronx.

Behind the scenes, Azi over at the New York Observer looks into the New New York Machine, City Hall News looks at Manhattan endorsements in the Comptroller race, Steve Kornacki back at the Observer views the Comptroller and Advocate race as the Final Four with the Finals to be held in 2013 (the mayoral race that is), David Freedlander interviews Bloomberg's Biographer, more Bloomberg with a meeting with Al Gore on environmental issues in Long Island City

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

David Yassky Loses, John Liu and Bill De Blasio win

Thanks David.

New York 1 has the official tallies, but David lost to John handily, 56 to 44. I'll have a photo essay and much more tomorrow. At his party in Soho, David thanked his extremely hard working staff, which is extremely off the record right now. I thought that was the classiest move of the night. Just up the street, Bill De Blasio won too. It all goes back to John and David on the corners. Sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

Stuck on Yassky

While we all wait for the results to trickle in, check out Gary Buiso's bone-deep investigation into Yassky stickering.

Yassky Yassky Yassky

It's a big day for David. Fresh of repenting his sins at shul, he's on the street, shaking hands, putting signs on telephone polls, sticking stickers to windshields that are surprisingly hard to remove (we know, we have photos)... all for the big showdown tonight at 9 PM with John Liu.

Now, after a searing article in The Village Voice, a brief meeting with a divine angel, and turnout running at abysmally low levels, just who is going to blink first?

Well, ok, that's not the best indicator for what will happen tonight. It's all about turnout and who has the most energized voters. On Avenue B there were John Liu posters everywhere, while Yasskyites blanketed Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights with their placards and literature. The frame of the race to me comes down to a character from Star Trek: who can be the most Spocklike. And it's true, Comptroller Billy Thompson is a huge Star Trek fan, so I'm not far off here. Captain James T Kirk, he's the mayor. He's in charge, blustery shouting orders. Spock, on the other hand, is the highly logical counterweight. That's the comptroller in a nutshell. So has David Yassky or John Liu positioned themselves as the most boring choice, outpacing the relatively spunky David Weprin and the shows-signs-of-a-faint-pulse Melinda Katz? We will know soon. As Spock would say, "It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want."

David Yassky's Primary Schedule

Wake up Brooklyn! Yom Kippur is over and there's Dueling Primary Runoffs to contend with. Want meet a possible future Comptroller? Here's David's schedule for the rest of the day:

1:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Greets VotersStuyvesant Town16th Street and 1st AvenueManhattan OPEN PRESS
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Greets VotersManhattan Plaza ApartmentsWest 43rd Street, Between 9th and 10th AvenuesManhattanOPEN PRESS
5:45 PM - 8:45 PM
Greets Commuters72nd and Broadway Subway StationManhattanOPEN PRESS
9:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Attends Yassky Election Night Victory PartyBLVD Soho 199 Bowery, Between Spring and Prince Streets Manhattan OPEN PRESS

Correction! Steve Levin plays Bass, not Drums.

Democratic Nominee Steve Levin, above, plays the bass guitar. Not the drums, as previously reported. He was also never actually in MGMT, but played with the dudes who eventually formed MGMT. Major major mix-up here and I regret the error. He also did not play in Spinal Tap, below, but if he did, he would have played double bass.

Now that he's the Democratic Nominee... is there time to get the band back together? Or start a new band with Queens County party leader Congressman Joe Crowley?

Also, Steve made City Hall's 40 Under 40 List! Here's his excerpt:

Steve Levin
Democratic Council nominee
Age: 28

When asked how he was able to muscle out a bunch of challengers in a competitive Council race to fill David Yassky’s Council seat, Steve Levin gives one answer.
“My friend and mentor Vito Lopez,” he says. “I would not have been elected if it were not for him.”
Indeed, the former chief-of-staff for the Assembly Housing chair and Brooklyn Democratic leader says that his old boss has given him lots of advice over the years, but that he led more by example.
“He is a tireless worker and he always does everything he can for the people he represents,” Levin said. “It comes from the heart.”
But when the Brown University graduate was deciding whether or not to make a run for the Council, he did not only get heart-to-hearts from local political big wigs. His father’s first cousins, Michigan Senator Carl Levin and his brother, Rep. Sandy Levin, weighed in as well.
“They both encouraged me to go for it,” he said. “They said work hard, be true to yourself, and always try to do the right thing.”
But, he added, the real motivation came from within.
“I’ve always wanted to serve people and to make people’s lives better,” he said. “That’s been the goal all along.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are today? My past jobs were as a community organizer and chief of staff to Vito Lopez, and there has always been a commitment to serving people and serving their needs.
If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing: Public interest law
Five years from now, what will it say on your business card: Councilmember for the 33rd district
Who would play you in the movie? Harry Connick, Jr.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Short List: Lebowskifest/Kapparot Edition

What does Lebowskifest and the Kapparot ritual have in common? They don't roll on shabbos.

With a solid Fall weekend bookended by Lebowskifest and Yom Kippur with three dueling arts festivals thrown in for good measure, fortunately the Short List rolls on through it. Friday saw the kickoff of the first ever Greenpoint Open Studios and the teenage (13th annual) Dumbo Arts Fair which will continue through Sunday. Your new councilmember stopped by, so if they're interesting enough for him, you should check them out too. You don't even need to leave the G train.

Saturday night there's the Last Supper Festival, which I previewed too, if you're looking for something last minute to do, or head to Greenpoint Gallery for the GOS afterparty. Sunday, if you're not art festivaled out, head to Maria Hernandez Park for CAPITAL B's I Heart BWCK Day to celebrate the heart of Bushwick. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what the acronym stands for.

And don't forget to swing by Lee and Rodney for some ritual chicken swinging sin transferrence that is the Kapparot. It's hard to explain exactly. PETA was upset about it in 2008, but they've mainly left the Hasids alone this year. Here's a video posted just three days ago!

What else happened this week, you ask? The Comptrollers and Public Advocates are gearing up for a runoff on Tuesday with some last minute debates and ads, Flushing, Queens could see new influence in City Hall if John Liu wins, Diana Reyna is up 251 votes but there are signs of life in the Maritza Davila camp which may be back to work as early as Monday in the campaign office (you bet I'm tracking this one), Steve Levin makes the rounds, and it looks like Gerry Esposito ran out of money (he's spent about $5,000 than he raised according to Friday's CFB filings) which led to some former campaign workers posting a blog about it. Also, Kill Devil Hill, which has nothing to do with elections.
Much more to discuss next week from Newtown Creek's Superfund Listing to skateboarders taking over the burg (thanks Juliet Linderman!), and live reports from the David Yassky Runoff Party, featuring the Momptroller Tuesday night. Until then? Good luck with your sins. And Shake a Tailfeather!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Telling you what you need to know

I know you need to know... need to know.. tell me baby girl what I need to know... but The Short List will have to wait until Saturday for a super special Lebowskifest/ Kapparot Edition. What does a ritualistic Hasidic chicken twirling festival have in common with the greatest slacker movie of all-time? The Short List abides. And it really ties the room together. In the meantime, check out Greenpoint Open Studios' grand opening party at Transmitter Park 7-9 PM and the afterparty at CoCo66! Go Joann Kim!


equals... The Short List

Notes from Community Board 4


Bushwick Community Board ‘Live’: September 09
by Aaron Short September 25th, 2009
Lost in the commotion of the competitive Democratic Primary was Community Board Four’s September meeting, the first of the new school year. There was little on the agenda but lots of announcements, and only one elected office sent a representative to the meeting that is usually full of staffers.
That representative was an exhausted yet triumphant Diana Reyna, the Democratic nominee for City Council. A weekend recount from two counties’ Boards of Elections certified her margin of victory over Democratic District Leader Maritza Davila at 251 votes. Reyna’s attorney said that Davila would not be challenging the results in court and while Davila remains on the ballot in November on the Working Families Party line, a WFP spokesperson said that Davila’s campaign has not been in touch with their office regarding coordinated campaign efforts.
Why did Diana win? Laura Braslow of Arts in Bushwick notes turnout from the artist community that is slowly moving into Bushwick, but those demographics are difficult to track. The council district is still over 80 percent Latino. In the 53rd Assembly District (Vito Lopez’s district), Davila beat Reyna by 200 votes, but Reyna made up the difference in pockets of other assembly districts like parts of Ridgewood, Bed-Stuy, and Wiliamsburg).

Read more here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Primary Non-Winners: It was a Good Day

Today was like one of those fly dreams
Didn't even see a berry flashing those high beams
No helicopter looking for a murder
Two in the morning got the fat burger
Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
And it read Ice Cube's a pimp
Drunk as hell but no throwing up
Half way home and my pager still blowing up
Today I didn't even have to use my A.K./
I got to say it was a good day

Updated (yes, I fixed the spelling of "Primary"): Well, not for everyone. In every election, there are winners…and non-winners. Not everyone can win elections, but not everyone who doesn’t win is a loser. There are political comebacks, new alliances forged, and issue advocacy campaigns that can be launched following elections. Before we turn the page on this primary, let’s take a look at some groups that were disappointed with the results on Primary night and the challenges that they face in the coming months.


Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats and Independent Neighborhood Democrats: Rough night for the Downtown Brooklyn Progressive community. Though Jo Anne Simon received the endorsement of both groups (she sits on IND), she was unable to unite progressive voters in downtown Brooklyn to turnout in high numbers on Primary Day to counteract the Hasidic bloc in Williamsburg. What does this result mean for the influence of both political clubs moving forward? A former council candidate gave me his view and it’s not pretty:
The political clubs in downtown Brooklyn are just as insular, tribal and patronage driven as the clubs that they came in existence to fight. This is no reflection at all on the candidates who lost. The futility of that effort (to point out the Vito-Steve Levin connection), was shown when Levin picked up Chuck Schumer’s endorsement. Once that issue was put to bed, the clubs had nothing left to talk about.

New Kings Democrats: New Kings faces a different challenge. It is a nascent political organization still figuring out its direction. While their effort to recruit and run candidates for county committee was fairly successful, many individual leaders in New Kings were poached by candidates (Leslie Crocker Snyder, Evan Thies, Jo Anne Simon, Diana Reyna, Gerry Esposito, Doug Biviano, etc.) as staff or volunteers in the primary. Now, after licking their wounds, they are back and set to choose some new leadership. NKD member and former Esposito spokesperson Morgan Pehme has been pessimistic about the group’s direction and said the election was “the death of the reform movement in Brooklyn,” however other members believe the election provided a need to refocus efforts and work to build alliances with organizations (perhaps with Make the Road New York, Bushwick Impact, or El Puente) also looking for ways to engage their members politically. Here's a comments from a more optimistic NKD member:
Many members of NKD were pulled on different elections on Election Day, but the enthusiasm for reforming local Brookyn politics remains high. NKD has big plans for 2010 and we expect to expand our membership base and network of partners in the months ahead.

Vito Lopez: Vito divided the Kings County Party resources among several candidates on Primary Day. The effort paid off in Steve Levin’s victory, but Martiza Davila came up short in the 34th. While he is still upset about the Davila race (according to a few sources), do not expect him to dwell on the outcome for long, as there are committee chairmanships in City Council to be decided upon in the coming months. Will Vito make a play to wrestle the Land Use and Finance Committees, formerly chaired by Melinda Katz and David Weprin, to Brooklyn Councilmembers (Recchia and maybe Steve Levin)? Will Vito push a candidate to run against Speaker Christine Quinn, with whom the Daily News notes there is an uneasy relationship? Big wheel keeps on running… proud mary keeps on burning…

Williamsburg Pastors: I could have put the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition here. Beyond Reyna’s close win, it is still unclear whether they have gained the wider support they need to derail the Broadway Triangle rezoning plan once it gets to City Council. Instead, let’s note the stress that pastors at St. Peter St. Paul (Father Rick Beuther) and Trasnfiguration Roman Catholic Church (Father Tony Hernandez) have been feeling as the 34th campaign divided their parishes. The Church aligned itself with Assemblymember Lopez over the sex abuse bill, and pastors in Williamsburg and Bushwick found themselves in an uncomfortable position on primary night, taking calls from Vito, who was upset that they didn’t do more to support Maritza Davila. Assemblymember Marge Markey is trying to add more support to her sex abuse bill, holding a press conference with black ministers in Manhattan this week, and hopes to reintroduce the bill in January. It will be interesting to see what role the Brooklyn Diocese will take in local politics going forward.

DFNYC: Founded shortly after Howard Dean lost the Democratic Presidential Primary, Democracy For America has grown into a well-respected nation-wide grassroots organization that recruits and trains progressive candidates to run for office. Their strength has been to run left-leaning candidates in conservative districts that have had little Democratic representation or rural districts with conservative Democratic incumbents. They have had less success wading in urban areas with strong Democratic Party organization. Josh Skaller, Norman Siegel, Steve Behar, Yetta Kurland were all backed by Democracy for New York City, the local branch of DFA. All lost. Skaller was the prototypical DFNYC member, yet he was unable to round up enough progressive support because the Lander campaign, assisted by the Working Families Party, had more volunteers on the ground. For DFNYC to be more successful in New York, they need to add more organizers or work to clear the field of other candidates that could split voters.

The Cleanliness of my Apartment: Dirty dishes and silverware in the sink. Bits of cantaloupe rind on the floor. Coffee rind smudges on the floor. Don’t even ask about the bathroom. After three weeks of neglect, The Short Cave needs a good scrub down. Volunteers? Anyone?

Neighbors Allied for Good Growth: Another temporary placement. Both NAG board member Evan Thies and Jo Anne Simon lost last Tuesday. The City Council winner in the 33rd District, Steve Levin, did not attend NAG’s candidates’ smackdown in July. Now, the organization is trying to get its swerve on to approach Steve with a comprehensive transportation/open space agenda. Fortunately for NAG, and for North Brooklyn, this has the potential to be a win-win. Steve will be looking to make an immediate policy impact in the district and NAG advocates have a laundry list of concerns that he can effectively advance in City Hall. Here’s NAG’s Susan Albrecht on Tuesday’s outcome:
NAG clearly recognizes that it is important to work closely with elected officials. Our councilmember is our greatest advocate in city government. Ensuring that the affordable housing promises of the rezoning are kept is where we could use Steve’s leadership. NAG can have a role in providing the new council rep with an intimate understanding of the community’s needs as well as work closely with the new council representative.
So cheer up, NAG! Just look on the bright side of life!

The David Yassky Special Achievement Award for Non-Non-Winner: Hi… This is David Yassky…. Thank you sooooooooooo much for calling my district office.
For only two more months, we will be able to hear this phone message. I will miss it. David’s political future is still unclear. He placed second in a competitive Comptroller race and now faces a bitter runoff next Tuesday with Queens Councilmember John Liu
. Liu is up in the polls, but just barely, and turnout is expected to be low. Both are running negative messaging this week and a NY1 debate awaits them tonight. David is fighting an uphill battle this week. He may be on the defensive regarding term limits and the DiBrienza issue, as Tom Robbins has noted in a long Village Voice piece this week, but if there’s anyone who knows how to make lemonade out of lemons… call me, because I could really use a Tom Collins after this primary.

Procedure Watch Part II

Reports are coming in from our foreign correspondent that everything is fine with Witt and there is nothing to be alarmed about.

The overall message here is that men over the age of 40 should have regular physicals and examinations by a fully licensed medical professional. To your health! Feel better Steve. Refuah Shleimah.

Also, I'd like to add another book plug for Steve Witt's American Moses, available at Why haven't you read it yet?

Steve Witt Procedure Watch (with live video)

Steve Witt is having a procedure today and we will be giving you breaking news coverage thorughout the process!
5:32 PM: A Short Story reaches Witt at home.
“The good news is, my #### is fine. I’m going to go to sleep now.”
We go live to a video inside Steve!

I'm sorry. Wrong video. Here we go...

Also, let's highlight that Steve Witt's excellent book, American Moses, is available for puchase at

Yiddish Policemen's Union Endorses David Yassky

"I am deeply humbled to have the support of three of our City's finest police unions," said Council Member Yassky. "These are the men and women who work everyday to keep our city safe, and I look forward to continue working with them in that effort when I am New York City Comptroller."

As well as these guys...

"From his work for Chuck Schumer to his early days on the City Council, David Yassky has always been a steadfast ally in the fight to get illegal guns off our streets," said Roy Richter, President of the Captains Endowment Association. "As Comptroller, he will fight every day for a safer New York and fair pay and benefits for the men and women who protect our city."
"David Yassky has proven to be a man of the utmost honesty and integrity," said Mike Palladino, President of the Detective Endowments Association. "He will be a fine New York City Comptroller who will fight to ensure our public safety agencies have the resources they need to keep our city safe."
"In both Washington and New York, David has fought for safer streets and for honest, accountable government," said Tom Sullivan, President of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association. "As Comptroller, David will continue to fight for hard working New Yorkers in every community in all five boroughs."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Primary Winners: The Soft Parade

If we have learned anything this primary campaign is that you may not be able to petition the Lord with prayer... but you can petition your way on the ballot and get the Lord (or at least his most avid fans) to help your City Council campaign.

With that thought, let's take a closer look at the Winners and Non-Winners of last Tuesday's Primary election. No one is a loser really (except Kendall Stewart, who is a sore loser), but there are some non-winners. This list does not reflect the candidates themselves, but the scores of individuals and organizations who saw their profile go up or down (and in one case both) this week, following the Democratic Primary. Today we'll look at the winners.


1. The Working Families Party: And how! Let's look at their roster. Jumaane Williams (Win), Brad Lander (Win), Bill De Blasio (Win/ Runoff), John Liu (Win/ Runoff), Jimmy van Bramer (Win), Bill Thompson (Win), and Steve Levin (Win). Lynn Schulman lost in Forrest Hills, Queens but she was running against a former councilwoman with name recognition and Maritza Davila lost by 200 votes to a Council incumbent. Williams and Lander, where WFP put most of their resources, won big. As Dan Levitan, WFP spokesperson, told me, the DFS funding scandal made very little difference to voters in these races and was not an issue. Let's go to Hank Sheinkopf for the citywide perspective:

The purpose of political parties is to elect voters and turn out people in elections for candidates. WFP is filling the void. The clubs do not have the volunteers. What the WFP does is provide the kind of labor needed to turn out voters at a price. It tells you less about WFP than the failure of the traditional parties to get much done and have voter participation at reasonable levels.

2. United Jewish Organizations: A little over a year ago, I wrote a story about how Rabbi David Niederman and other UJO leaders delivered over 4000 new registered voters to the Brooklyn Board of Elections. The effort put forward to get Hasidic residents to vote in the upcoming presidential election, but Niederman knew the significance of the event. So did Vito Lopez. On Primary Day, over 5,000 South Williamsburg residents voted in the primary. Two campaign sources estimate 2,700 of those were the UJO bloc that helped Steve secure victory. Niederman and UJO have themselves an even stronger ally in the Council and can partially take credit for Levin's win.

3. Vito Lopez: The other party who can take credit for Steve's win. Yes, Steve worked hard to pick up votes throughout the district from the Krakus Senior Center to Gowanus Houses. Yes, Downtown Brooklyn was fractured among four candidates. Yes, Seve is naturally charming, likable and intelligent with a keen grasp of a variety of issues. But Steve credits Vito for strategizing the campaign and Vito nearly toppled an incumbent, Diana Reyna, in the same night. It's good to be the king. More Sheinkopf:

His power has not diminished and he is moving forward. Not winning the Reyna race does not diminish his power. He is a serious political operative and a serious player. He can decide who gets on statewide office without petition: that kind of power is a starter. Controlling who gets on County Committee is very important. You never sell a guy like that short under any circumstances.

4. Churches United for Fair Housing: Rob Solano is careful to share credit for the Reyna victory with organizers from Los Sures, El Puente, St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corps, but the lead organization in the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition emerged as one of the most influential of the group. This election was won through the churches, and Solano's group provided the nudge in an extremely close race more than say the artists or homeowners in Ridgewood, or other groups. Churches United and the BTCC may even find some new allies from Central Brooklyn and Queens now that Reyna comes in with third-term clout as the Triangle's rezoning plan makes its way to City Council. Updated: An important clarification. These organizers (as well as Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council organizers) worked as volunteers off the clock and were not paid staff on the campaigns. Nonprofits/ 501c3s cannot engage in political activity.

5. Rich Mazur and North Brooklyn Development Corporation: Rich picked his horse, Levin, early in this one and testified in City Council in support of extending term limits because he liked working with Diana Reyna (and David Yassky) so much. Also, he helped bring Dean Palin to Greenpoint for those affordable housing units in the India Street Project. Good summer for Rich.

“It’s always good to support the candidate that wins. He’s a warm fuzzy guy. If my mother likes him, I like him," says Rich.

6. Steve Levin's future tailor: Hey Rich, can you give Steve the name of your tailor? Or hook him up with Martin Greenfield? He's lost a little weight this campaign so his shirts are puffing out of his slacks a little bit and also his suit needs to be taken in. I'm guessing Steve is a 38 Regular but wearing a size 40.

7. I'll toot my collective horn here a little bit. Excellent breaking election coverage throughout the whole borough. On Primary Day and after a flurry of in-depth articles and posts from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were collected and sorted in one place for political observers to read. Good job guys!

Back in the Day

I will be dropping a few articles here and there from Back in the Day to give some perspective about the recent political victories. Here's an interesting one about alliances...

Hasidic and Hispanic Residents in Williamsburg Try to Forge a New Unity
Published: Sunday, September 18, 1994

Division Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is just that: a demarcation line between Hasidic Jews, who live, for the most part, to the north, and Hispanic residents to the south. But there is no dividing the air over Williamsburg.
In that irrefutable fact lie the roots of a budding cooperation between two groups that have, for three decades, written a history of contention and sometimes violent confrontation.
"We all breathe the same air," said Luis Garden Acosta, president of El Puente (the Bridge), a nonprofit organization that provides services to Hispanic residents, particularly the young.

Doug Biviano Swan Song

From the New York Observer...
Meet Doug Biviano: Brooklyn-born, just like his father and his father before him; a Brooklyn Heights resident, a P.S. 8 proud parent, as in his three kids with wife Lee are actually enrolled in the public school system; he’s a Girl Scout Dad, too. A Cornell-trained civil engineer (his consultants had to keep reminding him to mention the Ivy League bit), Biv didn’t like working for the machine as a professional any more than he likes machine politicians, or the phonies who claim to be reformers and then play patty-cake with bigwigs behind closed doors: He quit the engineering biz and for the past 9 years he’s worked as the superintendent over at One Grace Court. When the building served him notice that he needed to pack it up and find another gig on account of his family health care plan costing them too much, “I said, you know what, I’m going all in on this,” said Mr. Biviano, who is 40, but has the energy of a 27-year-old guy. He found a store front on Montague Street and hung a shingle: Doug Biviano for City Council. Old school. He lost, came in sixth out of seven candidates. No one can deny Biv shook things up.

Newtown Creek: Superfundizzle?

From the EPA...

New York, NY—Sept. 23, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to add New York City’s Newtown Creek to its National Priorities List (NPL) of sites with known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories. The NPL is EPA’s list of sites that warrant further investigation and longterm cleanup; the listing will allow EPA to build on the extensive sampling of the creek that has already been done.
“Newtown Creek is one of the most grossly-contaminated waterways in the country,” said Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “By listing the creek, EPA can focus on doing the extensive sampling needed to figure out the best way to address the contamination and see the work through.”
EPA responded to requests by members of Congress to evaluate specific sites along the creek by publishing a September 2007 report that contained a review of past work and recommendations regarding future work at Newtown Creek. The state of New York referred the site to EPA due to the complex nature of the contamination along the creek.
This raises a lot of questions including what will happen with the sludge boats. Read my updated story about this here. Tracking...

The Mayor's favorite foods

An article about Mayor Bloomberg in the Dining section? Yup. It's true.

But an examination of what enters the mayoral mouth reveals that Mr. Bloomberg is an omnivore with his own glaring indulgences, many of them at odds with his own policies. And he struggles mightily to restrain his appetite.
As a billionaire in one of the dining capitals of the world, he can eat anything he wants. But he is obsessed with his weight — so much so that the sight of an unflattering photo of himself can trigger weeks of intense dieting and crankiness, according to friends and aides.
His food issues have become New York City’s. Although he has described his battle against unhealthy foods as common-sense public policy that will shed pounds (and save lives), many of his targets overlap with his own cravings.
“I like a Big Mac like everybody else,” he confessed the other day, explaining the city’s warts-and-all approach to fast food. “I just want to know how many calories are in it.”

This slightly rebuts the Pizzagate story, which erupted in Williamsburg earlier in the year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Guess This Was Inevitable

Here's the link

(Kent Avenue) Riders on the Storm

Gersh rides on the Kent Avenue Bike Lane. Looks like a nice day. What's all the fuss, you ask? Let's go to the videotape!...

Also, people are concerned about the safety of the street... as per this video...

And for the heck of it... (you knew this was coming)

Moviehouse Thoughts

First off, congratulations to Chris Henderson, Moviehouse, and the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition for an excellent and unique program series. Monday night, there were more than sixty people huddled on the India Street street end, watching two documetaries projected on a wall of a warehouse where several murals commissioned by NBPAC still exist (if you haven't seen them yet, go now! They'll be destroyed soon).

The first movie was an extremely enlightening look at disappearing industries in East Williamsburg and the many pressures industrial businesses face. It was directed by Daniel Ross and Tom Vigliotta, and part of a WNET Thirteen web series. I was particularly struck by Embee Sunshade, the worn-down brick building (even the letters are askew) on 722 Metropolitan Avenue holding one of America's oldest umbrella manufacturers that is facing financial pressures because fewer people and businesses are buying umbrellas for the beach, rooftops, andoutdoor patios, and suppliers are dwindling. EWVIDCO works hard to help these businesses, but rent is still climbing in these areas as developers are looking for the next hot neighborhood to build condominium buildings. Excellent vignette.

The second film, directed by JL Aronson, was about pigeon rearing and flight clubs in Southside Williamsburg. It is a very interesting look into how the South Side has changed over the past thirty years, how the roof is a sanctuary from street life (and how pigeons kept individuals from selling drugs on the street), and the social aspects of pigeon clubs. I wanted to know more about how people teach pigeons how to fly in packs, but maybe another time. It also reminded me a bit of the episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live where Mike Tyson, who grew up in nearby Brownsville, talked about raising pigeons. The clip isn't as funny after watching Aronson's documentary.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Show at Moviehouse: Williamsburg Docs

It's happening tonight. Will post thoughts tomorrow...

September 17, 2009
Moviehouse on India Street: Brooklyn Docs
Join us on the final day of summer for the final show of Moviehouse on India Street. We’ll be showing Brooklyn Docs on Monday, September 21 at 8:30 pm.Two Brooklyn-based documentary teams take you inside our neighborhood, first with a look at pigeon farmers and second with a look at disappearing industry. It’s a fascinating look at where the neighborhood is now and where it might be in the next few years.
Filmmakers JL Aronson and Daniel Ross will be on hand to share their thoughts afterward.
Up on the Roof by JL AronsonUp on the Roof follows several devoted pigeon keepers on Williamsburg’s south side through the rigors and rewards of a quintessential New York tradition. The film considers what we lose in the process of renewal and treats the audience like an insider in an unseen and —in many ways— vanishing world.
Uncertain Industry by Daniel Ross and Tom VigliottaNew York City was once the capital of American manufacturing. In 1950, the city boasted nearly one million manufacturing jobs. By 2007 that number had dwindled to 100,000. Today, New York’s surviving factories face stiff competition from foreign imports, and they have to fight for space against condo developments and businesses ranging from art galleries to clothing stores. What has losing this vital source of jobs meant for New York’s economy?

Yassky Gets Religulous

David Yassky, right, sees the light

Saturday, I think David spent the whole day in shul, but here's a look at David's Sunday schedule on the second day of Rosh Hashannah...
Sunday, September 20 - Times and Locations Subject to Change
Brooklyn Council Member David Yassky, Democratic candidate for New York City Comptroller, has the following public schedule for Sunday, September 20:
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Attends Service and Addresses Congregants with Reverend Dr. Floyd FlakeThe Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York110-31 Merrick Blvd, Between 110th Road and 111th AvenueJamaica, Queens CLOSED PRESSNote: Media Availability to follow

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Attends Service and Addresses Congregants with Reverend Michael WaldronFirst Corinthian Baptist Church1912 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, Between W. 115th Street and W. 116th StreetManhattan CLOSED PRESSNote: Media Availability to follow

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Attends Gospel Brunch Honoring Comptroller Bill ThompsonFirst Corinthian Baptist Church2110 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, Between W. 125th Street and W. 126th StreetManhattan OPEN PRESS

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Marches in African American Day ParadeSTART: 111th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Boulevard END: 142nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. BoulevardManhattan OPEN PRESS

(P.S. The UJO Legislative Breakfast is the gift that keeps on giving)

Mormons in the Park

I linked to this in a previous set, but check this Brooklyn Paper story out again if you missed it before. I've bolded the most important line in it. Tracking:

Mormons give Hipsterville a good cleaning
By Lysandra Ohrstrom
for The Brooklyn Paper
Lysandra Ohrstrom
Mormons fanned through McCarren Park at 7 am on Saturday to clean up. We managed to capture it on film!
Wake up, Williamsburg! While you were sleeping last Saturday morning there were real live Mormons cleaning up McCarren Park.
More than 100 19- to 30-year-old Mormons from across the tri-state area woke up at 7 am, prayed, and trekked to Greenpoint to pick up trash and rake leaves as part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ annual community service day for young singles.
Most of the stubbly, pierced, carefully disheveled masses woke up well after their Mormon cohorts left at 12:30 pm, and few of those who were awake ventured out in the gloomy weather last Saturday to notice the interlaced-hands logo on the volunteers’ yellow-mesh jerseys.

Jessica Weinschenk and her boyfriend Justin Urra, 24, woke up at 3 pm and were shocked to learn that Mormons had briefly descended on their neighborhood.
“Really? Mormons?” asked 22-year-old Jessica Weinschenk. “I guess it’s not that weird because religious people do stuff like that. And hey, it’s cool if someone wants to clean our park for us. But why Williamsburg?”
Though it’s tempting to think that the Mormons chose Williamsburg because it is packed with aimless, Godless, young people crying out for conversion, the Church chose this particular park because the Parks Department identified it as the most in need of maintenance of any in the five boroughs.
The act of largesse confused Weinschenk, who said she had not volunteered since high school. Urra has never done community service and even chose to go to jail rather than do a court-mandated subway cleanup.
“I threw my bike through some guy’s window who hit me and they ordered me to clean-up the Houston Street station. I got the date, and went there, and some guy handed me cleaning stuff,” he said. “I sat down for a minute, thought about it, and was like, ‘I’m out of here.’ So I went to brunch at CafĂ© Colonial.”
Of 20 Williamsburg residents in the park on Sunday, photographer Phillip Angert, 25, was the only person who said he had served a community in some form.
“I just got back from Burning Man and when you leave you have to spend four hours cleaning up after yourself,” he said. “It’s this really amazing experiment in community.”
The Mormons, on the other hand, volunteer regularly, whether it’s doing public service events organized by a local congregation or missionary work in different countries.
“You just try to think of others, right?” said 25-year-old Greg Reeves, who helped organize Saturday’s event. “The other day, there were these Japanese girls trying to get off the subway and they had these huge bags of luggage so I helped them carry up their bags.”
Reeves believes that someone else would have helped the travelers if he had not.
“New Yorkers have a hard shell, but I think generally they are pretty nice people,” he said.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It has come to my attention recently that I have made a few errors on the blog recently. Nothing earth shattering, but they merit some discussion.
1. Neve Campbell was in Scream while Jennifer Love Hewitt was in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Obviously, I did not watch either movie. Had I done so, I would have not confused the two while making the metaphorical suggestion of the slasher/ fisherman character to David Yassky's political career. The fisherman character kind of lingers around in the background at key points in the movie, despite the fact that Hewitt did run him down on a foggy road in the beginning of the movie. In Scream, you rarely see the guy in the mask until he slashes you, but there are multiple sequels and no sign of slowing down. I believe the metaphor still stands, but more towards I Know What You Did Last Summer than Scream. My apologies.
2. Also, among the many hurried mispellings that sometimes appear here is the one I used when referring to a minyan. Instead, I wrote "minion". A minyan is a quorum needed for certain Jewish obligations while a minion is a term for a favorite or protege to an aristocratic figure. An example. Notice how the two can get easily confused:
Vito had so many Hasidic supporters at Steve Levin's victory party that they easily formed a minyan!
Vito had so many Hasidic supporters at Steve Levin's victory party that they easily formed a minion!

It's not as bad as the time that I referred to the late President of the Mormon Church as John Hinckley (instead of Gordon Hinckley), but we all make slippages from time to time.
(Updated: Further spelling errors fixed. Yikes.)

We interrupt the holidays to bring you Breaking News from Williamsburg

From Team Diana:

Diana Reyna today announced that, following the official re-canvass of all machines and the counting of emergency ballots, absentee ballots and valid affidavit ballots, she has won re-election as Council Member from the 34th Council District. Members of her main opponent's campaign were present throughout the entire process.
The newly counted votes added to Reyna’s unofficial primary election tally, taking her from a margin of 223 to 251 votes.
Reyna thanked her volunteers, her family and all of the voters who propelled her to re-election, and asked for all members of the community to work together to continue to improve the neighborhood.
“Thank you, and I look forward to working with everyone in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood as we address the issues that truly matter,” Reyna stated. “Now it is time to focus on the work we must continue to do for the people - increasing the supply of affordable housing; making sure that our kids have great schools; and bringing good jobs and economic growth back to our neighborhood.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Short List: Rosh Ha Sha-na-na edition

Challah at Your Boy, Son!

L'Shannah Tovah! this weekend to all our Jewish friends on A Short Story as the blog wishes you a sweet and joyous new year this Sha-na na. Hope it's a blue moon out.
Here at A Short Story, I'm still picking my way through the wreckage of Brooklyn's Progressive community, trying to find the black box. I will have a primary winners and non-winners post, looking at the long-term consequences of the events of this past Tuesday (the Daily News has something on this too), but for now, let's go over the highlights!

*Juliet Linderman has a blogalicious hour-by-hour run-down of primary day. My favorite highlight? An anxious Steve Levin at Taylor Wythe. He sounded serious about being nervous. I hope he kept his food down.
*Ben Muessig accidentally wandering into Vito's Bushwick clubhouse late Tuesday night. Ben congratualted Vito on Steve Levin's victory party. What did Vito have to say? "How come you're not at the Evan Thies party?" Classic.
*Speaking of Vito, he took to the corners himself at 6 PM, Tuesday night, with Martin Dilan, while Diana Reyna canvassed at the other corner of South 3rd and Roebling near P.S. 250. I'm still kicking myself for missing this.
*Meeting something like twenty Reyna cousins at the Reyna after party. And that wasn't the entire family. According to the US Census, nearly everyone in Williamsburg's South Side is at least a fifth cousin of Diana Reyna.
*Seeing scores of Williamsburg Hasidic leaders on Wyckoff Avenue celebrating Levin's victory. Did I miss the brand new torah?

Finally, in a look to the future...
*Steve Witt passed his stress test this morning. "Every other commercial in the waiting room was about Bloomberg," he said. "You can't beat that."

As for the weekend, there's two big fashion shows in Williamsburg (Love Brigade and Williamsburg Fashion Weekend), a veritable ton of parties in Bushwick on Friday night, and the Cooper Park Fun and Film party on Saturday starting at 5 PM.
I'll be Sha-na-naing most of the weekend. I kind of want to know if David Yassky will be hitting the synagogue circuit, aka Jeremy Piven in Entourage when he had to make a deal on Yom Kippur. That's the beauty of Yom Kippur as long as you apologize by sundown you can do whatever you want.

That's not quite the way I want to end this holiday. We need a dance techno remix.

Much better. L'shana tovah!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And on the seventh day... Steve Levin rested

Still don't know who the guy on the right is? He's your new councilman (if you live in Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, Greenpoint, or Park Slope. In the meantime, let's aggregate some of the campaign profiles so you can get to know him a little better.

Stress Test

Author Steve Witt is having a stress test tomorrow. He has stopped drinking coffee and has been eating mostly salad and fruit for much of the week. Will he pass it? We will be having live updates throughout the day...
"I'm going to do real well with it. I'm confident. I'm excited about it," says Steve.
He did just get off the phone with a woman at the doctor's office, reminding him when he can drink milk and juice again.
"Darnit, the person administering the stress test is giving me stress," says Steve, before engulfing another salad.
I'm putting the odds of Steve passing at 15:1.

34th District Williamsburg: Let's go to work

Hey! NOBODY'S trading with ANYBODY. This ain't a goddamn, ####ing city council meeting, you know. Now listen up. There's two ways you can go on this job: my way or the highway. Now what's it gonna be?

The Board of Elections at 345 Adams Street in downtown Brooklyn was buzzing with activity this morning, as attorneys and poll workers hunkered down to count some paper ballots today. Absentees start at 2 PM. As Marty "The Wolf" Connor says, "it's like watching paint dry." I almost imagine Marty was instructing Team Diana, Let's not start ######## each other's ###### just yet.

Team Diana outside BOE
Sorry, I'm mixing my Tarantino quotes again (but notice the uncanny resemblance between Marty and Lawrence Tierney, above). So far, Diana Reyna picked up 2 votes in the morning counting. There are just over 100 absentee ballots and the margin separating Diana and Maritza Davila is 225. Anyway, the action moves to a warehouse in Red Hook tomorrow at 9 AM where all the voting machines have been stored, for the machine canvass tally. And we all know what happens when you go do official business in a Brooklyn warehouse.

Torture you? That's a good idea. I like that.

We'll just keep torturing you until the vote gets certified.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Morning Quarterbacking

It was a whirlwind day of primary campaigns with upsets (Jumaane Williams!), surprises (Leslie Crocker Snyder getting trounced by Cy Vance), unexpectedly large margins of victory (Steve Levin! Brad Lander!), nailbiters that may play out in court (Diana Reyna!), resurrections (Bill De Blasio!), and Scream-like sequels that will not go away no matter how often Jennifer Love Hewitt runs you over with her car (David Yassky!). Fear not. Let The Wolf help you clean up this mess. Lotsa cream, lotsa sugar.

34th District: This was the second closest race of the night (in the 28th Council district, Thomas White nipped Lynn Nunes by 6 votes), with Diana Reyna retaining a slim 223-vote margin over Maritza Davila. Who's responsible for the likely victory? Everybody. And already, everybody is taking credit. Vito wanted this one badly, and got out to man the corners himself at PS 250 after 6 PM in Williamsburg. I was at Taylor Wythe Houses at the time, but several volunteers reported the scene that Vito and Senator Martin Dilan stood out there for more than two hours. Needless to say, it was a busy day in Williamsburg.
At this time, it is unclear whether Martiza, who mounted an extremely strong campaign, will seek to challenge the results in court or stay on the Working Families Party line in November. Here's some thoughts from a candidate in a neighboring district:
The machine is not as strong as it appears. This race was won not because of having a solid campaign. T his race was won by fear and intimidation by the machine. Diana was unfairly targeted. Also, there were fewer candidates in that race.
I disagree, somewhat. I'll be breaking down numbers in further detail but it appears that what hurt Maritza most was that not enough of the Bushwick seniors and public housing residents she has served for twenty years were located in the 34th District. However, this isn't exactly over.

33rd District: While Maritza loyalists strategized about their next move late into the night, it was all smiles among the Steve Levin volunteers after he trounced six other rivals to take David Yassky's open seat. Steve won 1/3 of the vote, taking a majority of nearly 5,000 Orthodox voters to came to the polls Tuesday. Taylor Wythe Houses was the place to be yesterday, and Steve parked himself there for several hours. There were reports of jostling and vitriol between the Abraham and Levin supporters, as vehicles spouting campaign messages from both sides circled the blocks for much of the day. Here are some thoughts from a defeated candidate in the race when I asked who deserves credit for the victory:
Rabbi David Niederman (UJO Executive Director) by far. Vito is powerful guy who is reviled in the 52nd Assembly District. Niederman has been there a long time and is a big player in local politics in North Brooklyn. Vito’s strategic mind and political clout, plus Niederman, plus Steve’s hard work are the reasons why he won. Even though Steve would not have won without that huge increase in South Side votes, he still picked up votes everywhere. He really didn’t finish better than 3rd in many EDs in the 52nd, but still worked very, very hard and he earned all those votes. I’m shocked at how high the turnout was. It was incredibly high. As soon as we knew that turnout in Hasidic Williamsburg was going to be beyond 4,000, that was the ballgame.

Crane's posted its Primary Winners and Losers this morning as did the Times' City Room (I'll add mine a bit later) and there are several roundups of the Council races leading off in the 45th with Jumaane Williams' upset, Brad Lander's clear and resounding victory, Tish James holding the Fort in Fort Greene, ccandidate celebrations in The Bronx, Billy Thompson advancing to the Finals, predictable runoffs in the Public Advocate and Comptroller races. Highlights at 11!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Diana Reyna Wins Reelection

City Council - District 34
Diana Reyna (Dem)
Maritza Davila (Dem)
Gerald Esposito (Dem)
Reporting: 118 of 118 precincts - 100.00 percent

Steve Levin is your new councilmember in the 33rd District

City Council - District 33
Stephen Levin (Dem)
Jo Anne Simon (Dem)
Isaac Abraham (Dem)
Evan Thies (Dem)
Ken Diamondstone (Dem)
Doug Biviano (Dem)
Kenneth Baer (Dem)
Reporting: 146 of 147 precincts - 99.32 percent

Levin back up big. At 34% with 93% reporting

City Council - District 33
Stephen Levin (Dem)
Jo Anne Simon (Dem)
Isaac Abraham (Dem)
Evan Thies (Dem)
Ken Diamondstone (Dem)
Doug Biviano (Dem)
Kenneth Baer (Dem)
Reporting: 138 of 147 precincts - 93.88 percent

Diana up 195 votes with 1 precinct remaining

City Council - District 34
Diana Reyna (Dem)
Maritza Davila (Dem)
Gerald Esposito (Dem)
Reporting: 117 of 118 precincts - 99.15 percent

Brad Lander distancing himself from the pack

Lander has 41 percet to Josh Skaller's 25. Almost ready to call this one, but it looks like Brad Lander is your new Councilmember in Park Slope.

City Council - District 39
Bradford Lander (Dem)
Josh Skaller (Dem)
John Heyer (Dem)
Bob Zuckerman (Dem)
Gary Reilly (Dem)
Reporting: 107 of 132 precincts - 81.06 percent

34th race tightens up! Diana up 97 votes, Levin steady at +14

Diana 45, Maritza 44, Gerry 11.
Reporting: 110 of 118 precincts - 93.22 percent

In the 33rd, Steve has 31.53, Jo Anne with 19.84, Evan Thies (now in 3rd) with 14.6
Reporting: 103 of 147 precincts - 70.07 percent

Updates... Levin up 23. Diana up 9

In the 34th, with 54% reporting, Diana is up 48.8 to Maritza's 40 percent. Gerry has about 12 percent.

In the 33rd, With just over 32% percent reporting, Steve Levin has just over 40 percent. Jo Anne Simon has 16.8 percent, and in third place with about 13 % is Isaac Abraham. Three others have between 10 and 11 percent. Reporting: 48 of 147 precincts - 32.65 percent

Long day in Williamsburg


7:12 PM: The final stop of the night. PS 19 on South 3rd and Keap Street. This polling station should be one of the highest turnout locations in the district and it’s in the heart of the Dominican South Side. The place is teeming with Reyna and Davila volunteers. Rob Solano stops by handing water bottles out to Reyna volunteers, right in front of some thirsty Davila supporters. That’s how it is on the South Side.

According to Ramon Peguero, a Reyna supporter and the Deputy Administrator of Los Sures, there have been 700 voters in the site already, and they expect 900 by 9 PM. That’s higher than in Ridgewood, where a source notes 520 total votes at a site out there. A Davila volunteer says she has been at Lindsay Houses for much of the day, while a Reyna volunteer adds that she has been making the rounds to PS 250, JS 50 and schools in Bushwick. The volunteers are clumped together, and have been gently needling each other.

“Vito has staked his reputation on this race. He says Maritza is Vito’s choice,” says a Reyna volunteer. “We don’t say that this is Nydia’s campaign.”

It’s been a long day. Less than two hours until the polls close. I ask the Davila volunteer how many hours of sleep he had last night.

“I haven’t slept,” he said.

We're still waiting...

Twenty minutes until the polls close and we're waiting for results from a slew of council and citywide races. I'll be making my calls, but tune into NY1 or check back here for periodic updates.
Of course, what I want to know is who is going to have the best after party? Will it be the Levin camp? Simon? Evan Thies? Diana or Maritza? Isaac Abraham (Issac!)? Win or lose, I think Doug Biviano will have the best celebration and it's going to look something like this...